Polyethylene Canoe Repair

Well I bought a canoe, and it needs some work on it, after all the researching, I didn’t seem to be coming up with very much. See, this canoe is made of one of the more durable materials, yet the hardest to repair: polyethylene. Which many things in daily life are made from, however, it doesn’t really stick to anything, so repairing it is tricky. It does have the redeeming quality of being a thermo plastic, which means in some cases you can hot weld it with a soldering iron/heat gun/plastic welder. Since I really wasn’t finding any helpful information on canoe enthusiast forums, I went straight to the manufacturer: Old Town. I emailed customer service and here’s what they said:

As long as the gashes do not penetrate completely through the hull to the point where it is leaking water, you can patch up your cracks, scrapes, and gouges with a 2-part methacrylate adhesive called MA300 made by Plexus. It’s used for structural bonding of thermoplastics, metal, and other composite assemblies such as polyethylene and Royalex. You can find it at your local hardware shop like Home Depot or local marina. If you can’t find the MA300 locally, you can order it right online at http://store.oldtowncanoe.com/products/323287/MA300_Adhesive and it’s called ‘repair putty’. Just apply it to the crack to fill it in or patch it, let it dry and your all set. You can then sand it down so it’s flush with the hull again. It dries in a cloud-like color but you can always touch it up with an automotive acrylic lacquer (spray paint) found at any automotive shop or Krylon Fusion. I hope this helps and please give us a call if you have any other questions or concerns. Thanks again and have a great day.

So there are many sources for the small quantities of MA300, but I only found one place that had a standard size cartridge for a caulking gun. It sets very fast, and I broke the caulking gun because I didn’t work fast enough so it jammed the nozzle, BUT the material is awesome, it dries to the same feel as the polyethylene the canoe is made of.   Jamestown Distributors is a ship building supplier in Rhode Island:
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=63166&familyName=Plexus+MA+300+All+Purpose+High+Strength+Adhesive+-+Universal+Cartridge

Other sources I found useful in my quest:
http://www.polyprocessing.com/pdf/technical/RepairRotomoldedPolyethyleneParts.pdf

http://www.paddle24seven.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=82&func=view&catid=5&id=549#forumtop

http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/showthread.php/4253-Patching-plastic-canoes

http://www.bodyshopbusiness.com/Article/4129/proper_plastic_repair_procedures.aspx

http://www.oakorchardcanoe.com/repair.php

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