Outside Hull repairs with AquaSeal

If you have tagged your boat while out on an adventure, it an be a sickening feeling to look at the blemish left behind.
I’m going to detail (with photo’s) how to fix the boat with a minimal impact to the aesthetics of your beautiful boat.

First ensure the abrasion is not a hole, as; it does not penetrate through the skin. If it does, turn the skin inside out and glue a patch on the INSIDE of the skin before attempting to repair the outside.

Clean the abrasion with rubbing alcohol and let dry.

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Mix a combination of AquaSeal (in your repair kit) with a small amount of black pigment; I use artists gouache. Mix vigorously and thoroughly.

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The next step is to outline the abraded area with masking tape. Use two or three layers of tape and then press it down.

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Fill the abraded area with your darkened glue, and place some extra within the tape borders.

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Using a paint scraper or similar tool, GENTLY spread the glue within the bordered area. You are attempting to smooth the glue for maximum atheistic effect. Use only the scraper. If and divots or blemishes appear, restart. Glue that spills over the tape border should be scraped or wiped off immediately and the residue cleaned off with rubbing alcohol.

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Use a utility or pocket knife to score the glue along the border of the repair area.

USE NO PRESSURE WHATSOEVER.

You are only separating the glue on the tape from the glue on the repair area. You really really do not want to cut into your boat. If you are worried about this, skip the knife step. Pull off the tape border very slowly.

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Let the glue dry for 14 hours.

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When cured, the glue will be strong and supple.

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4 thoughts on “Outside Hull repairs with AquaSeal

  1. Good instructions but hope I won’t need to use it anytime soon. In the unhappy event that the hull is penetrated, what is the best way to apply a permanent patch to the inside of hull?

    • The best permanent patches are on the inside of the boat using hull fabric (for the hull, use supplied deck fabric for repairs to the inside of the deck)

      I find it helps to tape the outside of the cut before working (ie. place some duck tape on the outside of the skin to hold the cut together) and then proceed with gluing the inside. I almost always use contact cement for inside hull repairs in the field or at home; its easy to keep clean.

      And

      Its easier for me to remove should the boat come back to the shop for “professional” repairs. 😀

  2. On the Feathercraft website, under FAQ/Hull, one finds the following instructions:
    *****************************
    When patching the hull, your patch should have rounded corners.

    For urethane hulls: clean the area to be patched with Cotol accelerator and mix with the Aquaseal, following the instructions on the container.

    For hypalon hulls: have the area to be patched clean and dry. Using a hypalon adhesive, apply a thin even coat to both the patch and area to be patched. Wait 3 to 5 minutes until just tacky. Re-apply adhesive. Wait till tacky. Press surfaces together. Allow to dry for two hours.

    Roughen non-fabric surfaces. Apply a thin even coat of Aquaseal to both surfaces. At room temperature, wait approximately five minutes, until adhesive is “just after tacky”. Press surfaces together.
    Cure time with the accelerator is two hours. For thickest repairs, allow up to 36 hours.
    **********************************

    I am about to try this out for the first time, and I can now confirm from personal experience that duct tape does work (even on a 1 cm gash) as a temporary repair. My Cotol had dried out over the years I’ve had the kayak, so I had to order some more. I don’t know how critical it is to the repair process (it seems to be recommended not just as an accelerant, but also to clean the surfaces).

    • Cotol is only necessary in the event you are short on time. Its speeds up the curing time…. BUT! be sure to only use an absolutely minimal amount. It can make the cured glue weak.

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