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Friday, 11 January 2019 05:48

Inflatable Kayak Maintenance Tips

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There are still a lot of misconceptions when it comes to inflatable kayaks, especially when it comes to their strength and robustness.
Some anglers may scoff at them, but there can be no doubt that inflatable kayaks have a lot of merits. If not for these lightweight and compact kayaks, there would be a lot of anglers who would simply not be able to take part in the hobby. However, there are still a lot of misconceptions when it comes to these kayaks, especially when it comes to their strength and robustness. Contrary to what you may have heard, inflatable kayaks are not as fragile as you might think. Despite this, you still need to take proper care of your inflatable kayak if you want it to last and remain reliable. Here are just a couple of inflatable kayak maintenance tips to get you started. 
 

Dry It Properly After Using It

It is extremely tempting to simply pack up and go after a long day of fishing, but if you don't properly dry out your inflatable kayak, it can seriously shorten its lifespan. A couple of dry towels can be a great help when drying your kayak out in the field, but make sure that you thoroughly mop up any excess water. In general, you should be fine if you dry out any and all excess water before folding it up, especially if you plan on using the kayak again in a couple of days. However, more care should be taken to dry the kayak out completely if it is going to go into storage for a long time otherwise you may end up with mold that can harm it. If there is no time or a lack of facilities to dry your kayak at your favorite fishing spots, it is fine to pack it up wet, but be sure to dry it thoroughly when you get home. 
 

Give It A Good Clean Before Storage

If your inflatable kayak is going to go into storage for the winter, then don't just dry it out before packing it away, but also give it a good clean. Most anglers have found that using soapy water works best to remove all the dirt and grime. This is especially important if you use your inflatable kayak in salt water. You don't have to obsessively clean your kayak after every time you use it, as it is virtually impossible to avoid marks and stains, but making sure that it is dirt and grime free before storage will decrease the odds of damage occurring. Also make sure that you store your inflatable kayak in a cool, dry place.
 

Protect It From The Sun

Although all the quality inflatable kayaks are designed to be UV resistant, it doesn't mean that they are completely protected against UV rays. There is obviously not much you can do to protect your kayak from the sun while you are out angling, but when it is time for storage make sure that you keep it out of direct sunlight. Some inflatable kayak manufacturers also recommend that you use UV protectant if you have no other option except leaving the kayak in the sun for long periods of time. Also, don't think that because your inflatable kayak is UV resistant that you can just leave it on the hot sand or in a parking lot to dry out either. 
 

Be Careful Not To Over Inflate Your Kayak

Be careful when inflating your kayak to pay attention to the instructions that came with it in order to prevent damage. A common mistake that many anglers make is that they do not let out any air if over pressurization occurs during the course of the day. This can happen if you inflate your kayak in the cold temperature of the morning and then stay out all day in the hot sun. While it is true that most quality inflatable kayaks can handle pressure that is a lot higher than what is recommended by the manufacturer, this can have long term effects on the durability of the kayak as a lot of pressure is placed on the seams. There is obviously little chance of this happening with a foot or hand pump, but take care when making use of an electric pump. 
 

Repair Your Kayak If Problems Arise

Most quality inflatable kayaks are designed to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear, but it is not impossible for them to get damaged. In the event that your inflatable kayak becomes damaged, take the time to assess the extend of the damage and then make the necessary repairs. Due to the design of modern inflatable kayaks you should be able to make it back to shore with ease even if your kayak is punctured. High-end inflatable kayaks tend to come with a repair kit from the manufacturer to make small repairs. If yours did not, you can still buy third party repair kits to get the job done. Whichever is the case, make sure that you always have your repair kit on hand in case you need it.
 

Conclusion

An inflatable kayak is just like any other kayak in the sense that in order for it to last you a long time you need to take proper care of it. Let us know in the comments below or on the forums what your experience with inflatable fishing kayaks has been like and what tips you have for keeping them in top condition. 
Read 1910 times Last modified on Friday, 11 January 2019 14:55
Naomi Bolton

Yakangler's Community Manager and Editor - in charge of sourcing news and articles for the website. ┬áIf you have any ideas for new content, please do get in touch with me at: [email protected]

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