How to Clean and Store Your Inflatable Kayak - Key Things You Should Know

By Miller Johnson

One of the advantages of getting an inflatable kayak is the fact that it is very affordable to purchase and even more affordable to maintain. Compared to a hard shell, a good quality inflatable kayak can be had for a thousand to a couple of thousand dollars while a wooden version will cost much higher than that.

To keep a kayak in the best condition, all you need is mild soap, water and sound judgment. You save on mooring charges with inflatable kayaks as well since you can stow it at home after each use.

You're most likely going to be very tired after a long day navigating the challenging rapids. Cleaning your blow up is most likely going to be the last thing you want to do. But while your kayak can just be stowed right after your paddling trip, you should always clean it up and dry it out before packing it in the next day.

Wash your kayak with mild soap and water. Don't use chemical-based cleaning ingredients as these could abrade the material of your kayak. It's also not environmentally-friendly. Make sure that you rinse off the any muck, dirt and mud that may have adhered to it. Check floors and crevices for these.

Rinse your sea kayak well with freshwater. Any algae or seaweed that may have adhered to the boat should be removed. This goes for sand as well-you may even need to vacuum them from the chambers.

Close all the valves before you start washing and rinsing your inflatable kayak as mildew can start forming when water gets into the boat and damage it. Sun dry your kayak or wipe it thoroughly with a large towel.

Once your kayak has been completely dried, fold it well so you can store it for later use. Try to fold it the same way the makers folded it when the kayak first arrived to you. But if you have your own method of collapsing the kayak, that's also all right for as long as it fits comfortably into the bag.

Any leaks in your inflatable should be patched right away. As you wash your kayak, be alert for soapy bubbles that form anywhere on your boat. This signifies a pinprick hole. Circle the area with a black marker and make sure that it is thoroughly dry before initiating repair. Ascertain that your materials for patching the leak are compatible with the make of your inflatable.

Follow instructions of the patch kit to the letter so that you make a sturdy patch. If the damage is something that you feel you cannot repair on your own, take your boat to someone who can.

Finally, make sure that you store your boat in a cool dry place where it's not subjected to extreme temperature changes. Keep it packed well so that rodents and other pests won't be able to chew on it and cause irreversible damage. If you clean and store your kayak carefully, you'll have many more years of water adventures with it.

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