Repairing Your Slalom Boat

This page will describes techniques used to perform do-it-yourself repairs to carbon or kevlar slalom canoes or kayaks.

The full Boat Repair document can be found at the bottom of this page

Repair Materials

Safety

The first point to note is that the materials used must be handled properly to avoid skin irritation, or breathing in the fine dust and chemical vapours.  You should wear a mask when sanding, and thin plastic/rubber gloves when handling fabric, solvents or epoxy and work in a well ventilated area.

General Comment

In general the shell of the boat is repaired with fabric (Kevlar, Carbon, or Carbon/Kevlar mix) and a hard tough adhesive(Epoxy).  Seams of the boat, or areas which tend to routinely abraid utilize a bias or seam tape made of Kevlar.  Emergency repairs are often carried out with duct tape - never leave home without it!

Fabrics - Cloth & Tape

Kevlar is a tough recently developed fiber that resists impact more that carbon and is relatively wear resistant, but is not as stiff.  Carbon is much more difficult to flex when cured in epoxy but can be more easily abraded or cracked on impact.  As a result it is common to see weaves combining the two in 1 fabric.  Note that kevlar is difficult to cut cleanly and may require special scissors and patience.  Places where you can purchase Kevlar or Carbon:

An internet supply house that offers comprehensive selection is Sweet Composites:

www.sweetcomposites.com/

Epoxy

The above cloth and tape require a strong adhesive that will easily soak into it, cure in a reasonable time, and not deteriorate over time with water and sun exposure.  Special epoxies for boats are preferred as they have been proven over time to work well.  Note that good surface preparation to ensure proper bonding of the epoxy is required, including exposing adjacent existing fabric using sandpaper and cleaning using a solvent such as acetone.

One recommended epoxy is made by West System.  Typically 105 Resin is used with 205 fast cure hardener.  It is important to use the special pumps that premeasure accurately the amount required. In addition West System also offers GFlex, which is a 1:1 epoxy system, one of which is quite thick.  GFlex offers more toughness than the 105/205 series.

www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx

www.thechandleryonline.com//dept.asp

Repair Supplies List   This link has a list of supplies that one might wish to include in a repair kit, as well as notes on why certain materials are recommended, and sources for purchasing in Ottawa.

How Do You Repair a Boat You Ask?

The document attached below shows you how to fix a fairly severe hole in a kevlar carbon boat using the above material and a few standard tools.  Cracks are a lot easier to repair but hopefully this gives you the basic idea as there is not much out there on the internet...Tim.Cutts.

Here are two documents on boat repair.  The first one covers repair to the hull after a large impact with some rocks.  The second article covers repair to the tail section of a slalom boat that was damaged severely - resulting in foam bulkhead breakage, and separation from the hull and deck.

Repair Number 1: Hull Damage

Here is a Before Picture:

Here is an After Picture:

And here are the Instructions in PDF format: Boat Repair 

 Repair Number 2: Tail Damage

Please see the document uploads/Repairing the Tail of a Slalom C2 Canoe.pdf

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