Plastic repair GURUS since 1981
How to Repair a Kayak with an Airless Plastic Welder
Kayaks take a beating when going up against rough waves, rocks, and narrow passages. Weathered kayaks that are often exposed to UV rays are more prone to cracks. This video will show you how to repair a crack on a kayak. The method we will show can be used with Polyvance’s KCWPRO, 5700HT Mini-Weld Model 7, or the integrated airless plastic welder on one of our nitrogen plastic welders. The KCWPRO comes with your choice of welding rod. If you want to use the Mini-Weld Model 7 or airless side of a nitrogen welder, you will have to purchase your welding rod separately.
Watch us repair a kayak with a nitrogen welder here: https://www.polyvance.com/video/kayak-repair/how-to-repair-a-kayak-with-a-nitrogen-plastic-welder
Visit this page for a testimonial as well as a step-by-step photo series of a repair with the KCW Pro.
Always wear proper safety gear while working!
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LDPE or HDPE?
The difference between LDPE (low density polyethylene) and HDPE (high density polyethylene) is the length of the molecule chains. HDPE has longer molecular chains than LDPE and the melting temperature of HDPE is often higher than that of LDPE.
LDPE's lower melting temperature usually makes using it as filler rod easier-to-use than welding HDPE filler rod to HDPE plastics.
HDPE is also "tougher" and more abrasion resistant than LDPE, but the practical difference is minimal when doing repair work. If you need the best wear characteristics and can live with making slower, more difficult welds, use HDPE rod. In most cases, we see better quality welds when using LDPE rod for typical crack or hole repair on boat hulls and ATV plastics.
More About the KCWPRO
Polyvance's KC Welder allows you to create permanent repairs to your cracked kayak or cracked canoe. This kayak repair kit / canoe repair kit comes with everything you need.
The KC Welder lets the do-it-yourselfer patch a kayak crack with a kayak welding kit that uses kayak welding rods. The best part is that it is all contained in a plastic kayak patch kit that you can purchase online. This Kayak hole repair kit allows just about anyone to start patching a kayak hole.
The KCWPRO kit contains:
The 5700HT Mini-Weld Model 7 Includes:
Note: This is a list of the Polyvance products that can be used to make this repair. This list does not include sanders, grinders, or other common tools you will need. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call technical support at 800-633-3047.
Kayaks take a beating when going up against rough waves, rocks, and narrow passages. Weathered kayaks that are often exposed to UV rays are more prone to cracks. This video will show you how to repair a crack on a kayak. The method we will show can be used with Polyvance's KCW Pro, Mini-Weld Model 7, or the airless plastic welder on one of our nitrogen plastic welders.
First, use an abrasive to clean the plastic around the edge of the crack. If you have an air blower, you can blow out the crack to help remove any debris, but this is not necessary.
Most kayaks are made out of polyethylene, either high density or low density. Either type of rod will work when repairing polyethylene. Choose which type of rod you would like to work with, and pick the color that most closely matches the color of the kayak.
Melt into the crack while simultaneously melting your matching welding rod on the barrel of the welder. You want to melt very deeply into the plastic of the kayak, melting only one to two inches at a time. Working in small sections ensures that the plastic stays melted. Push the melted plastic back into the groove you just made. Lay the welding rod on top and smear it into the melted plastic. Continue the process of melting deeply into the plastic, pushing the displaced plastic back in, laying the welding rod on top, and smearing the plastics together.
Cut a piece of reinforcing mesh about one-quarter to half-an-inch larger than the damaged area. Form the mesh around the damaged area of the kayak, bending it into shape if necessary. With light pressure, lay the welder on top of the mesh to heat it up, melting the kayak at the same time. Again, work in small sections of about one to two inches at a time to ensure the plastic stays melted. Use a flathead screwdriver or other flat tool to push the mesh deep into the kayak. You want to embed the mesh as deep as you can into the plastic. As you work the mesh into the kayak, melted plastic will drift out to the side of the mesh. Push this melted plastic over of the mesh and smooth it out.
Working in small sections, add more welding rod over the mesh. Melt the kayak plastic while you melt your polyethylene welding rod on the barrel of the welder. It is important to melt both the kayak plastic and the welding rod at the same time. This allows the two plastics to blend together. This process, coupled with the reinforcing mesh, is what makes this repair so strong.
Lay the melted welding rod over the kayak and smooth it into the existing plastic. If the reinforcing mesh tries to separate from the kayak, use your flat tool to push the mesh back into the kayak. Keep adding welding rod until you have completely covered the mesh. Continue smoothing the plastic and doing any cosmetic shaping until you are satisfied with the result.
After the weld cools, your repair is finished. If you want to do any refinishing, you can sand the weld with some 80 grit sandpaper. Now you're ready to get back into the water with your kayak!
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