Remove dents and scratches from your plastic kayak

Plastic kayaks/canoes can be easily scratched and dented. Dents in plastic kayak might seem like a trivial matter. In many cases, it is mostly an aesthetic concern, but in the worst cases, it can affect the kayak’s performance. We, therefore, want to teach you how to remove scratches and dents in plastic kayaks without any fancy tools

First of all, you need to make sure that your kayak/canoe is made of thermoplastics Examples of thermoplastics are PE and HTP. Some kayaks are made of fiberglass and some even carbon fiber, which requires a completely different method of repair. Thermoplastics are plastics that can be processed by applying heat. And the heat is actually the cause of many dents. Cause when a plastic kayak is stored wrong, heat (from the sun) combined with pressure can result in rather large dents.

Remove scratches from your plastic kayak

You will need; a heat gun, sandpaper, and gloves.

  1.  Start by cleaning the surface to be treated, remove superficial dirt, and then you can brush it to get rid of dirt in the scratches.
  2. Sand the surface with 800-1000 wet sandpaper to roughen the plastic. The loosened plastic particles will remeltet into the kayak.
  3. Gently heat the surface with a heat gun by sweeping it over the area a few times. Follow up by pulling a clean cloth over it to reshape the plastic, this will remove the scratches. Repeat this process until you achieve the desired result.

Test carefully which amount of heat is required and sweep the cloth across the heated area often for best results. Make sure you press very lightly with the cloth. If you press too hard, the mastic might get an ugly surface with the risk of fabric fibers getting stuck. There is also a risk of denting your kayak if pressing too hard or if you overheat the plastic.

repair your plastic kayak

Removing dents in your plastic kayak

Dents in your plastic kayak can occure in some different ways. Most dents on plastic kayaks comes from wrong storage methods. Heat (from the sun) combined with pressure can result in rather large dents.

You will need; 1-2 heat guns, gloves, and maybe a friend.

  1. First, you need to isolate how big an area you need to heat. Follow the dent with your hand all the way to the edge of the dent. You will need to heat the dent, AND the area where the dent shifts over to the kayak’s normal shape
  2. Heat the area around the dent in your kayak until it’s barely too hot to touch. If the area is too big and you notice that it cools down quicker than you can heat it, we suggest using two heat guns and a friend. One of you can preferably heat from the inside.
  3. When heated enough you will notice that you can push the plastic to somewhat of its normal position. Keep on holding in the normal position and wait until the plastic has cooled down. It should then stay in that position.

You will notice that the reshaped area won’t have 100% of its normal shape. slight deviations are to be expected. But it will be much better than before!

Futher reading

Want to learn more? Here are some text we recommend:


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