DuffyM_in-NH

Fixing surface cracks on old kevlar canoe

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I've got an old (unknown age) kevlar canoe which has small surface cracks on the outer hull bottom and bilge area. I'm assuming the cracks are from the hull flexing as there are no cracks on the sides. I do not know if the surface is a colored epoxy, gel-coat or paint. The cracks are tight with no separation from the hull.

How do I determine what the surface is? Then what can I do to fix the problem?

Mike

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You can generally tell if it is gel coat by sanding or grinding and if it smells like styrene it's usually gel coat.  If no smell and very thin it's usually paint.  In any case to fix the crack you will want to v it out with a dremel and use a filler to fill it in like 3M Marine Premium Filler if the crack is cosmetic.  If it's structural into the fiberglass or Kevlar cloth, you will need to build that up by grinding the area about 3" around the crack and laying up more Kevlar cloth and resin.  Fair smooth and finish with gelcoat.  If using gelcoat do your lay up with polyester resin.  If finishing with paint, you can use epoxy resin.

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