Inflatable Canoe And Kayak Reviews On Maintenance: Review On How To Care For Your Watercraft

Whether for one, two, 3 people kayaking, or a battalion, when hunting for the best inflatable canoes and kayaks, the line between “good enough” and “totally rad” may not be so easily visible. That is until you begin to slice the water with it. 


This is why proper care for it is vital. Through reviews of inflatable canoes and kayaks, we’ve collated expert tips on how to maintain your vessel the right way. Maintaining it isn’t merely a stride towards keeping it pristine and aesthetically dapper. It’s also about ensuring your safety for your next water journeys ahead. 


Inflatable Kayak And Inflatable Canoe: How To Clean And Maintain It

1. The Freshwater Rinse 

No matter what type of blue you’ve gone on a gnarly cruise atop, the first thing to do is to rinse the inflatable kayak with fresh water. The sodium in saltwater will, over time, corrode the material of the watercraft. Addedly, it can bring about a kind of surface discolouration and lining-thinning. 


Perhaps you don’t tread on saltwater. Well, did you know that even the freshest of rivers are ridden with industrial chemicals, though they aren’t visible to the ordinary eye? Freshwater can help get rid of these synthetic components. Plus, it’s an easy way to wash off grime and muck. 


2. Warm Water And Mild Soap 

The second step is another rinse-off. This time, with a mixture of lukewarm water and very mild soap. For the latter, you can ask your supplier about kayak cleaning products. Several detergents contain harsh chemicals that may not be suitable for the kayak’s material. 


This part isn’t necessary every after your kayak ride. Once every quarter is okay. But if you have the time to observe this step a bit more frequently, that’s good, too. 


Also, be sure to check the valves for dirt and sand. You can flush them out using the same water-soap solution.


3. Pat Down And Wipe Dry 

Patting down and wiping your canoe dry will inhibit the growth and proliferation of mould and mildew. Two enemies of inflatable kayaks and canoes that are tough to get rid of. Not only are they unsightly and release an unpleasant odour, but they may also deteriorate the kayak or canoe material. 


Just pack a towel with you whenever you and your team hit the waters for a canoeing/kayaking excursion. And every after the rinse and wash procedure indicated in numbers one and two, wipe water droplets away from your gears before packing them up. 


4. Protection Against Ultra Violet Rays 

Inflatable canoes and kayaks are typically comprised of neoprene or PVC. When these are exposed to constant UV energy, the photons found within said materials will interact with the latter and create free radicals. 


Free radicals are unstable atoms that, in turn, cause health problems. In addition to this, water inflatables will wear down faster when unshielded from UV energy. 


Your supplier can recommend UV protectants for you to spray over your watercraft right before you utilize it. Said spray comes with its own set of instructions. Hence, take note of what they are and be guided accordingly. 


5. Heat-To-Air Expansion 

Kayaking under the sun means that heat will inevitably affect the kayak itself. How? By instigating the expansion of air pressure inside the kayak. This could be a recipe for disaster as too much air pressure can expand the seams. Therefore, it will be at higher risk of incurring leaks. 


Aside from letting a bit of the air in the inflatable out on warmer than warm days, be cautious of where you leave it once it’s out of the water. The vessel can be hotter outside of a body of water, and especially when it’s rested on pavement or any similar flooring. 


If it absolutely needs to be docked on land instead of being stationarily anchored while afloat on water, have it shaded well. 


6. Folding And Storage 

Finally, we’re down to the how-to of folding and storing your watercraft. Subsequent to rinsing, washing, and drying comes deflating the canoe or kayak. Deflate it flat but do NOT fold it flat. 


For the first, leaving too much air in it while folding them will put stress on the seams. And much like what we’ve mentioned above, leakage around these seams may transpire the next time you use your canoe or kayak. 


As for the second, folding sides tightly may crease the material deeply. Creased portions are weak spots that are likely to sustain holes in the future as well. 


Every fold has to be light and loose. No need to flatten its folded creases. Then, do the same on the next fold. And the next. It will be a challenge to observe this. More so since you have to fold in it such a way as to fit inside a pouch. But you’ll get the hang of being meticulous regarding folding an inflatable water vessel, with some practice. 


Either that or you can inquire about a larger transporting pouch for it from your supplier. 


An Extra Tip: Air Pressure 

Be knowledgeable about the amount of air pressure your canoe or kayak can hold. Don’t worry. This should be stated clearly in the User or Owner’s Manual coupled with the watercraft. Here are the basics when it comes to the PSI (pound-force per square inch; pressure unit) of kayaks: 


Mid-sized inflatable kayaks: from 2.5 PSI to 3.5 PSI 

Larger canoes (for larger groups): from 8.7 PSI to 10 PSI


***These numbers may vary according to the size and air pressure allowance of a watercraft.


Our Say 

Despite canoes and kayaks being mediums for outdoor sports, the irony is that caring for them requires a dash of delicateness and mindfulness. This is at the core of our list of guidelines on how to inch them closer to longevity, instead of wearing them down sooner than average. 


Furthermore, you can always contact your trusted supplier for any questions about more kayak and canoe maintenance suggestions.


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