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How to Repair a Polyethylene Boat

2012-02-03   Views:20

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Polythene is most commonly used when building kayaks. These boats are constructed with this high-grade plastic so that they can endure the demands placed on them by white water enthusiasts. Knowing how to repair your boat is a must if you are constan

How to Repair a Polyethylene Boat

Polythene is most commonly used when building kayaks. These boats are constructed with this high-grade plastic so that they can endure the demands placed on them by white water enthusiasts. Knowing how to repair your boat is a must if you are constantly putting it in harm's way.

Skill level:Challenging

Things you need

Plastic welding gunWire cuttersPlastic polythene weld rodThick glovesPutty knifeFlathead screwdriver

Instructions

Repair Cracks or Scratches

1 Heat the weld rod about until it looks like it is ready to drip liquid plastic. About 1/2 inch is all you need to start with.

2 Place the weld rod at a 45-degree angle about an inch in front of the scratch or crack that you are trying to repair. Angle the heat gun over the weld rod and continue heating until the bottom of the weld rod turns into liquid.

3 Push the weld rod over the crack or scratch, slowly. Ensure that the weld rod is melting as you push it over the crack or scratch and keep the heat gun over the weld rod during the process.

4 Push the weld rod about an inch past the crack or scratch. Using gloved hands, cut the weld rod from the boat.

5 Let the plastic cool, but don't let it fully dry just yet. Use a flathead screwdriver to try and pry the weld out of the crack or scratch. If you can pry it out, you need to repeat the steps and try again. If you can't, use the putty knife to scrape off any excess, and you are done.

Repair Holes

1 Heat up your weld stick until the bottom begins to look like liquid plastic, and/or begins to drip.

2 Place the weld stick into the hole, and keep the heat gun on it. Use a twisting motion to fill the hole with the plastic from the weld stick.

3 Cut the weld stick with wire cutters and remove it from the hole.

4 Let the plastic cool slightly, and even it out with a putty knife.

Tips and warnings

Practice on a bucket before moving on to your kayak. This isn't easy, and you don't want to melt a hole in your boat when ruining a £3 bucket would be much easier.

This is not to be attempted by a novice. Serious injury such as burns are common when using melted plastic, and a heat gun. If you don't injure yourself, there is always the possibility of ruining your boat if you don't know what you are doing.

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