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How To: Easy 10 Minute Sundolphin Kayak HDPE crack and hole repair


hey guys welcome back to the Mad fish
garage I’m dr. Pete with paddleandpole.com and in today’s video we’re going to
take a look at how to quickly and cheaply repair a Sun Dolphin kayak. Now
this is a Sun Dolphin aruba kayak that we have here but this technique should
work for any thermoformed kayak that is made of high-density polyethylene. What
we’re going to do today is show you how to repair your kayak using only tools
that you probably have laying around the house or garage already. Alright so one
thing we are going to need is we are going to need some spare high-density
polyethylene to use during the welding process and you can get this from many
sources. Milk cartons are a great source of high density polyethylene just make
sure on the bottom they say HDPE with the recycle number to sign on them. If
you don’t have that a lot of us have five gallon buckets laying around the
house five gallon buckets work great I don’t want to get rid of my bucket so
the lids work really well my favorite source of high density polyethylene for
kayak repair is actually the little strip that goes around the bucket that
you have to pull off when you open it it’s already an a long strip form it’s
skinny it works perfectly it’s just the right thickness that you can lay down a
decent amount of material without having to wait too long for your iron to melt
it so this is my favorite if you want to match your color perfectly you can call
son dolphin direct and contact them through customer support and they will
send you what they call their hot knife repair kit I don’t know why they call it
a kit because it’s actually just spare material but the nice thing is is the
comes from the exact same resin that they use so you can color match your
repair perfectly now I’m normally too much of a hurry to wait for them to send
me something so I will use the materials I normally have on hand
grocery bags these work just as well make sure that
their grocery bags that say HDPE to again and now if you would like to just
use material from your own kayak and get it done quickly this is a sit-in kayak
around this lip here there’s normally a little bit of an edge and you can
actually cut off a little bit of that material I took this right from here and
use that nice thing is is if you heat the material up first you can cut it
very easily with a razor blade knife this works really well if you’re in a
location where you’re a little bit more remote and you don’t have the time to
wait for a repair kit to be sent with you here so with that said let’s get
started on the basically the low cost way of repairing a hole in your kayak
all right well before we can repair the kayak we first need to give ourselves a
crack or a hole to repair so I want to use my wood chisel here and I hear
people say all the time oh well these thermoform kayaks you know they’re thin
they’re cheap you know you’re going to get a hole just by hitting a rock well
I’ve made a couple dozens of holes in these things for these videos that we’ve
been recording for you guys and I’ll tell you that I’m surprised at how much
work it takes to actually put a hole in this so alright so now that we got our
hole let’s move on first things first start by using some
80 grit sandpaper and just sanding the area that you’re going to repair this
removes any oxidation that might be on the surface of the plastic and we’ve
just found it gives us a slightly better bond after you’ve done that what the
whole area down with either alcohol or acetone I’m using acetone right now this
just removes any oils that might be on the surface they get makes it easier for
that material to bond now for this repair I am using two
simple tools Here I am using a screwdriver as my hot knife and I am
using a simple propane torch that I have if you don’t have a propane torch you
can get one of these little micro torches and these work just as well and
for my filler material today I’m actually going to use my strip of
plastic from my bucket here you can begin by getting the screwdriver tip hot
if you’re not using a screwdriver an old butter knife from the kitchen works
quite well with this to a spoon actually works well now most people when they begin they go
right from here and they start laying down plastic and melting it right across
the surface the problem with that is it only bonds the plastic to the surface of
the material what we’d like to see is if you can get a little bit deeper into the
base material and get that crack to bond a little bit deeper before you get begin
once the screwdriver tip gets hot enough to melt the plastic they actually like
to melt right through the crack this will widen the area that the filler
material will bond to but it will also help to melt the crack together using
just a base material this takes a little bit of patience just
because your tip cools down so quickly but for a no-cost way to repair a kayak
it’s actually quite effective once you feel like you’ve done a pretty
good job of getting this groove widened out and some of that material bonded to
itself deeper within the crack now you can start adding the filler material
here it’s important to remember that when adding the filler material what
we’re actually trying to do is melt the filler material into the base material
which is to halt the kayak it’s not enough just to melt it on the surface it
will bond but it’ll peel back off it’s not as strong as if you actually get it
to melt into you want to get the two materials to melt together when you do
this take your time and let the heat do its
job you want to hold it on there long enough
that the filler material gets hot enough to melt into the base material all right
and that’s all there is to it we’ll let this harden up and cool down just a
minute and then we’ll test it perfect it holds up nicely now if you want you can
come back and just move down the edges with some sandpaper once you get those
edges smooth down come back with the torch and gently heat it and kind of
remelt the surface to smooth it out and give it a little bit more of a nicer
look get rid of these sanding marks all right extra clip here way to begin
fusing that crack together using just the base material in this instance we’re
still using the propane torch and the screwdriver but we are getting it hot
and pushing it in perpendicular to the crack and we’re pushing it pretty deep
we’re trying not to go completely through the material but we want to get
that tip to melt down through most of the width of the base material to give
us a better bond and to fuse that base material together deeper within the
crack before we lay the filler material over the top the one thing I will
suggest to you is we do not recommend after doing our tests note that you heat
up the base material directly using the torch like I did in this video if too
much heat gets applied to that base material it starts to get really soft
and flexible and it becomes very hard to get it to hold
shape it likes to distort and sometimes it’ll even pull your seam that you’re
welding apart as it starts to distort so try to keep as much heat off of the base
material and limit the heat just to the area that you’re welding hey I hope you found this video helpful
if you did could you please help us out and hit the subscribe button we’ve got a
lot of content coming out each and every week and it would really help us out as
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6 thoughts on “How To: Easy 10 Minute Sundolphin Kayak HDPE crack and hole repair

  1. I'm going to try it out. I was given a kayak that has a split on it. It's where the two pieces come together ( top part and bottom part ) I have two other kayaks and this is very good information on repairing them if I ever get a crack on them. My older kayak is about 10 years old and has some bottom scratches , but is still holding up . Thank you for this information and I will let you know if it works for me.

  2. to bond n mix together best shouldnt we heat the base material aswell? getting it as soft n sticky as we can without causing it to sag n loose origional shape

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