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Inflatable Kayak Care
By: Vicki Churchill
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
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!
Vicki Churchill writes for a site that specializes in Kayak
Accessories providing you with excellent resources and
products including reviews on Inflatable Kayaks.