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WELDING

TOOLS REQUIRED: Welding heat gun with reducing nozzle, gloves, rasp or Surform (scraping device found in most hardware stores), wire cutters, plastic polyethylene weld rod (available from Ocean Kayak), and hatch cut-outs (available from Ocean Kayak). Contact customer service for weld rod and hatch cut-outs and other questions at 800-8-KAYAKS.

We recommend you practice welding several times on hatch cut-outs before attempting repairs on a boat. If at any point during welding, the boat begins to melt and give way, stop welding, and immediately remove the heat. Allow the boat to fully cool before attempting to weld again.

Cracks
Welding DiagramPre-heat the first 1/4" of a weld rod with the welding heat gun. The rod itself should be at a visible melt (sweaty and limp). Starting 1/4" to 1/2" before the crack, lay the weld rod onto the plastic. Aim the reducing nozzle at the base of the weld rod, and hold the end of the heat gun 1" to 2" from the plastic. (This should melt the weld rod, while applying some heat to the boat itself.) Angle the weld rod back away from the heat gun (see diagram).

Slowly start pushing the weld rod toward the crack. When the boat and the weld rod melt together well, there will be a slight bead of plastic forced in front of the weld rod as it is pushed into the crack. Weld the crack closed and extend the weld 1/4" to 1/2" beyond the end of the crack. Cut the remaining weld rod off with a pair of wire cutters. With gloved hands, smooth and meld the weld rod and boat. Allow the boat to cool fully. Test the quality of the weld by taking a flat blade screwdriver and attempt to pry up the weld rod. If the rod comes up, attempt the weld again. If the rod will not pull up, the boat and weld rod have blended to a solid weld. Clean and flatten the weld with a rasp or Surform.

Patch
Welding a patch is similar to welding a crack. Cut the patch (taken from the hatch cut-outs) to extend past the edges of the hole. Round the corners of the patch. The patch can be made to conform to the shape of the boat by heating it all over with a heat gun and then bending it to match the shape of the boat. Weld the patch in place, blending the patch material, weld rod, and boat. Follow the same directions as above.

Small Holes
To fill small holes, such as rivet holes, heat the end of the weld rod to a visible melt. Insert the end into the hole and begin to twist the rod. Continue to apply heat to the weld rod just above the boat. Twist the weld rod so that it fills the hole. Cut the remaining weld rod off with wire cutters. Smooth and flatten the area with gloved hands.

Pulled Out Handle
Trim any excess plastic from the area. Melt the weld rod and fully fill the area to rebuild the 'lip'. Form the lip with gloved hands. Allow to cool. Re-drill the hole for the cord with a 5/16" drill bit. Insert the cord and tie handle. The repaired handle will hold the weight of the boat, but will not take a great deal of additional strain.

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