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Thread: Repair this piece of damaged plastic gunwale?

  1. #1
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    Default Repair this piece of damaged plastic gunwale?

    I've managed to damage the gunwale on one of my club boats. It dropped onto the transport trolley and smashed part of the gunwale on the trolley bar. In fairness, I'm very surprised how much damage this did, I probably drop my own boat further every time I throw it up onto the car roof and it just bounces.

    In any case. It's an ancient, very heavy and badly hogged Eurokayak Trapper 500. I've offered to repair it myself which seems only fair.

    Here's the damage from the side:



    From above:



    Annoyingly, I can't find the broken bits of plastic in the gravel/grass under the racks.

    I'm thinking either fill with thickened epoxy coloured with graphite (maybe a bit of glass reinforcement over it?) and sand it back or one of those endless river gunwale repair sections rivetted on top?
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  2. #2
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    I'd go with the epoxy and glass route.
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



  3. #3
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    Just a bit fo thinking out loud as to how I'll do that. First drill stop holes on the splits.

    Then, if I put the boat on its side, I could clamp a piece of wood with parcel tape on along the top of the gunwale to make a flat surface there. Then fill the void with thickened resin. I've got some microbaloons and some graphite so I presume it's the usual "peanut butter" I'm aiming for. Fill the defect then, as it's starting to go-off, remove the "flat" piece and lay a bit of glass tape over the top and wet it out. Then sand once it's gone off.

    I've got a choice of polyester surf resin or some west systems epoxy. The latter is nicer to use but not as UV stable?
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  4. #4
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    Does the gunwale plastic melt with say a soldering iron? Do you know anyone who welds plastic? Do you have any bits of old gunwale about in the club anywhere? After drilling the stress relief holes at the end of the cracks I might be tempted to have a go at melting plastic onto/into it on the principle that I could always file/sand excess away and then possibly "flame" the surface with a quick blast of a hot air gun to smooth it all off. Has anyone done this?
    Last edited by Potty Paddler; 11th-February-2018 at 03:49 PM.
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

  5. #5
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    Endless River do a short section of gunwale repair which clips over the damaged section.

    http://www.endlessriver.co.uk/canoe-...ion-p-892.html

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Endless River do a short section of gunwale repair which clips over the damaged section.

    http://www.endlessriver.co.uk/canoe-...ion-p-892.html
    In fairness, that would probably be quicker and easier and could be done with minimal tools and a head torch after work one evening.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  7. #7
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    I might have an old section of gunwale in the garage after doing a proper job on mine if that's of any use to you?

    The sections from endless river look good though.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Loads of good advice there. If it was just to stop your hands getting caught, I'd consider using some silicone or other filler and just smoothing it off.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    Loads of good advice there. If it was just to stop your hands getting caught, I'd consider using some silicone or other filler and just smoothing it off.
    I've had good success on similar repairs using a hot-melt glue gun. You can use a piece of steel flat, either as shuttering or just to press your molten puddle into place. If aesthetics aren't an issue, I bet it would make a very satisfactory repair.

    If you're trying to make it nearly invisible, then thickened epoxy might be best. Don't think I'd bother glassing over though; if you use woodflour, I think the repair would be fine just filled. Maybe a light sand and a lick of black paint.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potty Paddler View Post
    Does the gunwale plastic melt with say a soldering iron? Do you know anyone who welds plastic? Do you any bits of old gunwale about in the club anywhere? After drilling the stress relief holes at the end of the cracks I might be tempted to have a go at melting plastic onto/into it on the principle that I could always file/sand excess away and then possibly "flame" the surface with a quick blast of a hot air gun to smooth it all off. Has anyone done this?
    I mended a hole in a black plastic water Jerry by melting a cable tie with a soldering gun. Had to get the surrounding plastic soft so the cable tie stuck to it , then added more ' tie then smoothed the patch
    over with the side of the blade.
    So we beat on,boats against the current,bourne back ceaselessly into the past.

  11. #11
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    Right, I went for a combination of techniques.

    I drilled "stop holes" at the ends of all the cracks then using a soldering iron "stitched" the length of any cracks that had no bits missing.





    Then I mixed up some polyester "surf" resin, added some graphite powder to colour it/provide some UV protection and thickened it to " peanut butter" with glass spheres. I always over-estimate how much epoxy you need for this, it bulks up a hell of a lot when you thicken it. Could have probably done the whole job with 10ml.

    Anyway. Colour match is not perfect but filled any voids then filed and sanded down the excess. Quite pleased with the result.

    Before and after shots:





    And the other side:



    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  12. #12
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    "Proper Job" - looks good
    DCUK
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  13. #13
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    I would have said plastic weld and plane of any bits protruding but that turned out well

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