Long term sun damage

We are full time RVers and from 2001 until about four years ago we carried two Wilderness Systems Pungos (yellow if it matters) on top of the car. That means that for about six years, if they were not in the water, they were on the roof. Since we took them off the car they have been stored in our daughter’s back yard in Virginia, uncovered and in partial shade.

Now we want to pick them up and start using them (at least one) for fishing. My question is after all that UV exposure how good (safe) can they be? This past Christmas I checked them out as best I could. They are not brittle since a sharp knife cut into the cold but rather soft plastic much like it would a new kayak. Also, I could flex the cockpit edges much as I could when they were new. I guess bottom line is I can see no sign of deterioration or trouble, yet everything I have ever read says the UV from the sun will, over time, ruin the plastic or make it brittle. Am I overlooking something?

If they flex and are not brittle----
I wouldn’t worry about them.

You might want to put a good coat of 303 on them for starters.

jack L

Some plastic boats get brittle in the sun but this seems to have been a more common problem in the past than with more recent high density linear poly.

I think you have checked them as best you can. Try them in the water.

if they float
You will be fine. Never heard of spontaneous plastic failure. The sun is really bad for changing shape under pressure. Like when kayaks are stored wrong in the sun they will bend to the new position. If the were stored properly supported they will be fine for floating.

Ryan L.

some of the older poly boats
circa 1980s and thereabouts, would become extremely brittle upon prolonged sun exposure and would fragment at the slightest provocation.

Usually UV damage to this extent was visible and the plastic had a “carmalized” appearance.

For whatever reason, this does not seem to happen anymore.

It will still happen
But the uv inhibitors are better than before. If it is not brittle then It should be OK. In time is will get brittle and you’ll start to notice some cracks.

I had an old town that lasted more than 15 years outside in North Carolina without even fading. A Mad river canoe faded but was still strong after 6 years with three of those years in South Florida.