Polyethylene kayaks are often used for recreational activities such as fishing and paddling, which makes them susceptible to scratches. If you are like most paddlers, you have experienced scratches at one time or another.
Polyethylene kayaks are very durable, but scratchiness can still be a problem if they’re not treated. There are many simple but effective ways to smooth out scratches on polyethylene kayaks. For example, use a household polish to clean the area, use a silicone-based sealant to protect the area from water and UV damage, or use a kayak scratch remover.
5 Easy Ways How to Smooth Out Scratches on Polyethylene Kayaks
1. Use a scratch remover or polish. This is the most traditional way to fix scratches on polyethylene kayaks. You can find these products in most hardware stores or online. Just be sure to use the right product for the job – polishes will remove scratches while removers will deep clean them and help prevent them from reforming.
2. Use a sealant. If you notice that your scratches keep reforming, consider using a sealant to protect them from future damage. Sealants are used to seal out water and dirt, so they’re a good choice if your kayak has been exposed to water.
3. Repair with epoxy resin. If you want to try a DIY fix, consider using epoxy resin to repair the scratches. This may work if the scratches are small or shallow enough that they can be repaired with a simple solvent and resin mix.
4. Polish with liquid metal polish. Liquid metal polishes are easy to apply and very effective in removing scratches, as long as you’re careful not to get too much on the finish. They work by hardening the scratches so that they will never reform again.
5. Apply tape.
How to Fix Small Scratches on Polyethylene Kayaks
Here are 7 easy steps to repairing small scratches on polyethylene kayaks by painting:
- Clean the area of the scratch with soap and water. Make sure to get all of the dirt and debris stuck in the crevice.
- Use fine-grit sandpaper to rough up the surface of the scratch. This will help remove any leftover dirt and make sure that the new paint layer adheres well.
- Apply a layer of clear coat over the scratch using a brush or sprayer. Let it dry for at least two hours before applying any additional coats if necessary.
- Mask off the area where you want to apply the paint. Use masking tape and a permanent marker to draw a line around the edge of your kayak and into the hole in the polyethylene. This will help keep paint from getting into any other areas as it dries.
- Scrub the area with a scrub brush and fine-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining residue from the scratch, if necessary.
- Remove any remaining residue with a solvent, such as acetone or alcohol.
- Repaint the area if necessary.
How to Fix Big Cut Scratches on Polyethylene Kayaks
Accidents can happen, and one of the most common is big cuts on polyethylene kayaks. If you’re unlucky, a big cut will require professional repair. Here are some tips on how to fix big cut scratches on polyethylene kayaks yourself:
- Clean the area thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure to remove any debris that might be embedded in the scratch.
- Apply a layer of Marine-Grade Bondo or Putty to the scratch. Use a backhanded motion to smooth it out as much as possible.
- Let it dry before applying the next step
- Paint or seal the repair with an appropriate sealant or paint (depending on the type of kayak).
- Let the repair dry for at least 24 hours.
- Clean the area once more with soap and water.
- Apply a thin layer of clear coat over the scratch
How to Fix a Small Hole on Polyethylene Kayaks
Patches can help fix holes in your kayak. If you hit a rock or another object while kayaking, the patch will help you patch up the hole without having to buy a new kayak.
One of the common problems with polyethylene kayaks is that they can get scratched very easily. This can be especially true if you use them in rougher waters or if you have a lot of friends who are constantly messing with your boat.
However, there are many different types of kayaks, so each brand may have a different patch that is appropriate to use on your particular kayak. Using the wrong patch can damage your kayak and make it unusable.
When applying the patch, make sure you do not let your kayak touch anything that will leave a mark on the kayak. You also need to make sure that if you are putting the patch on your deck, then you will not slip and fall or get stuck in your kayak.
You need to make sure that you do not get any part of your body in the kayak. If you do get something in your kayak, then you will be responsible for the damage that is done.
Why polyethylene is still the most common plastic used in kayaks
Polyethylene has a low melting point which makes it good for insulation. However, polyethylene can surface crack when not properly handled.
Polyethylene has many advantages over other plastics. It won’t crack as easily as other plastics, so it’s a good choice for beginners or anyone who doesn’t want to have to worry about their kayak falling apart.
Polyethylene is also very light, so it’s a good choice for small, lightweight kayaks. It’s not as strong as glass fiber or carbon fiber, but it has the advantage of being very inexpensive.
How to Avoid Scratches in the Future on Polyethylene Kayaks
You’re probably familiar with the pain and damage that can be caused by scratches on your polyethylene kayaks. Here are some tips for avoiding scratches in the future:
- Always use a kayak cover when not in use. This will help keep your kayak scratch-free and make it easier to transport.
- Clean your kayak with mild soap and warm water. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads because they can scratch the surface.
- Avoid hard pulls on the kayak while kayaking through the water.
- Avoid dragging the hull of the kayak along the water’s surface.
- Avoid sharp turns while paddling through waves or rapids.
- Do not apply oils and waxes to the kayak or any other parts of your equipment. Oil can interfere with the polyethylene’s hardening process and wax can damage it by sticking to the scratches.
- Keep your kayak stored indoors whenever possible. Store your kayak in a dry and protected area where it will not be exposed to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.