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Canoe and Kayak Repair and Maintenance Items


Kayaking and canoeing gear can be expensive. Not to mention that paddlers sure do get attached to their equipment. Therefore, it pains us when our pfds, dry tops, wetsuits, gloves, booties, and even helmets suffer damages requiring repair. For this reason it’s good to have on hand the following kayak and canoe gear repair and maintenance items to help increase the life of some of our most prized possessions, our paddling gear. Most of these items can be bought at hardware stores, NRSweb.com, or by doing an internet search for the bolded titles.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is a paddler’s best friend. It can provide a last minute and unexpected canoe and kayak gear repair solution when its needed most. You can tape over boat leaks, tears in gear, broken buckles and create interesting ways to attach just about anything.

Aqua Seal

Aqua Seal
Used by permission from NRSweb.com
Every paddler should have a tube of Aqua Seal for kayak and canoe gear repairs. Aqua Seal is a waterproof urethane sealant that can be used to repair most holes or tears or to glue patches to material. Aqua seal can be used on almost any type of gear item.

Clear Marine Grade Silicone Sealant

Silicone Tube
Silicone sealant, while different from Aqua Seal, can be used for all the same paddling gear repair purposes. You can also purchase this in larger tubes than Aqua Seal for jobs requiring heavier applications.

303 Aerospace Protectant

303 Aerospace Protectant
Used by permission from NRSweb.com
303 Aerospace Protectant will prolong the life of your paddling gear, specifically your dry suit gaskets. It will prevent them from cracking and keep them nice and flexible. It is for use on vinyl, clear vinyl, inflatable boats, fiberglass, rubber & all UV sensitive plastics.

McNett Zipper Repair and Maintenance

McNett Zipper Maintenance
Used by permission from NRSweb.com
McNett makes a variety of products to repair and maintain all types of outdoor gear. Zippers can corrode and fail, specifically ones used in salt water. Use McNett’s zipper cleaner and lubricant to extend their lives. When zippers need to be repaired, they have kits for that too. This is a great alternative to throwing gear with broken zippers away. Zipper lubricant is also made under the brand name Aqua Seal.

Sand Paper and Alchohol Swipes

Alcohol Swipes
Used by permission from NRSweb.com
Prior to applying patches or gluing smooth areas of gear, you’ll need to clean the area and rough it up a little. Have little pieces of sand paper and individual alcohol wipes with your gear for this purpose.

Plastic Welding Supplies

© George E. Sayour

 More complicated repairs could require plastic welding.  Here is a list of items that will be needed to plastic weld  your kayak.


Used by permission from NRSweb.com
Epoxy resin is a good way to do boat repairs. Since polyethylene and ABS plastics resist many glues and adhesives, epoxy is the way to go for a strong kayak and canoe repair.

Tear-Aid Patches

Tear-Aid Type A
Used by permission from NRSweb.com
Tear-Aid patches are awesome. They’re basically a clear self adhesive tape that can be used on almost anything. Just clean and dry off area to be repaired, peal of the Tear-Aid backing and stick on the repair. That’s it. There are basically two kits. Tear-Aid Type A is for use on all surfaces except for vinyl. Tear-Aid Type B is for use on vinyl.

On the Water Canoe and Kayak Gear Repair Kit

While the above list of items will handle almost any repairable damage your gear could incur, not all types are appropriate to make while on the water. Aquaseal for instance takes time to dry so it is not a quick fix. Applying permanent nylon patches also require care and time. Here is a list of items to keep in a dry bag and take with you on the water for those immediate need repairs.

  • Duct Tape If you don’t want to bring a whole roll you can wrap a few feet around a stick, pen, or straw and just bring that with you.
  • Tear-Aid Patches These are great for quick repairs on the go.
  • Towel To dry off any areas that will be taped or patched.

Canoe and Kayak Gear Inspection Checklists

Here is a list of Inspection Checklists to help you identify your canoe and kayak gear that needs repairing.
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