3 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN STORING PLASTIC KAYAKS
You may already be tired after a long day of kayaking, but that’s no excuse to just leave your plastic watercraft just lying around anywhere. Proper kayak maintenance requires you to store it correctly, thus prolonging its lifespan. If you own a plastic kayak and have no idea how it must be kept, you’ve come to the right place. Follow these guidelines when storing plastic kayaks to get the most out of them
LOCK IT UP
First and foremost, you must secure your watercraft to make sure it doesn’t get stolen. It’s better if you have a designated place for your kayak, like a garage with locks. However, it’s not a requirement. Not everyone has the luxury of having a garage, so invest in a good quality chain lock to ward away any thieves. Run the chain through the scupper holes or grab loops of your plastic kayak to keep it safe.
KEEP IT COVERED
If you’re storing your kayak outside, it’s going to be exposed to everything nature can offer. That includes the sun’s scorching rays. Heat is damaging to plastic if the temperature is high enough. If it’s kept under the sun for long periods of time, the plastic can become brittle. To keep it away from direct sunlight, place a UV protected tarp over your kayak.
Covering the cockpit of your watercraft is also an important step when you’re storing plastic kayaks. This applies to both indoors and outdoors. If you leave the cockpit uncovered, you can be sure that you’ll be greeted by all sorts of critters in the morning. Ants, spiders, snakes and rodents can all set up camp in the cockpit and make a nice nest. While you may think this is no big deal, these critters can do some irreversible damage on the foam and rubber accessories of your kayak.
Deformities are a surefire way to completely ruin your plastic kayak. As stated above, the sun can do a lot of damage to your kayak. It can cause it to droop due to immense heat. However, this is just one of the ways your kayak can get deformed.
If you want to hang your kayak, use straps to avoid deformities. It isn’t advised to hang your kayak by the grab loops, as the weight of your watercraft can cause it to elongate. It’s also not a good idea to place your kayak on a hard surface because this can cause flat spots and dents.
For ideal storage, hang your kayak using straps and support it from underneath its hull.
Padded supports are the best for this job to make sure it doesn’t deform. Another option is to rest your plastic watercraft on foam kayak supports to avoid contact with the hard surface of a shelf or rack. If neither of these options is available to you, then simply lay your kayak on its side and let it lean against the wall. Put a soft towel on the surface touching the hard ground, and don’t forget to flip it over every now and again.
Kayaking is great fun, but no one really talks about the work that goes into taking care of it. And while plastic is a long-lasting material, it does have its disadvantages. Don’t forget these important points when storing plastic kayaks. Be responsible. But, if you don’t want all that effort, then perhaps you must consider renting your watercraft instead. If you follow my tips from experience and learning the hard way, and you will get a lot more use out of your kayak.
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