regular kayak maintenance

-- Last Updated: Sep-21-15 3:43 PM EST --

I recently purchased a used (and fairly old) touring kayak. What should I be doing to maintain the longevity and performance of the boat? I.e., what should I be doing on and off season? I know that I should apply protectant on it monthly during use - what else? How about during storage? I think I've convinced my mum to let me store it in her garage (for now). Should I store in a specific way, cover it with a tarp? What about maintenance for the rudder, foot pedals, cable, etc.?

Separate questions - would it be fairly easy to get the foot pedals replaced on a Wilderness System Cape Horn ? A friend took a look at it and thinks that the ones on my boat aren't the original because they can only be adjusted to a certain notch even though there are several more notches that it should be able to adjust to. I think previous owner was dinking around with it and either put the wrong foot pedals on or didn't put them on the right way. Would any outfitter that deals with touring kayaks be able to assist or do I have to find one that specializes in Wilderness System ones? Thanks!

garage is good

– Last Updated: Sep-21-15 3:31 PM EST –

If it's out of the sun I wouldn't bother with a tarp. I suppose one could go nuts if they knew they weren't going to use it for months, and shrink-wrap it. Don't sit it on its hull or try to support it in between the center and each end if you do, so it doesn't warp. You might stow the hatch covers somewhere they can't be chewed on, and cover the hatches and cockpit if possible.

Some people here have posted pretty nifty setups in their garage rafters, which is what I'd do if I had a garage. Keeps it up and out of the way of people and critters.


– Last Updated: Sep-21-15 3:41 PM EST –

Thanks so much. Just to confirm when you say don't sit it on its hull - so place it upside is basically what you mean, correct?

There are 2 good ways to store it in
a garage

  • Stand it straight up, like they are seen in many stores. Strap it to the wall to keep it in position.

    -Hang it from the ceiling with 2 straps close to the bulkheads.For minimal space use, hang it sideways through looped straps.

    Contact Confluence Water Sports about the foot braces.

Foot pegs
It is very possible that the foot pegs are just gunked up with sand, dirt, grime, etc. Take them out of the boat and clean them.

check on it often
and dont store it with the hatch covers on… They may require 303 if they are the old Valley covers. Otherwise they tend to dry and crack and critters will chew on them to get in the hold.

We now store the boat flat on the floor with the old v shaped kayak foam blocks supporting bow and stern. In a garage this might be a hazard. but our garage has a low ceiling and is filled with cars and snow removal equipment.

Upside down would be good if you can hang from something.

Where do you live ?
If you had posted a profile, someone close to you might offer to take a look at your rudder

Jack L

So it seems like how you place is kayak is a matter of opinion since I got so many varying answers? I’m not going to be hanging it or keep it standing. My parents have way too much crap in their garage to even attempt that.

As for the peddles - no nothing is stuck in them. A friend who knows his kayak stuff already looked at it and he’s the one that thinks it’s not the original.

what kayamedic said
right side up, with foam blocks under bow and stern. If you place a plastic boat on the floor for long enough, it’ll warp a flat spot in the bottom of the kayak.