While going through some rapids, we slid across a jagged rock and it put a huge gouge in the bow of my fiberglass canoe. What method and process is best for repairing it, so that next time I hit some rocks they don't immediately break through and swamp the canoe?


2 Answers 2


They sell fiberglass repair kits at most boating stores which are made for this exact sort of repair. It includes a fiber glass cloth which you put over the damaged area, as well as a resin / hardening agent to hold the patch in place. Any kit you buy should have instructions for applying the patch in it.

  • make it a kevlar patch Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 2:08

During the trip: duct tape. It's strong and flexible and it's easy to carry 3 or 4 feet with you. I've used it to repair a yoke in the middle of nowhere.

Once you're home: a little fiberglass cloth and some epoxy resin. Or if it's more a deep scratch than a gouge, just the resin.

  • Epoxy? Isn't most fiberglass resin polyester? Are these comparable?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 2:51
  • I built my canoe using epoxy and that's what I would repair it with if it needed it. That was well over 20 years ago so perhaps materials have changed, but the makers of the resin I used say their stuff is better than polyester: westsystem.com/ss/polyester-over-epoxy Commented May 5, 2012 at 13:44
  • 1
    epoxy can fix polyester, not the other way around. Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 2:07
  • 1
    @KateGregory, exactly, and do remember that once you start repairing with epoxy you will have to keep using that, to be on the safe side if you have to repair something right next to the previous epoxy repair Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 1:56
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    @Mr.Wizard Polyester resin is used because it's cheap. But it doesn't bond well to the cured form of itself. If you are serious about fixing it right, use epoxy. Also: consider putting kevlar bang plates on. This soaks up a lot of abuse on bow and stern, adds a pound to your canoe, and will save you lots of grief. Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 22:21

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