This week has seen Chris repairing a kayak. If you have ever met Chris, and ever got onto the subject of DIY, you will know that this is a man who does not wield a hammer with a lot of skill. Hence, the thought of Chris having to repair a kayak filled us all with dread. The job started with Chris finding where the leak was. This was easy as all he did was fill the boat with water and wait for the drips. Once the drips were found the area was marked with chalk and then the fun began. This “fun” mainly consisted of a blow torch – every small boy’s dream toy – and the heating up of a standard butter knife. The knife was then applied to the hull of the boat and wiped over so that the plastic spread like butter and covered the crack.
Once that was done, it was time to find the other side of the crack and as always, this wasn’t in an easy to reach place; in fact it was right under the seat which is moulded to the boat. Then Chris, with head torch attached, performed some very bendy moves and placing himself head-down into the kayak to reach the crack (on the boat). Same process again, but this time all done upside down with the sweet scent/fumes of melting plastic streaming into his face in the confined space of the kayak cockpit.
Now that all the plastic was repaired it was time for the patch. This was a high grade plastic taken from a Flora margarine tub, cut into the right size and supper-glued into place. But as with all things, the patches needed to be held in place and Chris could never sit in the kayak for a full twenty four hours so he cleverly (yes he can be clever sometimes) he got a bin, placed it on the seat and filled it with water, thus simulating the weight of someone larger than himself (suggestions are always welcome).
However the saga does not end there. Twenty four hours later, Chris can lift the bucket from the kayak and see if the patches have stuck (they should have, he has done this before and if it fails we might see tears). There is a slight risk that some of the glue may have seeped out from the sides and stuck the kayak to the floor.
However once all patches are checked Chirs will melt the edges so that they are smooth to the boats and will not rip of when in use. Job done.