Sunday afternoon we waded into fixing my Tahe. Tyson led the effort since he has more experience with fiberglass work. First you have to sand/rasp/cut off all the damaged material. This step is more traumatizing than damaging the boat in the first place. By the end, it looks like a gaping hole. Then, notionally, you epoxy some fiberglass on the inside and some on the outside.
We discovered that we only barely had enough fiberglass, but it was a Sunday, so we were kind of stuck. We taped the outside to create a form. Tyson carefully laid the wetted fiberglass inside. Then we used a bag full of water to press the fiberglass into the mold. Except the bag popped open, pouring water all over the place and ruining the patch.
At this point we were out of fiberglass and had a mess to clean up. I worked on the mess and drying out the boat. Tyson called around trying to figure out where to get fiberglass on a Sunday afternoon. Luckily, one of our neighbors was nice enough to let us use some of his supply. Before trying the patch a second time, we tried out a bunch of alternate mold backings. A bag of sand won out.
The area we were working in is kind of tight. It took a combination of trial and error, headlamp, a mirror, and in the end me sticking my head in with one of Tyson’s arms. We managed.
I had class that evening, so Tyson did the patch on the outside. We peeled all the tape off this evening and it looked reasonable. Tyson sanded off the excess epoxy and I gooped it all over with gel coat. Gel coat is a protective and decorative layer that goes over the fiberglass to give a kayak its color. I do not have quite the right pigment, so the patch will be visible.
Tomorrow will be more sanding and gel coat.