By Mathew Waters

Before you attempt to put your new vessel away after a long day out on the water, you should be aware of a few important tips for storing inflatable kayaks or canoes. Maintenance and proper storage are extremely important if you plan on using your device for many seasons to come so get in the habit of paying close attention to the condition of your inflatable kayak and how you put it away every single time that you are done using it.

Make Sure Your Kayak is Clean

You probably wouldn’t put your coffee mug away after drinking out of it all day without cleaning it nor should you overlook washing your inflatable kayak or canoe prior to storage. Be sure to pay special attention to flushing grit and sand away from foot braces, tracks and out of the skeg boxes. You may be surprised at the things you can pick up in the water that could do damage if the kayak was folded up and put away without them being removed.

Storing Inflated

If you have the room to store your inflatable kayak without deflating it, this is ultimately your best option, unless of course you’re putting it away for the season and won’t need it for a few months. An inflated one must be stored in a dry, cool location. This is extremely important! A kayak that is stored out in the open, exposed to the harsh elements will become less functional and aesthetically pleasing. Direct sunlight will fade your inflatable kayak and it can ultimately warp it.

When storing inflated, the canoe or kayak must never be laid in any position other than how it would naturally be found in the water. Laying it on its side can cause warping just as easily as the sun. Also, never pile anything on top of it because extended weight can do damage.

Folded Storage

One of the greatest benefits associated with inflatable kayaks is the fact that they can be folded up and stored in the original bag they came in. If you’ve ever tried rolling up a tent and squeezing it back in its original bag with the poles, you know this can get a little challenging. However, as long as your kayak is properly prepared for storage, you should have no problem.

The first step to making sure it is ready to be folded up is to make sure that it is completely dry, inside and out. Even if you think it’s dry, if you take a clean towel to the tracks and crevices, you will probably still find moisture. If folded this way, your kayak will be infested with mildew and mold next time you use it if it isn’t ruined before then. Fold it up tightly and store it in a dry bag.

Location

Whether you are storing your kayak away inflated of deflated, put some thought into the storage location. If you are putting it in your garage that houses a few rodents, chances are, your kayak will be ruined. It also needs to be kept away from cats and dogs as well!

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Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.kayakhelp.com. Please visit his complete kayaking guide for all skills and ages.

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ROGER’S NEW PROJECT IS THE BUILDING OF A PYGMY MURRELET KAYAK FROM A KIT TO PUT TOGETHER.

Days 46-47 – 2 more hours

Prepped the lower coaming area and got the upper coaming installed. I only glassed the lower surface of the upper coaming. I think it will be better looking if I glass both together and run the glass down the inside of the lower coaming at the same time. Finally starting to look like a real kayak.

Prepped the lower coaming area and got the upper coaming installed.

Days 48 – 3 more hours

Cut out the hatch openings. Very long process by hand. There is a problem keeping the blade perpendicular to the hull that would be much easier with a jig saw. We will all find out how good I did when I install them back on the hull.

Cut out the hatch openings.

Day 49 – 3 more hours

Out of town all week, first day back to the boat. Finished glassing the sheer in the hatch areas. Made some tools to assist with the process. I bought some sanding foam block and mounted them on a dowel. I could sand the surfaces almost all the way to the bow and stern. Also mounted a bristle brush on another stick to seat the glass with epoxy. Both worked very sell. Of course I also make the syringe extension as per the manual although going through the hatch openings, it turned out much shorter.

Finished glassing the sheer in the hatch areas.

Day 50 – 5 more hours

Today I got a lot done. I glassed the upper edges of both bulkheads. The rear had quite a gap and I will fill the areas more when I do the stern pour. I used scraps of glass rather than the tape due to the odd shape of the areas. Worked pretty good. After everything had set up I moved the boat into my back yard to do the bow pour. I used a bucket of water to cool the bow. It did get hot. Tomorrow will try to get the stern done and get it back inside before it rains again. Also included a photo of my Hull ID Number. I used a felt tip pen on the surface and just put a layer of epoxy over it. Didn’t come out too bad.

I glassed the upper edges of both bulkheads.

Day 51 – 1 more hour

Read More: How to Store Your Kayak For Winter Properly

Read More: Kayak Garage Storage

I inverted the boat in my back yard and completed the other end pour (and then I went paddling with my kayak club CNY Kayakers ).