You’ve made the investment, now protect it…
Summer is over, and although we are having some nice Fall weather, many of us are packing away our Summer toys and preparing to nestle in for the Winter. Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards are durable, but they do require care when storing them away to ensure a longer life. Exposure to the elements can degrade the hull, color and UV-protection.
Ocean Kayaks blends ultraviolet inhibitors into the plastic of their boat to give superior protection from ultraviolet light. However, to ensure extra years of flexibility and bright colors, avoid storing the boat in direct sunlight. Waxes and protectants are not enough, and they will eventually wash off the boat into our waterways. Signs of sun damage include fading, a loss of flexibility, and cracking. Keep your kayak inside or under a cover, especially if you live in a sunny climate. A tarp suspended above the boat will protect it from ultraviolet light. Do not cover your boat by laying a tarp directly on it; with the heat of the sun, the tarp creates an oven that can damage, distort or discolor the hull. This goes for many of the Sit-In kayaks, or any boat with a Polyethylene hull.
If you must store your boat outside, it is recommended to lay it either upside down, on its edge, or standing vertically, and off the ground on sawhorses or a rack system. The goal is to prevent the top from being exposed to the weather. Sit-ins should have some closure over the hatches and cockpits to prevent the nesting of critters over the winter. The Goose has a full line of Seals Skirts and Cockpit Covers to fit most boats. Again, as stated before, some sort of tarp or cover positioned above the boat to protect from the sun and elements with an air gap to ensure breathability. Be sure to tie down your boat to prevent the wind from catching the underside and causing damage. When hanging a boat, run straps around the boat near the cockpit (the strongest part of the boat). Hanging your kayak in slings or webbing is ideal and will prolong the life of the boat. A word of caution – using the scupper holes may cause distortion and hanging from the toggle handles may put undue strain on them. To secure your sit-on kayak, simply run a cable through your scupper holes. Other kayaks may require the mounting of a stainless steel u-bolt to run the cable through. Locks, cables and u-bolts are available at The Goose.
One of the best ways to solve many of your problems is with the Suspenz Storage Systems and components. Suspenz has a full line of Wall Storage Systems, Ceiling Storage Systems, Portable Stands, Carts and Free-Standing Systems for multiple boats and SUPs. This year, they unveiled their “Black” line of powder-coated marine grade racks that are much better for our environment here on the Cape. What ever your storage options, Suspenz has a system for it.