A lot of people write to us frequently seeking advice on the best ways to take care of inflatable kayak boats. It does not require huge efforts to maintain kayak boats of the inflatable type. There are only a few simple steps to be religiously followed every time you take the boat out for a trip in the water.
Similarly, you need to do a few things as soon as you are done using the inflatable kayak. These are simple tasks and can ensure your kayak stays like a new one and you can enjoy rowing it for a longer duration. The weather changes in your location do have an impact on the way the inflatable kayak is maintained.
The Three Stages of Maintaining the Kayak:
We advise our customers to treat these steps in three parts :
- while inflating the kayak and putting it into water
- when you are pulling out and carrying it home after recreation, and
- while storing the folded kayak.
Perhaps, the first thing you would do is inflate the kayak to bring it to the shape it is meant to be, for going into the water.
Here are a few tips for ensuring you do these actions right:
- Check if the valves are clean before inflating
- Inflate using a pump and a pressure gauge. You must not inflate the kayak to a higher air pressure that the manufacturer has designed it for. Check the manual to know the maximum pressure. While inflating, use the pressure gauge to keep the pressure a few points below that prescribed maximum.
(Caution: People use electric pumps to inflate. While there is nothing wrong with electric pumps, they do tend to over-inflate if you don’t keep an eye on the pressure gauge)
- You must ensure that when you are inflating the kayak, there are no sharp objects around. Choose a large clean place.
- We advise you not to leave the kayak inflated and outside the water. This means your inflating point should be as close to the water as possible
Care of the Inflatable Kayak After Use:
The steps in this stage are more critical than earlier.
- You must dry the kayak. You can use a dry and soft cloth to remove the water from the surface of the kayak. This will get rid of any debris being attached to the boat as well.
- Depending on the quality of water you had just been to, you may have to rinse the kayak with clean water before drying it.
- You can now deflate the kayak and carry in your car back home.
Precautions to be Taken While in Storage:
You are now ready to put the inflatable kayak away to be stored till your next outing. Here are things that we recommend you do or don’t do.
- Don’t leave the kayak inflated; There are more chances of damage to the kayak while inflated than otherwise. There are reasons for this.
- The constant pressure of the air inside on the walls of the kayak can weaken them. This can result in bringing down the overall life of the kayak.
- The ambient temperature where the kayak is stored can also have an impact, hot or cold. The air inside can expand or contract.
- Once again, check if the location you are storing the folded kayak has any sharp objects around. We also suggest that the folding must be different each time. If you fold the kayak in the same place every time, it can form seams that can ultimately weaken the walls.
- It is advisable to store the inflatable kayak indoors, in a dry but ventilated location.
These are very simple and practical steps to follow. Inflatable kayaks have been in use for many decades and will continue to be used in the years to come.
We get this question from some of our customers ‘Is inflatable kayak is a safe boat?’. They fear whether it may suddenly be punctured while in the water and they will drown. There are very few such cases reported, if at all. The inflatable kayak is as safe as any other boat. You just have to make sure you take good care of your kayak by following the steps described above.
Stay safe by taking care of them.