Canoes are made of many different materials. Wood, fiberglass and metal have all been used to make these traditional watercraft. Coleman made their canoes out of plastic. Plastic canoes are durable and lightweight. Unfortunately, even the most durable canoes can become damaged. Repairing a plastic canoe can be done at home or even on the shore of your favorite body of water. A few basic supplies carried in a waterproof container can be stored on board or in your home workshop.
2 saw horses
Plastic Coleman canoe
Rotary tool with “V” point grinding bit
Hand held butane torch
Plastic welding rods (1/2 inch by 24 inches)
Long, leather welding gloves
Set your saw horses parallel to each other. Arrange the saw horses so that they are 8 feet apart. Place the canoe bottom up on the saw horses.
Use your palm sander to smooth the damaged area on the hull of the canoe. Wipe away the dust and debris with a rag. Use your rotary tool to carve shallow grooves around the damaged area. Make the grooves in the plastic in a checkerboard pattern. Wipe the surface clean with a rag.
Grasp a plastic welding rod in one hand. Use your free hand to light the small butane torch. Hold the end of the plastic rod close to the flame until it begins to melt. Rub the melted plastic into the damage on the hull of your canoe. Continue melting the rod and filling the damage. Cover the hole, or crack in the hull along with the checkerboard texture to provide a large patch. Let the patch cool for 1 hour.
Rub your palm sander lightly across the bottom of the canoe to smooth the edges of the patch. Be careful not to sand away the patch and expose the damage beneath the fresh plastic. Wipe away the dust with a rag. Flip the canoe on the saw horses so that the cockpit faces up.
Smooth the damaged area inside of the canoe with your palm sander. Texture the area around the damage in a checkerboard area with your rotary tool. Wipe away the dust and debris.
Melt the end of a plastic rod with your butane torch. Fill the damage and textured areas with the melted plastic. Let the fresh patch cool for 1 hour.
Sand the patch smooth with your palm sander. Wipe away all of the dust and debris. Launch your canoe into a shallow, slow-moving body of water. Watch the damaged area for leaks.
Long, leather welding gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask are required when melting plastic and working with a flame.