Repairing Stern Tip

Submitted by gdewitt on Sun, 08/25/2019 - 16:57

How is the best way to repair the damaged "tip" (not sure of the proper term) of the stern?  I did not build this kayak.  I won it in a $10 raffle and have greatly enjoyed it ever since.  I'm sick over this damage and want to fix it, but I do not want to make things worse.stern damage

i have banged the tip of one of my boats so i feel your pain.  the good news is, based on your picture,  i think this is a pretty easy fix.

first, there is a 'quick fix'  whose goal is to get you back on the water quick and is not overly concerned with how pretty it all is.  in this case, for a quick fix i would  which just soak the crack with a some fresh epoxy, and then fill any gaps with epoxy with wood flour.  and then when it has cured, use a sanding block to smooth it out and throw a quick coat of varnish over it.    based on what i see, this quick fix may look just fine.  the damage does not appear to be structural....and you have a rather sharp end....which can easily get damaged like this.   so a sort of putty end that is reasonably color-matched may look just fine.

the longer, more elaborate fix is to get a plane and take off the old bow (or stern) strip(s) (this is not the ones that make up the side of the boat, but the strip on the end that makes up the bow or stern edge)  that is there and build it up with new strips.   while i was doing that i would soften up the edge to minimize damage from minor impacts and other problems that can occur when you have a very sharp bow or stern.   then you just glass that in, fare it into the hull, varnish and you are back in business.  this more elaborate fix is a couple work sessions....but nothing that couldn't get done in three days if you had all the material available (epoxy, glass, new strip material, varnish and tools/sandpaper).

below are three pictures of a similar repair...a friend dropped the boat cracking the edge of the stern strip.  in the first picture i sanded the broken strip out and put some new wood in, in the second picture i am glassing the new wood in, and in the third picture, i have sanded the glass and varnished....all done in about three sessions over two days.

fixing the wood stern strip
sanding out the crack in the stern strip and putting some new wood in and faring it in


glassing the repair
new glass over the repaired stern strip













completed repair
new glass is sanded and fared in and a couple of swipes of varnish....Completed repair

hope that helps.


I would just round it off with sandpaper it will be safer that way sharp tips can hurt.  If sanding opens up a small hole just fill it with thickened epoxy.  You could glass over the repair or just epoxy it and varnish.


Mon, 08/26/2019 - 11:50

Brian said:

Another option is to cut off the damaged tip and epoxy a solid block in its place. I've seen this done intentionally during building and it looks really nice.


That would be my solution as well.

I've seen some nice examples here, but now can't find a picture. 


Tue, 08/27/2019 - 18:46

I have 5 wood kayaks - 4 strippers. The bow on every one has taken bruises. Never needed a wood repair but the glass got those white marks from bangs. So, every one got an epoxy repair with blackened epoxy. I mask around the tip about 3 inches back. The black tips look good with the woodwork and hide any bruises. I learned to only use hard wood on tips. But the black is a good way of hiding a repair and still looks good with a natural finish boat. And I might do that on one of my hatch lips that I really don't want to re-do.


Wed, 08/28/2019 - 11:50

One way to avoid some damage would be to make the boat ends less sharp-pointed.

They may look good, but sharp ends are a hazard to fellow paddlers and their boats, and unnecessary.

It's more difficult to make rounded ends, but worth the trouble,  IMO.

Yesterday, in a discussion at West Coast Paddler, Mick Allen recounted:

a kayak's ends are sharp and the boat is heavy - spearing is an issue even while walking [I still remember that happening when I thought everyone had stopped and a beautifully sharpened woodenboat's prow ran into my thigh - the memory still hurts]. . .