Kayak gear repair tips for beginners: Ultimate DIY repair guide

William Adams
 min read

Kayak gear repair tips for beginners are essential knowledge for any kayaker embarking on a kayaking trip.

Kayak gear repair tips for beginners ultimate DIY repair guideWithout such knowledge, you are insufficiently armed against disaster as a novice!

But… Preparation for the unforeseen is a lot like scheduling time to be spontaneous: Excellent in theory but challenging in execution.

That said, anybody who uses a heavy duty kayak for big and tall paddlers must know how to carry out good repairs on all pieces of necessary equipment.

What’s important? All you need to gauge is your common sense…

Kayak gear repair tips for beginners: Introduction

What’s “crucial” when you’re cruising 60 feet off the beach in front of your cabin is very different from when you’re camping in the wilderness with the next outpost accessible with 5 days of paddling downstream.

You need to live with the reality that all manmade products will eventually stop working; the only concern is when.

Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law determines that failure will happen at the worst possible time. And that guy was an optimist.

When any crucial piece of equipment gives up, you face the difficulty of figuring out just what you’re going to do.

Your first step is to put together the tools and materials to help you make those repairs.

Start your repairs before you go.

By that, we mean check over each piece of equipment in the comfort of your own home or garage with parts, and maybe a shop, close at hand.

Service what needs to be serviced, repair what’s worn, and replace whatever is beyond help.

Proper maintenance reduces some of the breakdowns

Although you can never totally avoid device failure, you can minimize it by looking after what you have.

For example, don’t poke at rocks with your quality paddle, jump up and down on a camping tent pole, or pitch your camping tent downwind of an open fire.

Fortunately, you can stuff a whole workshop and parts inventory into a small bag that will weigh in at 3 pounds or less.

Think about your parts bag as an operation in progress rather than a complete package, one that develops with each trip.

It grows and shrinks with each journey on the water, depending upon need and direct exposure.

Kayak gear repair tips for beginners: Items to bring

Here are some basics for you to get:

Material and tools to carry out repairs: Part I

  • Knife. A basic Swiss Army knife with scissors, tweezers, awl, bottle, and can openers. Mine has a little magnifying glass, which I seem to discover more uses for as the years go by.
  • Utility knife. Small and super sharp. Cut a line, plume a hull spot, trim a plug, sever a tape. It’s incredibly versatile.
  • Multi-tool. This combines pliers, wire cutters, a file, and a choice of screwdriver bits in a durable and small package. Quality and resilience are important, and a cheap one is garbage simply waiting to be thrown out. Opt for a Gerber Multi-Plier, Leatherman, or the like. A broad range of use, from obtaining a hot pot to cinching down a wire wrap.
  • Scissors. Durable, collapsible, and small. You’ll use them to cut gaskets, cut patches to size, and snip threads. The scissors on your Swiss Army knife ought to be your fall-back set.
  • Tweezers. If your knife doesn’t have tweezers, include a set for grabbing tiny parts and nabbing at slivers.
  • Water-resistant to hold all your bits and pieces, together with smaller-sized water-resistant bags (usage zip-top freezer bags) to store and separate tools and products.
  • Duct tape. The great repairer, number one on the list. Tape a damaged hull back together, seal a water bottle or ripped tent, or use it to hold a compress in place.
  • Diaper pins. Half dozen or two, plus size. A fast method to hold 2 pieces of fabric in place, including plasters.
  • Sewing kit containing stout thread, a selection of needles with big eyes, a couple of leather needles, assorted buttons, and a metal thimble. For a big group, think about a sewing awl.
  • PackTowl. Great for cleanup, functions as a work surface area, and can buff up a hull. A PackTowl is an artificial fabric that takes up minimal space and absorbs extraordinary amounts of water.
  • Epoxy repair kit. Epoxy resin and hardener, a couple of graduated blending cups, a small roll of 2-inch-wide Kevlar tape, squeegee, waxed paper, and gloves. Use it to spot a split fiberglass hull, fill a gouged Royalex hull, refasten a coaming on a touring kayak – the list is endless but for a beginning kayaker, this is important to know.
  • A small coil of 50-pound test fishing leader, used for tying things down, together, or keeping them apart.
  • Pipe clamps. Large enough to splint a paddle shaft, a tent pole, or anything else that may break. Flex-ties likewise work. A little flex-tie can even substitute for a single-use emergency situation shoelace.
  • Lighter. Better than matches. Back up with waterproof matches (which usually aren’t and are hard to light in the wind).
  • Various nuts, gaskets, bolts, and washers, sized to fit all through-hull fittings, gunwales, ward off hangers, or whatever you have in your gear.
  • Cable. A 50-foot hank of 1⁄8-inch braided nylon cable. You’ll ultimately need to tie, lash together, or support something.
  • Six-inch square of mosquito netting to fix camping tent netting and keep out horrible biting bugs.

Equipment and tools to perform repairs: Part II

  • A little tube of Barge cement from a cobbler’s store. It’s a hell-for-stout glue that can reattach a sole to a shoe or practically any other 2 products.
  • Spare 10-foot tiedown strap from a boat carrier, with buckle.
  • Baling wire, snare wire, stainless steel wire: For holding things together. Fix a cracked prevent, a broken paddle shaft (Read how do you paddle stroke a kayak? to limit damage), loose or missing rivets along a gunwale, or whenever you require a tight wrap.
  • Neoprene spots for wetsuit and sprayskirt holes.
  • Alcohol swabs for cleansing parts before glassing, gluing or sealing. Doubles in the first-aid kit (Tip: Read our Kayak safety gear and first-aid kits guide to find out what you should have with you to ensure proper first aid in case of accidents).
  • Gear for when you’re kayak camping: A 3- to a 4-inch metal sleeve that will slide over a broken or crimped tent pole. Range repair work and upkeep set for your range model.
  • Stubby lantern candlelight. Melt cord ends, glue stick, or light a fire when the wet closes in.
  • Six-inch square of leather. Thin adequate to use for an emergency stove-pump gasket, strong enough to patch any abraded or worn fabric.
  • Light lubricating oil (such as Tri-Flow). To decrease friction at any location, make a couple of pieces of metal stick together, including nuts and bolts.
  • Six-inch square of heavy nylon pack fabric to patch up camping tents, packs, bags, coats, and so on to begin a tent camping trip as well prepared as possible. A small roll of self-adhesive nylon tape.
  • Garden enthusiast’s coated tie wire. Zipper pulls, eyeglass hinges, bag ties stop working at the worst possible times. A small coil of layered wire is excellent whenever you wish to rapidly and momentarily tie one thing to another.
  • Little flashlight, with an extra set of fresh batteries and a spare bulb. You will need a light.
  • Paper and pencil for notes or messages.
  • A little roll of Velcro or other hook-and-eye tapes, the kind with adhesive on both pieces.
  • Condoms. You can transport water with one (assistance it in a cap or sock), or water-resistant watches or photographic film.
  • One or two sticks of glue-gun glue. Melt over a candle to seal tiny holes and fractures. A small tube of Superglue is an excellent replacement.
  • Several sheets of sandpaper, from 100 to 220 grit. For cleaning an area before patching, smoothing up a repair, getting rid of a rough spot.

Kayak gear repair tips for beginners: Last tip

  • Buy some urethane adhesive/sealant. Utilize it to fix a damp match, glue a shoe sole in place, spot a leaking hull, or seal a ripped tent.
About William Adams

I’m an engineer and a happy plus-size individual myself. I love to blog online if I can have a positive impact on the lives of others. I help other plus-size people with in-depth product guides to make shopping for products and services less stressful in their busy lives. Read More