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Royalex - small exterior cracks

May 7, 2015
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Prince Edward Island, Canada
Recently picked up a Swift Raven in good condition. There are 2 star cracks on the exterior just below the gunnels and opposite each aluminum carry handle on one side of the boat. It appears that the handles were a little long when the boat was built and that the ends were putting pressure on the hull; I suspect the cracks developed upon impact due to the pressure of the handles on the hull. I have since shortened the handles to relieve the pressure on the hull. My question is, should the cracks (which are on the outside only) be repaired/sealed to prevent expansion? Tks for any advice.


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A real close up macro would be helpful, I tried zooming in but resolution deteriorates. I'm trying to determine the extent of the damage. How deep are those cracks? In some areas it only looks like it has affected the vinyl skin, in others maybe it is deeper but I can be sure.

Whatever it looks very minor, my raven is NOT in "good condition" so I'd be inclined to do nothing at all. Maybe all you might need to do is apply a little Gflex and if you like add a patch of 4oz S-Glass that would be practically invisible.

If the cracks are actually in the outer layer of the Royalex plastic then perhaps a bit more thought is needed.

I have never seen cracks like that in any of my Royalex boats, The outer vinyl layer wouldn't normally crack like that although perhaps in a cold (sub-freezing) weather impact it might.
The cracks appear to be in the outer skin only; I have not seen anything similar either but my best guess is that the cracks were caused by the pressure of the carry handles on the hull combined with the stresses of ww use. The interior vinyl is scuffed but not cracked where the handles made contact with the hull. Tks for the reply,
The cracks appear to be in the outer skin only

Personally, I'd probably do nothing unless I thought there was a significant risk of the cracks spreading or delaminating. The star cracks aren't compromising the hull's structural integrity, especially where they are located, and covering them with transparent epoxy or fiberglass won't make them any prettier. Fiberglass probably would prevent delamination, however, if that's a worrisome risk.