Water damage to kayak

I built a CLC 17 ft kayak about ten years ago when I was a teenager.  It was safely stored in the attic of my parents' garage for a number of years, but I recently moved to the west coast and took the boat with me. I've refinished it twice over the years, the last time being just less than a year ago. Unfortunately, I no longer have anywhere indoor to store it, so it is currently hanging off of the back of my fence.

I just noticed the other day (after a lot of rain) that the wood has darkened a bit on the top of the kayak near the edges, as though some water has been soaking in from the joint.  Obviously I need to keep this thing covered with a tarp, but in terms of the damage that has already been done, I'm wondering what I might be able to do to repair it?


3 replies:

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RE: Water damage to kayak

the good news is you found the problem before it turned to disaster. the bad news is once water enters inside the wood grain, and discolors, there is not much you can do to neutralize the color. I would recommmend removing all the finish to the wood  in the efeected area and reapplying your coats. you will have to recoat the final coat. Tarps are nice but offer a false sense of security. a small leak or strong wind with a rainfall could damage wood. good luck

RE: Water damage to kayak

Strip it and refinish it again, with an extra thin layer or two of epoxy, especially in the affected areas.  There's nothing to be done about the color change.  Now, this assumes a color change due to water damage, not UV exposure changing the color of the wood.  I've noticed my boat has gotten a little darker with age, like many wood projects, but it's not damage, it's just the natural change of color the wood goes through.


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