Maintenance is essential for a quality kayak to last you years and years of use. These top 5 adjustments to your boat care routine will ensure your kayak ages gracefully and withstands general wear and tear.
Sun damage can weaken the hull of your boat, resulting in drained color and less resistance to cracks. It can also damage fixings, such as rigging lines and bungees. Keep your boat indoors or under shade. If you must store your boat out in the open, find a way to cover the boat such as a tarp or kayak bag. Manufacturers such as Danuu have covers designed specifically to protect your kayak from sun damage.
Older kayaks may have parts such as foot pegs, seat adjustments and hatches that can lock up if they are caked with dry salt and dirt. After using your kayak, take a couple minutes to hose it down, especially after use in saltwater.
Bonus tip: Spraying your boat while it is on your car will also remove salt that can damage the roof of your vehicle.
If you have a kayak with metal rudder cables, such as a sea kayak, spray some water on the outside of the guiding tubes. This will ensure that your rudder will function smoothly the next time you take your boat out on the water. Avoid using lubricants, as these can attract small particles like dirt and sand. If you have a kayak that uses spectra line rudder cables such as the Hobie Mirage series, then your kayak will not require as much rudder line maintenance.
Opening up your hatches after a long paddling session will prevent mold and algae from developing inside your kayak. Keeping your hatches open when your boat is stored, particularly in a hot setting like the garage, will protect your hull from the heat.
Keep the weight of your boat evenly distributed so that no part of it is bearing all of the hull's weight. If you live in a cold area, cover your boat to protect it from rain or snow. If you are keeping your boat on a dock or highly visible area, make sure it is locked with a security cable.