Fixing your boat abroad

October 03, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Sometimes when you are on a trip the worst can happen, your boat cab break.  Sometimes its your fault, sometimes it not but whatever way you could find yourself away from home with limited resources and a broken boat.  So how do you get yourself back on the water?  Hopefully this guide will serve as a rough help to mending your boat abroad.  But beware, once a boat has cracked once, it is really on borrowed time.

Depending on the position of the crack you may need to remove the seat.  Sometimes this can be tricky just take your time and it will come out eventually.   

 

So first off you need to make sure the crack cant propagate any further.  Do this by drilling the all the way through the boat at either end of the crack.  This will ensure it cant go any further.  If you don’t have access to a drill don’t panic.  More people than you expect have an old drill kicking about, but at a real push you could do it with a drill bit by hand. Try and use as small a drill bit as possible.

 

Next up your going to need some plastic to fill the crack.  Take your river knife and shave some plastic out of the cockpit rim at the back.  You don’t need tons but take your time and try and concentrate on one long piece as this will make your life easier later on.  

Now take your knife and carve out the crack a bit, the aim here is to make the crack onto a “V” shape, narrowest at the bottom of the crack and wider at the top.  It seems illogical to make it worse but it will make the nest step easier.  

 

Now the tricky part melting the new plastic into the crack.  To do this you need something which provides a constant source of high heat.  A heat  gun is ideal and these can often be found from raft centres, kayak outfitters, outdoor suppliers and a few other places so see if you can scrounge one up.  If you cant you can also use a strong lighter, or a hair dryer with a tin foil end piece which would target the heat.  

 

Once you have a suitable tool heat up both the crack and the piece of plastic until the pice starts to go soft and malleable.  Then start to push the plastic stick into the crack, work slowly and methodically.  Apply constant pressure and most importantly twist the plastic stick as you go to force the plastic to melt and bond into both sides of the crack.  Finally while it is still warm try to flatten it out.  The most ideal tool for this is rubber ended roller, similar to a paint roller but with a rubber head.  

 

Once it has cooled  you shouldn’t be able to pick any part of it off.  If you can pull it out and start over.  

 

Hopefully this guide will help you out if you away and the worst has happened.  Good luck, see you on the river.

 

Seth


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