I'm going to help a buddy restore his Solo Wenonah Kevlar. I've worked with epoxy and fiberglass a few times before, but not on a canoe. Wenonah says to recoat it with any old epoxy. Ok that's fine, I can do that, but I have a few questions so this gets done right for the long haul. There are a couple deep 2' - 3' long scrapes that I feel need a fiberglass or kevlar patch and some minor cracking along the foam inserts which I'll probably just brush some epoxy over. I have a few questions if anyone can help out....
Should I just cover the entire bottom or just patch the heavy scratches? Should I use fiberglass or kevlar and what weight? Any recommended epoxy? Any suggestions for dealing with the cracks on the inside?
Suggest fiberglass patches on inside along the foam core and ribs. That is where structural issues will develop. Cover the crack 2 inches on each side with 4 ounce glass. It needs to bridge the foam/hull junction. This is frequently where cracks develop because the foam section is more rigid than the glass-only section.
The gouges on the outside can be filled with epoxy mixed with cabosil or similar and then smoothed before coating the whole bottom. It might help to cover the area with Sarah wrap after applying the mixture to the gouge. Squeegee over the Sarah wrap to make a smooth repair. It might push down some of those ragged Kevlar fibers. Kevlar does not sand well. It just fuzzes.
Thanks for the suggestions. Never heard of or used Cabosil before. Looks like a pretty versatile product. How is patching with Cabosil different than patching with a fiberglass mat? If it's appropriate for the hull gouge repair, would it not be appropriate for repairing the cracks in the inside as well?
Depending on how durable you want to make it ? I would glass the outside, up to about the 3" waterline, with 4 oz E-glass. Be sure to add enough epoxy coats to fill the weave. Usually three total. Patch the inside cracks, with scraps of 4 oz left from glassing the outside.
I have used RAKA 127 resin, and 350 non blush hardener for years. I like it. You can shop, just be sure the hardener is blush free.
cabosil is just a powdered silica to add to a resin to make it thicker. Cabosil is a brand name. Your epoxy supplier will likely have something similar. IT makes it thicker to stay in place, like in the gouges. It doesn't make it stronger as fiberglass cloth would.
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