Although not nearly as time-consuming as maintaining a regular boat, a kayak still requires maintenance. To keep your kayak gliding effortlessly over the water for years to come, you must learn some kayak maintenance tips of how to take care of your kayak.
Kayak maintenance is far from difficult and thankfully requires minimal effort. Let’s talk about how to take care of your kayak.
Kayak Maintenance Tips
Before launching your kayak this year, you’ll want to look it over for damage. There’s much that can happen to a kayak during the winter months or even last year that you didn’t catch.
Inspect the hull
The best way to inspect a kayak is to clean it first. Give your kayak a good cleaning. Do this before and after each use and take notice of any changes in color and shape. Pay close attention to scratches, UV damage around the hatch covers.
Don’t forget to protect the hull with products like 303 which act like sunblock for kayaks. Scrub the hull down with good kayak protectant before and after each use.
Inspect the rigging
With use, rigging lines made from elastic bungees lose strength, fray, and eventually snap. Check the kayak deck bungee cords to make sure they are good strength. It’s always a good idea to keep replacement deck bungee cords on hand. Also look at your kayak anchor lines, pedals, and shackles are in good working order.
If anything needs replaced, this is the time.
Check all plugs
Using soapy water, tighten any plastic threaded water plugs in the kayak. Soapy water will help you determine if there is a leak. Should you encounter a leak, either replace the plug or add sealant as needed.
Use a kayak cart to transport
I realize this may sound silly, but don’t drag your kayak. I went kayaking over the weekend and my buddy loaded his kayak with his essential kayak gear, then dragged his kayak across the parking lot.
Storing a kayak
To maintain your kayak, you must store it accordingly. Most damages happen to kayaks while not in use. Storing your kayak properly is the best thing you can do for kayak maintenance.
How to Store a kayak
- Keep it out of the sun
- Never store your kayak on the ground – use kayak stands
- Cover your kayak
- Do NOT leave it on a kayak car roof rack
- Never leave the kayak sitting on the hull or on its side
Keep your kayak out of the sun
One of the most important secrets to kayak maintenance is to keep your kayak out of the sun. Obviously, you don’t have to avoid the sun while underway, but keep it out of the sun while not in use.
Kayak covers are usually UV resistant, but that doesn’t protect your kayak from the heat. Most kayaks are made from polyethylene and are susceptible to high summer temperatures. Unless you want your kayak to bend or deform quickly, keep it out of the sun – even if covered by a kayak cover.
Don’t leave your kayak on the ground
Never leave your kayak on the ground. Place your kayak on kayak stands or if able, hang it from the roof in your garage. If you have to store it outside, cover your kayak using both a kayak cockpit cover and a waterproof kayak cover.
Under no condition should you let your kayak sit uncovered on the roof of your car. Although kayak roof racks are nice and perfect for traveling, they are horrible for kayak storage.
I hope you enjoyed this article on kayak maintenance and how to take care of your kayak. There are still plenty more things you should do before launching your kayak this summer. Be sure to inspect all of your kayak accessories like your paddle, survival gear, paddle holders and more.
We hope you have a great summer kayaking season and we ask that our readers leave any suggestions or things that helped you with kayaking in the comment section below.
Did we tell you that MericanMen.com is having a huge Memorial Day Sale on all kayak gear and accessories?
Simply use the coupon code MEMORIAL19 at checkout for 30% off your order and free shipping on all kayak accessories over $100.