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.
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.
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.
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!