Drilling holes in the hull and adding fittings to a Kayak

If you own a plastic kayak and you want to start adding fittings and making modifications, there’s no getting away from it, at some point you are going to have to start making holes in your boat’s hull.

I put off making my first mods for ages because I didn’t want to mess with making holes in my brand new kayak. I have some good news…

It’s very easy after the first one!

  1. Set the fitting on the Hull, use tape if necessary to hold it in place.
  2. Use a punch (nail or screw) to mark the position of the first hole.
  3. Remove the fitting and drill the first hole (I use a standard electric drill for this) and then temporarily secure the fitting back in place. I just poke a nail through the fitting & hole. I’ve found that’s enough to keep the fitting secure,
  4. and use the fitting as a template to mark the remainder of the holes with a punch (again you can use a nail or screw).
  5. Remove the fitting and drill the remaining holes.
  6. Fit the fitting.

Job Done.

And what if you change your mind? I’d just fit a pan headed bolt in the hole to seal it and leave it at that. I have not tried this, but I have read that you can use a heat gun to liquefy polyethylene to a point where it is possible to apply it with a putty knife. That would assume you can find a suitable piece of polyethylene. If you’ve tried it let me know. If I ever try it, I’ll be writing about it here.

Click the link to read about my Ascend FS10 kayak customization.

Set the fitting where you want it

Mark the first hole with a punch, screw or nail

Drill the hole…

Sometimes getting to the other side of a fitting can be difficult, in which case using rivets can make the job a lot easier!

2 thoughts on “Drilling holes in the hull and adding fittings to a Kayak

    1. Gary Post author

      Our kayaks are plastic, and I go for tight, though I can’t see it making much difference. If water ingress is a concern silicon sealant is your friend.


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