Storage & Maintenance is proudly sponsored by Boreal Design Kayaks from Quebec Canada.

www.borealdesign.com

Storage and Maintenance

Topics:

Cleaning

The following advice will allow you to maintain your kayak in good condition for years to come:

  1. Clean your kayak with fresh water and a mild soap after each outing (especially if you paddle in salt water or around beaches).
  2. Rinse the sliders, pedals, footrests and rudder pulley to remove salt and sand.
  3. Clean the rudder blade with fresh water to prevent salt from tarnishing the colour.
  4. Rinse the shock cords and compartment covers inside and out.
  5. Use Protector 303 to maintain the seals and rubber covers. You can apply Protector 303 to the entire kayak several times during the season, to protect against damaging UV Rays.
  6. On the Saguenay model always rinse and dry the neoprene skirts covering the compartments to avoid damage by salt.
  7. Make sure your kayak is completely dry before storing it in a closed bag.
  8. On kayaks with a skeg, rinse the skeg box to remove any accumulated debris that may block the mechanism.
  9. Rinse the control knob on kayaks with a skeg to avoid any accumulation of sand or salt.
  10. If any salt water has entered the cockpit, rinse your seat cover to prevent the salt from damaging the cover material.
  11. Loosen the cover straps to prevent compression of the rubber seals for long periods of time.

Maintenance

Plastic and composite kayaks must be protected from ultraviolet rays in order to protect their colours.

What should you do?

Boreal Design recommends the application of a good coat of Protector 303over the entire surface of your kayak. Repeat the operation several times during the season. You can also coat the seals and rubber compartment covers with Protector 303 to maintain their flexibility.

Protector 303 is not available in all countries.

Repairs

It is hard to avoid the appearance of scratches on the hull of your kayak. The question is whether they require special care!

Composite kayak.Scratches need not be repaired unless some fibre is exposed.  Superficial scratches will disappear with a coat of polish.  However, deep scratches may be coated withGelcoat Polyesterpaint the colour of your kayak. Contact your dealer for information on how to obtain the paint.  After sanding and polishing, your kayak will look brand new. 

Plastic kayak.Don't worry: the plastic is quite thick. However, scratches are impossible to remove by sanding and polishing. If the hull of your kayak is deeply gouged or perforated, it must be welded with polyethylene. In such case, we recommend that you contact your dealer for advice. If your dealer can not help you, please contact us.   

Deformed plastic kayak.Turn it upside down and expose it to sunlight for a few days. Polyethylene is a memory compound that tends to return to its original shape. However, if bumps or undulations have been present for too long a period, this solution will prove inefficient. You will have to proceed as follows:

  1. Rest the kayak on foam blocks positioned one-third the length of the kayak from the bow and stern. The blocks must follow hull contours as much as possible. Their ideal base of support is 12 cm (5 in).
  2. Pour 23 L (5 gallons) of very hot water into the cockpit.
  3. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Pull on a pair of gloves and press down on the bumps in the hull bottom with your hands.
  5. Allow the weight of the water to press down on the lower hull for about two hours, then empty the kayak.
  6. For easier access to the bumps, remove the four screws securing the seat in place and slide the seat forward.

 

Repairing or Replacing the Pedal-Rudder System

Nylon tubing enveloping yourSpectra® lines or rudder cables can stretch when exposed to heat. If the stretching is interfering with the mechanism, pull the tubing towards the front of the cockpit and apply silicone to make the compartment watertight.  Do not cut the tubing, because it will regain its shape in colder temperatures. 

Spectra® lines

AtBORÉALDESIGN, we useSpectra® lines that withstand pressure up to 600 lb. Check if they are in good condition and if the knots that hold them in place are tight.

Rudder
If the blade of your rudder breaks, you can replace the blade without changing the entire system. The same applies to the pulley, blade holder and rudder support securing the rudder to the hull. This page features diagrams of the different types of rudders available. Refer to the diagrams when reassembling the parts. 

Boreal Design

 

Spectra® line installation

BORÉALDESIGN pedal system


BORÉALDESIGN pedal system

Stainless steel cable installation

Stainless steel cable installation

 

Types of Rudders

Rudder

rudder

Rudder
 

Suspended Storage

The best places to hang your kayak are from the ceiling of a garage or under a veranda. However, you must suspend your kayak properly and never hang it from the toggles. 

For a solo kayak you will need:

  • 2 X 2.75 m (9 ft) nylon straps 5 cm (2 in) wide
  • 4 X 0. 325 m  (1 ft) cords 3 mm (1/8 in) in diameter
  • 4 triglide buckles
  • 2 or 4 hooks

For a tandem kayak you will need:

  • 3 X 2.75 m (9 ft) nylon straps 5 cm (2 in) wide
  • 6 X 0.325 m (1 ft) cords 3 mm (1/8 in) in diameter
  • 6 triglide buckles
  • 3 or 6 hooks

Hang your kayak using straps positioned underneath the bulkheads which are the firmest parts of your kayak.  For tandem kayaks, position a third strap at the centre of the craft.

This method is offered as a suggestion only.BORÉALDESIGN cannot be responsible for any particular oversight.

suspended storage
 
 

Storage on Sawhorses

If you choose to store you kayak on sawhorses, use sawhorses with a soft covering or place foam blocks over any hard surface on which the kayak would rest.

It is advisable to secure your kayak to the sawhorses using straps. These straps should not be overly tight and ideally positioned close to where the bulkheads join the deck and hull.

There are different kinds of sawhorse shapes: H, X, Y or L. Use your imagination and make your own! Ensure that they are of sufficient height to be used for cleaning or working on your kayak.

Remember to position your sawhorses under the bulkheads to better distribute the weight of the kayak.
Storage on Sawhorses
 

Storage on Foam Blocks

If you store your kayak on foam blocks, lean it sideways along a wall or straight surface. For plastic kayaks, the blocks must be positioned under the bulkheads to avoid any deformation. Storage on Foam Blocks

 

Winter Storage

Winter storage is relatively uncomplicated. Your kayak can be stored outdoors in a protected location or in an unheated building. It can be hung from the ceiling or rested on foam blocks or sawhorses. The main thing is to store the kayak in a location where it is protected from the accumulation of snow, exposure to ultraviolet rays and possible blows.   

The impact resistance of a plastic kayak decreases with exposure to cold. Therefore, avoid storing the kayak too close to the ground. This will also keep small animals from choosing to rest there in winter. In many cases, a cockpit cover provides even greater protection.

You can package your kayak or place it in a bag to protect it from dust and scratches. In such case, ensure that the bag is dry. Don't forget to release the compartment straps to avoid unnecessary pressure on the gaskets.

If you decide to hang the kayak from the ceiling, do not use the toggles.Use straps positioned one-third of the length from each end of the kayak, or directly beneath the bulkheads if intailed.

 

End-of-Season Checklist

PDF version for printing

Light maintenance is recommended to beautify your kayak before winter storage. Why? Because when the first hints of warm sunshine herald the arrival of spring, you will wish for only one thing: to go paddling!

Make sure that you:

  Clean your kayak using mild soap and water.
  Check your rudder or skeg mechanism.
  Check yourSpectra® lines or steel rudder cables.
  Check the pedals and footrests to make sure they function properly.
  Check shock cords and replace them if necessary.
  Check the screws and o-rings.
  Check the silicone seals.
  Loosen the compartment covers to avoid compressing seals.
  Check the compartment straps.
  Inspect both the hull and deck and make any necessary repairs.
  Rinse the sliders, pedals, footrests and rudder pulley to remove salt and sand.
  Clean the rudder blade in fresh water to prevent salt from tarnishing its finish.
  Rinse the shock cords and compartment covers inside and out.
  On the Saguenay model, always rinse and dry the neoprene skirts covering compartments to avoid damage by salt.
  On kayaks with a skeg, rinse the skeg box to remove any debris that could block the mechanism.
  Rinse the control knob on kayaks with a skeg to avoid accumulation of salt or sand.
  Apply a coat of Protector 303 to your kayak, gaskets and paddle.
  Make sure that your kayak is dry before packaging or placing it in a closed bag.
  Make sure that the storage space and method of storage used is adequate.
  Check your PFD (personal floatation device).
  Check your paddle: if it is a two-piece assembly, rinse and disassemble it for winter storage.
  Check your pump and paddle float.
  Clean and dry your floating line.
  Clean your wetsuit and other gear.