How to Properly Care for your Inflatable Kayak

Many people are concerned to use an inflatable kayak because they think they will possibly get a puncture and sink. However the truth is that the majority of damage to an inflatable kayak is caused by improperly storing it or by over inflating it.

There are some very cheap models of inflatable kayaks and boats that can puncture. However there are also excellent quality inflatables that are very strong and durable which are made with the same type of material as many of the boats and kayaks used with the US Coast Guard, Green Peace and Zodiac tenders and rafts.

Inflatable kayaks are known to be resilient and reliable. With proper care they will last you a very long time. Below are the top three things you need to know to properly take care of your inflatable kayak.

3 Simple Steps to Care for your Inflatable Kayak

1. Protect – The material of your inflatable kayak will need to be protected from the strong UV rays and the elements.

This can be simply done by spraying it with a 303 Protectant which can be bought at most inflatable kayak or inflatable boat stores. This will help the material to stay strong and last a long time.

When you remove your kayak from the water and place it in your vehicle, take the time to transfer it carefully and make sure it is not leaning against anything sharp for the drive home.

Many inflatable kayaks are very durable and can take a fair amount of abuse. However if you want to keep your kayak in good shape, just be conscientious of transporting it carefully.

2. Dry – After you have used your kayak it is important to thoroughly dry it out before packing it away. If you leave water or moisture inside your inflatable kayak for a period of time it is possible that it will grow mold or mildew.

By drying it out with some towels after each use you can easily prevent this from happening.

3. Store

When you store your inflatable kayak away keep it in a dry and cool place. Do not leave it exposed to the sun, rain or freezing weather.

If you want to leave your kayak stored outside make sure it is covered by a tarp to protect it from falling debris and the elements.

If you follow the above three steps your inflatable kayak will stay healthy and strong and last a very long time… especially if you bought a good quality one to start with.

The strength and quality of the material of the kayak you purchase will greatly determine how well it stands up as well as how much abuse it can handle. Be sure to research the material carefully so you know what you are getting.

Inflating Your Kayak

When you inflate your kayak with a foot or hand pump there is very little chance of over-inflation. However if you use an electric pump it is possible to ‘pop’ your kayak. Therefore it is recommended that if you use an electric pump, to stop before it is fully inflated and top it up with a foot or hand pump.

Tip: Remember in extreme heat the air in your kayak will expand. It may be necessary to leave a little air space or to let a little air out after several hours kayaking in very hot weather.

In very cold weather the kayak will lose some air. Therefore it is recommended to bring a pump along with you to add some extra air if you will be out kayaking for longer periods of time.

For more information on inflatable kayaks see our Inflatable Kayaks Tips & Advice.

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