We all understand the importance of protecting our skin from the sun, but what have you done lately to protect your kayaks outer layer from those same harmful UV rays? After long periods of time exposed to sunlight, Ultraviolet Radiation can destroy almost anything it comes into contact with. A couple of summers out in the sun will not only fade your kayak’s radiant shade, but the material will become noticeably more limber on the water and therefore, more likely to suffer from serious damages due to brittle plastic. Most kayaks are made from polyethylene and are quickly aged by the sun. While Fiberglass kayaks are likely to age slower than plastic, after time they too will begin to fade and show damage to the finish. With that said, here are a few worthwhile methods that will help prolong your kayak’s lifespan so that you can enjoy days out on the water for summers to come.
1. Don’t Store Gear in the Sun
Paddling a couple times a week during summer doesn’t typically over-expose your kayak to UV radiation, but keeping it stored in an outdoor location with full sun may inflict some serious wounds on your once majestic looking yak. The best way to store your kayak during season is upside down, raised up off of the ground, and draped with a cover. If you are not able to store your kayak in a weather controlled area, your best bet is to store the kayak on its side, the strongest point of the boat.
2. Use 303 Aerospace Protectant
303 Aerospace Protectant is really just a fancy way of saying kayak sunscreen. The substance comes in a spray bottle and should be generously applied by buffing with a cloth. While it does not condition or restore plastic, it does serve as a tried and true method of effective sun blocking. Your protectant usage will depend on how often you take your boat out on the water. When you fail to see water beading on the hull of your boat, you know it’s time to apply another coat. Another benefit to 303 is that it can be also be used on flotation bags and other plastic materials and it keeps your boat nice and shiny!
3. Coverage is Key
There are many different coverage options that assist in protecting your kayak’s exterior from weather and other elements that can make your boat frail. Full kayak covers and cockpit covers are a couple excellent ways to keep your kayak clean and far less scratched while in storage. The full sized covers help with maintaining the kayak’s temperature and exterior layer while the cockpit covers fit over the exposed seat and help keep the interior clean. Coverage is especially important if sunshine storage is your kayak’s only option. Having a kayak cover on during transportation is also a beneficial way to help prevent most of the wear and tear that accumulates from traveling.