Kayak Fix – A Crooked Hole

Some time ago when Maggie (8), Harry (6), and I were starting to build these 2 boats, they both asked me.

“Dad if we make a mistake, is the boat going to sink?”

My reply to both of them was that wooden boats built by people at my level are essentially a series of mistakes.  You get better when those mistakes get smaller, but they never completely go away.  Even the most experienced boat builders make mistakes.  The trick is to make sure you take the time necessary to fix it properly.  If that means cutting a portion of the boat off and starting over, then that’s what you should do.

Recently on Harry’s kayak, I had to cut the hole for the plastic hatch I had purchased.  I mistakenly thought that the hatch had a rim that would mount on top of the deck and I wasn’t as careful as I should be with the cutting of the hole.  What resulted was a hole that was slightly too large for the hatch.  It was only off by about an 1/8″ here and there, but it was something that would scream out for attention once the boat was all finished.  Somehow, I needed to close up that hole just a little.

My solution was to put a strip of packing tape around the edge of the hatch.  As we know, epoxy does not stick to packing tape (much).  I also taped around the deck with masking tape to keep the mess off of the boat.  Remember, I hate sanding, so if I can prevent it, I will.  Many small pieces of masking tape can closely resemble a circle.

I then put the hatch in its proper place in the hole, mixed u a batch of epoxy thickened with wood flour, and packed it in tight around the hatch.   The thought was that I could create a thin epoxy edge to fill in the gap created by the sloppy cutting.

It worked like a charm.  The hatch was a little tricky to get out, but a couple light taps with a rubber mallet freed it up enough to slide out.  Hopefully the brown epoxy will blend in once finished bright.

A Crooked Kayak Hole

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