Restoring An 18 Year Old Kayak Kevlar Hull

Hello all, I'm beginning restoration of the kevlar hull for an 18 year old sea kayak.  I realize that this is primarily a site for wooden boat builders, but the tech support guys at CLC suggested that I post a question on this forum, because there was so much expertise here.  The kevlar hull of the kayak has lost some luster, and in some areas there are tiny pin holes and splotches of discoloration where there has been moisture intrusion over the years.  The hull was originally a clear kevlar hull, and now it is somewhat dull and has splotches from moisture intrusion.  My initial plan was to use Interlux Precoat Primer and White Brightsides Polyurethane to paint the hull.  However, I got to thinking and wondering if I should use some coating to completely seal the hull, or would the polyurethan coating serve the purpose adequately.  I also know that the polyurethane coatings are not intended for below the waterline use on boats, but have been informed by Interlux, that as long as the boat does not remain in the water for 72 hrs, that these coatings will work fine.  So please inform me if there is another coating that I should/can use to completely seal the hull and make it "bullet proof" before I apply the polyurethanes?  Thanks for your help.

8 replies:

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RE: Restoring An 18 Year Old Kayak Kevlar Hull

What about a clear Gelcoat?  That is what is on my composites.

RE: Restoring An 18 Year Old Kayak Kevlar Hull

"Kevlar kayak" isn't very specific. Some "Kevlar" hulls where/are fiberglass hulls witha single layer of Kevlar in the inside. Other "Kevlar" hulls where all Kevlar and intended for racing. These last boats tended to be a little flimsy and were not designed to last forever. If you have a hull with delaminations that could be a weak spot . Covering it over will not make it like new.  If repairs must be made  only epoxy will do and it costs $75-$100 per gallon.

RE: Restoring An 18 Year Old Kayak Kevlar Hull

Charlie, the kayak is a "Tango" tandem made by Seda.  The hull at one time was clear gel coat coated kevlar.  I recently purchased the boat with the intent to restore it.  Didnt' know whether to consider new gel coat or and epoxy barrier coat due to the weight increase.  So far I think the polyurethanes will accomplish what I want and put a sealing outer coat on the hull.  Rich

RE: Restoring An 18 Year Old Kayak Kevlar Hull

Owning a Seda Amigo w/ kevlar hull, I can tell you that your idea is just a bandaid of repairing.  Again if you want to restore it I suggest useing clear gel coat.  Fill gouges, pits, and such with gel coat putty made by adding cab-o-sil to your gel, sand, then put a light spray of gel.  All that is left is to polish and wax.

KK

RE: Restoring An 18 Year Old Kayak Kevlar Hull

KK, I'm looking for a way to color coat the hull, becuase of the discolored splotches.  The last thing I want is a nice shiny clear coat, because that won't do much for the appearance and won't get rid of the splotches.  Also, I don't have spray equipment to spray gelcoat.  Can you apply gelcoat with a roller, and will it roll out smoothly?  Can you expain the disadvantages of using the polyurethanes?  The hull doesn't have any gouges or pits, but I can see tiny pin holes (really tiny) in a couple of areas.  I use this kayak casually for short day trips.  No overnight camping or offshore excursions.  Thanks for your advice, Rich

RE: Restoring An 18 Year Old Kayak Kevlar Hull

Well that is the cool thing about gel coat, you make it any color you want.  Hence my Atlantis is Orange & Blue (FL Gators)  The bad news is that it must be sprayed because it sets up to fast.  It uses MEK as a catylist, and it sets very very fast.

Poly is a paint, something that sits on top of the glass,  It can scratch, blister, and I have never known anyone with any luck useing it on a polyester glass finish.  But that is not to say it can't be done, I just have not known it to work.

KK

RE: Restoring An 18 Year Old Kayak Kevlar Hull

OK, KK, I understand.  I'll have to just decide which approach to take.  The Intullux techs felt the application should provide the results that I want.  I  realize to that the the bottom will also be scratchedin time.  So when it gets to the super scratched phase, I'll probably just repaint it again.  Thanks so much for your advice.  Rich

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