- Epoxy or polyester putty. The rule is to use the same kind of resin for repair that was used to build the boat. If you don’t know, choose boat-building epoxy which sticks to nearly everything. Do not use hardware store instant epoxy or any resin that won’t cure rock hard. If you use epoxy or polyester resin in place of putty you’ll have to thicken it to make a putty that won’t run. The simplest way is to just cut some fiberglass cloth into tiny pieces. Keep adding the chopped glass into the resin until a thick putty consistency results. Better yet, buy a powdered fiberglass thickener--it's very inexpensive. I've had good luck with Ad-Tech, West System and Rapid-Cure epoxies. There are slow and fast-cure formulations. Fast cure works best for general and gel-coat repairs. Check out the options on line.
|This broken seat was repaired with Rapid-Cure epoxy. Noatak River, Alaska|
- MEKP hardener for polyester resin. Two-part resin and hardener for epoxy.
- popsicle stick for spreading the putty
- 120 and 400 grit sandpaper
- Matching acrylic auto paint (brush or spray)
- If you can’t obtain either epoxy or polyester resin, plain old “bondo” will usually work. Bondo is thick and won't run so there's no need to prop the canoe or build a tape well. Note: gel-coat is purely cosmetic—it provides no structural strength so it probably doesn’t matter much which resin you use, as long as it sticks solidly to your canoe and has reasonable resistance to abrasion.
|The stems of these two canoes have been repaired dozens of times. The paint (flat and gloss black) hides the repair and makes it look like a factory option.|