Aging Kayak

Submitted bybkingsfield onSat, 06/23/2018 - 11:01

I have a 30 year old fiberglass kayak.  It has started to flatten out on the bottom when I tie it down on the roof rack.  When there is no pressure on it there is no movement.  Will this condition mean that the kayak will crack eventually?  


Sat, 06/23/2018 - 12:25

Are you using kayak cradles or just lashing the kayak to the rack crossbars?

Is the bottom of the kayak worn enough to show the glass laminate?

What brand and model is the kayak?

Thirty years isn't that old for a well-built glass boat. I've owned and paddled several Mariner kayaks of that age and they all performed 'like new'.

Keith Elliott

Sat, 06/23/2018 - 13:34

I don't like to carry ANY kayak in a way that deforms it. J-cradles seem to cause the least uneven pressure.



Sat, 06/23/2018 - 15:12

However, if a boat was stored out in the sun for 30 years, the gelcoat and exposed laminate (inside the cockpit?) would deteriorate. 


Pictures of the boat would help. (Use the 'Image' icon in the Reply window.)


Tue, 06/26/2018 - 06:58

Fiberglass usually doesn't want to bend unless its a flat piece of substrate. Your hull is probably fairly thin for that to happen. I guess anything could crack if enough pressure is on it like very tight straps.

Does the boat have bulkheads? If not, you could add in a rear bulkhead which would stiffen up the hull enormously. Make the best guess of the shape out of cardboard and put it in. Then tape on little pieces of cardboard along the edges to make it match. That's the template you use to make the bulkhead out of 1/4 plywood. Epoxy coated on each side.  If you're not the building type and you feel the boat is actually getting distorted, cradle it when you carry it. Buy or make them.