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Inflatable Kayak Care - How To Aviod Unnecessary Damage

Apr 15, 2008
Surprisingly more often than not damaged is caused to an inflatable kayak when it is stored away or by over inflating it. Many people are put off buying an inflatable kayak because they feel there is little or no chance they will make it down a river without sustaining a puncture.

This is true if you buy a cheap inflatable kayak sold in your local department store but these days inflatable kayaks are stronger than ever and can take a severe battering before they puncture.

If a rigid kayak hits a sharp rock or tree branch there is a chance that it will crack or split however in the case of an inflatable kayak it is more likely to absorb the impact and bounce of it. Some inflatable kayaks also come with extra protection in the form of a nylon jacket which adds extra protection against the elements.

I have owned an inflatable kayak for over six years and I can vouch for their toughness and durability. I have paddled in the sea and on rivers and over the years it has become my workhorse boat and a trusted one at that. It has been dragged across fields, up riverbanks, across roads and along stony shelled beaches without sustaining any punctures.

The real concern when owning an inflatable kayak is how you care for it when you are not using it. I have two friends who own inflatable kayaks both of whom have had problems but which have been purely of their own making by not storing their boats properly and not showing enough care when loading or unloading them. On one occasion the boat was loading onto a plumbers van and in his haste to pack up and get home did not notice that the kayak had been wedged up against a cutting saw. By the time he got home the saw had ruined the boat beyond repair.

A more common problem with inflatable kayaks it storing them while they are still wet. This happened to a second friend who stored his boat up for the winter months but failed to ensure it was completely dry beforehand. Consequently when he came to use the boat in the spring mould had rotted into the seams and wrecked the kayak. This had occurred simply due to the moisture being trapped in the boat for months on end.

There is also the issue of over inflating. Most people have a tendency to err on the side of over inflating simply because they want the boat to be as rigid as possible. This can cause problems if the boat is left on dry land in the hot sun for lengthy periods and whilst good quality inflatable kayaks will be able to handle being slightly over inflated there is always the possibility of them going pop!
About the Author
Vicki Churchill writes for a site that specializes in Kayak Accessories providing you with excellent resources and products including reviews on Inflatable Kayaks.
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