Advice on drying an inflatable kayak?

Hi, I live in a normal humidity area and leaving the kayak outside to dry doesn’t seem to work. It should not be packed wet (even a little wet).
How does one dry the thing? Inflated? Deflated? Chamois? Small room with dehumidifier? Blow dryer (I’m guessing not)?
As a hard shell kayaker I’m used to hosing the boat off and hanging it up. Getting lazy I guess.

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I always use a chamois after I rinse down my kayak. Although it is not an inflatable, it makes the dry out time a lot faster. I would think deflating it to dry would also take longer.

Seems it would be easier to wipe down with absorbent towels while still inflated, paying close attention to the nooks and crannies in the cockpit area.

I use towels purchased in the detailing section of box store automotive department. They do a good job on my car and boat.

Looks like chamois wins! Thanks for the help.

I used a towel and tried to let it sit in the sun at the end of my paddle for 20 minutes before packing up (or take it out and put it in the sun at home).

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I have had an Aquaglide Chelan 120 for several years. I mostly put in at a site about a 10 minute drive from where I live. I don’t deflate it after each trip. I flip it upside down on the car roof rack, which I so enjoy as t is only about 25#, after transporting sea kayaks. With the drop-stitch floor at about 9lbs of pressure, and a bit of rocker, it is quite aerodynamic up there. Two cross straps and a triangulated bow line makes a very secure tie-down.

It has PVC air chambers with no outer coverings over internal bladders. At home I take it off and hang it in cradles on the wall in the garage. I just leave it inflated and it drys quickly on its own, and check the pressure if it has been a while since the last outing. Not a problem here in temperate Seattle.

I had a Sea Eagle 370. After boating I dried what I could get to while it was inflated. After deflating I dried all the nooks and crannies. It is a bit a pain to move the material around. For rolling it up I dried the boat while rolling it up, which also removed small stones etc.

It took me 2 beach towels.

You kind of have to pay attention to the areas that are not easily accessible when inflated since there you will have growth.

No need for any cleaning or drying later. At the end of the season I cleaned it at home with some soapy water.

The cleaning/drying is the part no manufacturer talks about. It is worse than inflating (IMHO).

I now have an iSUP (that I use as a SOT kayak most the time. This obviously makes drying and cleaning really easy. I get by with just one towel now.

Before deflating and after rinsing, I use my leaf blower…I flip it around a couple of times and voila! Nice and dry.


Cool idea, thanks. Great to find another use for the leaf blower :grinning:

I have owned several PVC inflatables over the last 15 or so years and other than leaving them in the sun after paddling or washing them I never found the need to dry them. That being said I have never used the bags that come with them for storage. I usually toss them and keep them in an NRS boat bag. they have a mesh center that is several inches wide so there is airflow, so they are never stinky nor do they mildew. I used to have one that had a Nylon and PVC shell with tube and floor bladders and that one I had to blow dry or it would mildew.

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Have you thought of hanging it upside down from a clothesline? Works for clothes, why not a kayak?!

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I put towels in the nooks and crannies, and the bow and stern, and let it dry inflated for a day or so on my porch. I stand it on one end and then flip it over a few hours later. Never had a problem with mildew.

I have the sea eagle 385FT and when I get back I deflate floor first and remove it. I turn hull upside down and dry bottom of hull. Flip back and dry the inside getting to nooks along tubes. Open valves to remove air and fold up. I fold floor separately and pack together. I use an old beach towel to dry it.

A leaf blower will help get it dry and just a normal towel to wipe it down. I’ve packed my IKs up without being 100% dry (I like in Florida) and no harm no foul.

Rinse the sand out of the seams with a hose, then stand it up to drain.
Partially deflate it and dry out the seams with a rag. A leaf blower is a good idea.
Then store it out of the weather. Don’t roll it tight.