Kayak Care and Maintenance
Your boat is designed to require minimal maintenance, and a little
timely care will ensure a lifetime of enjoyment. Whenever you wash your
boat use mild soap and water. Rinse your boat and hardware thoroughly
after paddling in salt-, brackish or polluted water. A quick rinse of
the moving parts of the foot braces, rudder and skeg box keeps them
clean and operating smoothly. A key to kayak care is also proper storage and this cannot be stressed enough.
An inspection of the boat should be done yearly and before extended
trips. Remember the kayak is your transportation device and like a car
needs some maintenance and inspections to keep it safe. Check bulkheads, hatch covers (plus rims),
cables, pedals, buckles, straps and other moving parts for wear, and replace
them when necessary. Maintenance of the bulkheads is key to safety in open water paddling. Keep all nuts tight and check hardware exit holes
for watertight silicone seals. Give your hull and deck a thorough review. Light nicks, scratches and scrapes are part of the paddling
experience, but deep scratches should be repaired.
If the hull on your boat is distorted due to an
accident, improper storage or transportation, correction may be simple:
brief exposure to the heat of the sun often restores a hull to its
original shape. If that fails, hull shape can often be restored by
applying a low heat source (such as a low wattage bulb or hair dryer) to
the deformed area. When the hull is pliable enough, hand-shaping can
restore the hull. CAUTION: Overheating can burn you or damage the hull.
How to Maintain Your Sea Kayak
Keeping your sea kayak in good running shape takes a little effort. There are some valuable tips in this
Sea Kayaking TV episode.