Is just 303 sufficient?

I’ve read the previous thread on 303 and have used it for years with great results - but primarily on vinyl.

I live on the east side of a lake and my beach is sunny from sunrise to about 2 p.m. There are 52 steps down a relatively steep bluff from my home to the lake, so I keep my (poly) kayak on my dock, hull up, resting on two fat pool noodles. The kayak is locked to the dock as there’s a public access site next door. I applied 303 to the hull right after I purchased the kayak, but wonder if regular applications will offer sufficient protection against UV rays over the summer.

Not sure if temperature makes any difference, but it rarely gets hot here. Our average summer daytime temps are 75-76F.

Better off to use a uv resistant tarp
a good thick UV resistant tarp will protect your boat much better.

I use 303 on my hands if I’ve forgotten

Covering it would be better
I agree with seadart; just put a UV-resistant tarp or other barrier over the kayak to keep the sun off it.

In case you haven’t noticed, 303 leaves a residue on the item. Not a problem for its intended lubees (such as auto dashes), but that residue washes right off in the water. You’d have to 303 it pretty often, and the stuff probably isn’t good for flora and fauna in the water.

I buff the hull pretty well after applying the 303 and haven’t noticed any sheen or residue in the water once I set the kayak in the lake. But I’ll look closer tomorrow, after work.

The manufacturer instructs not to lay a tarp directly over the boat, claiming that with the heat of the sun, the tarp creates an oven that can damage the hull. I can see that happening with a plastic tarp. Cotton duck breathes, but has a low UV resistance. Had considered fashioning some sort of awning, but we can get pretty strong winds out of the east which would turn it into a sail.

Back to the drawing board…

Buy a reflective UV resistant tarp
These are colored silver on one side. You have to find heavy duty version.

Hang your boat on it’s side suspended by wide nylon straps (2 inches).

Find the shadier part of the dock. and cover the boat with the tarp attached to a wall or part of the dock on a long board, let the tarp hang down over the kayak and fasten it down at the bottom with ties. Air can freely circulate around the kayak. Have stored plastic boats outside for 15 years doing this with no issue. Never use 303 or other goop.

303 only penetrates into a top porous layer of the plastic. It slowly diffuses out into the water and air. I’m an organic chemist and I don’t waste my money on it.

If it were me, I would build a wooden box big enough for the boat, paint it white and louver it well for ventilation.


– Last Updated: Jun-26-14 11:18 PM EST –

@seadart. That would work with a longer dock. Mine is short and I have boats moored on each side. I had thought of making a lean-to type cover, attaching one side to the rails of my pontoon boat and using two or three jugs filled with water (dropped in the lake) to weight the off side. I just don't know how that would hold up when the wind starts to blow out of the east.

PVC maybe
Well, we’re on a similar wave length. I have lots of PVC pipe around and was thinking of using it to build some sort of surround that could be partially covered with a tarp. It’s an option.

Hmm. I initially thought that a kayak would be a simple boat to maintain. No covering or uncovering, no motor to fill with gas, no mast to step or sails to fold. UV rays didn’t come into the picture then.

I stored a poly boat,
a Perception Swifty, locked to a boat rack in partial sun for over 13 years. I never used 303 on it, and it was still bright yellow and not brittle last December when someone thought it looked good enough to steal.

can you slide it under the dock?

Seasonal dock
My dock isn’t permanent and sits just above the water level. I guess I can move the kayak from the dock and keep it locked to the base of the staircase, which will lessen the hours it’s in direct sunlight. Will give that a try later this evening.

A neighbor to the north has two nice touring kayaks which are left at the water’s edge. He claims no hull damage from the sun. Some folks on the east side of the lake leave their two poly kayaks on the beach all summer - and winter. Unprotected. Those hulls look awful, faded and dull. Makes me sad to see any boat so neglected.

Mequires Yacht wax goes on like a
car wax and is dry when buffed. DO NOT use it on the hull if you are car topping. The boat will be very slick.

Your’re right, sissy. Makers of
polyethylene kayaks have long been adding substance that resist UV degradation. And the plastic is thick, so even if the UV attacks the hull surface, it isn’t going to get much deeper.

UV exposure of a poly kayak may, over time, cause a bit of dulling of the surface, or even a slight chalking. But except for resale value, that isn’t much of a concern.

Rookie, surface appearance is not the
same as real danger. I’ve left some quality ww poly kayaks sitting in the sun, and all I’ve had to do was use some 303 or yacht wax and they suddenly look good as new.

A “fiberglass” or epoxy resin hull is another matter. Even 303 does not give lasting protection to an expensive epoxy resin/Kevlar boat. And 303 as much as admit it.

The vinyl skin on Royalex canoes is very UV resistant, but if not kept in the shade or protected with 303 or yacht wax, that vinyl layer will get dull and chalky in appearance. The ABS structural layers that are protected by the vinyl top layer are very susceptible to UV damage, and should be protected by painting if they have become exposed.

Don’t worry about what your neighbor’s expensive boats look like. Get out and paddle your boat more.