How to patch a canoe slalom boat – the video below is a time lapse of how to patch a canoe slalom boat. To help you out I have made a detailed written description of the process I went through of how to patch a canoe slalom boat. I would like to say a special thanks to Easy Composites who provided me with the repairs equipment for this video, if you need any resources to do your repair make sure to head over to their website

Boat Repair Time Lapse

To complete this repair I only used the equipment and products I have in my canoe slalom repair kit. This step by step guide on how to patch a canoe slalom boat, I hope you are able to repair your boat.

Step 1 – Sanding

Firstly sand down the area around where you will be doing the patch. This is so that the resin has a rough surface to stick to. If I were at home and had access to electricity I would use a dermal for this step instead, however during the video I’m camping abroad and this was the best I could do. As you will have seen in the video I sand about 3cm past the gouge itself to allow for a good seal to be created.

Step 2 – Cutting the carbon

I use carbon scissors and a high grade carbon that comes with one side sprayed with resin, this costs a little bit more money but makes your life so much easier. If you have ever done a repair using normal carbon you will know that you tend to get strands of carbon a little out of place. The overall finish is then not as neat because it is much harder to cut the shape you need for your patch. For a high quality job it’s worth paying a little bit more in my opinion.

Step 3 – Setting up the release film

Next set up the release film. Although the film is not needed yet it is much easier to set up before applying the resin. Cut a big enough piece so that it exceeds the size of the patch, once the resin is smoothed out it will spread over a large area. Leave it to once side so that it can be easily applied when needed.

Step 4 – Mixing the resin

For mixing up my resin I use weighing scales to get the ratio spot on. I use the mixing ratio of 4:1. This means 4 parts of resin to every 1 part of hardener. For this particular patch I made up a batch of 15 grams (12 grams of resin and 3 grams of hardener). Once this is all added together into one of the mixing cups I stir it with a mixing stick.

Step 5 – Applying the resin

Next put on one of the nitrile gloves (this way you don’t get resin on your hands). Paint the sanded area with resin and place the carbon patch on top of it. Then push the patch down to make sure the resin impregnates all of the fibres. Then on top of this apply another coat of resin, I make sure that there is a fair amount of resin for sanding down later. You don’t want to sand and go through to the carbon patch.

Step 6 – Applying the release film

The release film that was stuck to the boat earlier on can now easily be placed on top of the resin, as seen in the video. Secure it in place with masking tape/painters tape and make sure its not pulled too tight. You might notice that you have a few air bubbles under the release film, don’t worry. To remove the air bubbles use the roll of duct tape to roll the air bubbles out. Don’t press down too hard as you will push the resin off the patch you just applied it to.

Step 7 – Making a smooth finish

The final step takes the most time to do but makes it look good. What you need to do is get a bowl, fill it with water and then start sanding with wet and dry sandpaper. You will need to keep washing the sand paper in the bowl of water. Hopefully this will give you the finish you want, I used a 400 grit wet and dry sandpaper. This way it doesn’t take too much resin off but helps you to get a good finish. If you find you have some larger bumps in the resin you can use a high grade wet and dry sand paper such as the 800 grit to help reduce these.

I managed to achieve this using only the products as mentioned in my repair kit. This didn’t take me too long to do either, I took about 10 – 15 minutes to prepare and put the patch on. Then I left the resin to set for about 2 hours. The wet and dry sanding took about 10 mins.

Article by Elliot Davidson. Check out Elliott’s great blog here.

Elliot also offers a repair service if you don’t fancy tackling a repair job yourself. More details can be found here.