Caring for Kayak in the Off Season
January 05, 2016
While it is important to be prepared for a day of kayaking during the beautiful summer months, it is equally important to properly care and maintain the watercraft when the season is over. Doing a little bit of regular maintenance will prevent major maintenance work in the future. Here are a few tips to follow for caring for your kayak in the off season.
- Clean - Rinse and clean the kayak regularly to check for corrosion. When getting ready to store for the season use an “eraser” sponge on the tougher stains. The loose gear, paddle, hatch covers, straps, seat, and other components may be soaked in a bucket of warm, sudsy water with mild detergent, then rinsed and dried thoroughly. Do not use any products with bleach, as it may burn the fibers of the kayak.
- Check and Repair any Damage - Nothing is worse than taking out your kayak in the Spring and realizing you have work to do before you can even get it in the water. Check for cracks and holes before you store for the winter.
- Storing - To prevent the kayak’s paint from fading and the boat from warping, it’s recommended to store it inside and out of the elements. Standing the kayak up on its stern is generally recommended because it is the point on the craft with the least amount of stress. Another option is to hang the kayak on its side.
- Treating the Hull both plastic and composite boats are subject to UV damage which causes discoloration as well as breaks down the structure of the materials being used. To protect a plastic boat, usea UV protectant spray at least once each year. Composite kayaks can be waxed with car wax to keep their to layers and coating in like new condition.