Tips to clean the kayak

Questions, suggestions, answers, products etc. about repairing, cleaning and maintaining your kayak.

Moderators: JCOOLEY, rsimpson

Explorer
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:04 am
Location: Singapore

Tips to clean the kayak

Post by Explorer » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:34 am

Greetings! I have just bought an AE AF Convertible, which is my very first inflatable. I've brought it out to the sea, and the convertible did pretty well. I would like to seek fellow AE users on tips and tricks to clean up the inflatable kayak. When I wanted to pack up at the beach, I just couldn't find a way to clean it nicely. In the end, I simply stuffed the kayak wet into the duffel bag and cleaned it with water hose only when I reached home.

I read from another post in here that someone does the same and re-inflates it back home, leaves it to dry before cleaning. That was a smart move.

So, how do you clean your inflatable after using it in the sea/river/lake/reservoir? Do you clean the kayak with it inflated or deflated? Do you clean it there and then, or do you bring it home to finish the job? Any other useful cleaning tips? Thanks.

JCOOLEY
Site Admin
Posts: 984
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Post by JCOOLEY » Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:49 am

Obviously not all beaches have fresh water hoses or spickets available. After using the kayak you can wipe it down with a dry towel. Once you reach home, you can clean it with soft liquid soapy water. Rinse it off with clean water then. You can do this while inflated or deflated. If inflated, you will want to make sure the floor has been removed so that you can wash that seperately as well as be able to wash the inside bottom of the kayak. You will be able to give it a more thorough cleaning if the kayak is deflated. You can then lay the kayak out to dry or wipe it dry as best as you can with a towel. This works best if you pull the kayak apart so that each component is cleaned and dried.
If using the kayak in fresh water you don't need to wipe or rinse it everytime if you don't want to. If using it in salt water you should at least wipe it down after each use. You can rinse it down every couple or few uses. This is of course if you are using it on a regular basis. If you only take it out every other week or once a month, then you would want to rinse it down after each use because if it is packed away wet, dirty or salty, the kayak can get mildew, mold or salt corosion on it and you may end up with a stinky or damaged kayak. If using it in salt water you might also want to purchase ZipCare from Mcnett. This is to clean your zippers and to keep them lubricated. Salt has a tendency to find its way into the zippers and can makes them stick or possibly corrode them over time.

User avatar
PJohanson
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Packing wet boat

Post by PJohanson » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:21 pm

You can pack the boat up wet to take it home if you must. But be sure to take it out and let it dry, and wipe out the bag, before putting it away.
I find the boat is easier to move around inflated. Once the outside is dry, I let out the air and wipe the inside surfaces with a small hand towel.

PALINDROME
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:20 pm

dry?

Post by PALINDROME » Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:46 pm

I live in the fog capitol of the central coast. I can get the boat clean easy enough, but getting it dry is a challenge. Even on the sunny days it seldom gets hot enough long enough to dry out the boat assembled or disassembled. Has anyone tried packing a wiped down boat with some kind of desiccant, like a roll of pampers, or big “tea bagâ€￾ made from the drying agents that electronics comes packed with (you can buy it in bulk from plant nurseries, used to hold water in potting soils)? How dry does the boat have to be to keep mold at bay?

User avatar
PJohanson
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

I don't use dessicants

Post by PJohanson » Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:20 pm

I wouldn't recommend using any drying agents to try to wick moisture out of a damp AE kayak.
My advice is, bring the whole damp boat indoors. My Dragonfly would dry out in the basement in a day, draped across two chairs. Inflated or deflated both worked. I liked inflating it till the outside was dry, then deflating and wiping down the inflation tubes and the inside of the shell with a dry towel.
If there is no room in your room or apartment, perhaps you'll be able to hang it in a stairwell if the janitor doesn't mind. Or the garage or a friend's basement -- the friend may be happy to share the space.

Richard
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:29 pm
Location: Chilliwack BC Canada

Drying out a damp kayak

Post by Richard » Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:13 pm

After the kayak has been washed and cleaned, if the weather outside is foggy and damp, bring it indoors as has been suggested and/or place it in an area where you can use a fan to hasten the drying. You don't need a heater - having moving air circulate in and around the kayak should speed up the drying process. Richard

gabone
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:21 am

Post by gabone » Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:31 am

I plan to go on vacation at the sea side for 3 weeks and I was thinking to take the kayaks with me. The sea is a bit salted (Aegean) and I wanted to ask you if it's ok not to wash the kayaks if I use them every 2-3 days ? I may be able to rinse them after I arrive at home.

Thank you.
Gabriel

Pearly
Posts: 436
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:57 pm
Location: Malaysia

Post by Pearly » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:21 am

Wow, you found an old thread!

I go out on the sea every weekend! I rinse the kayak down after each trip, though I have used it on Saturday, put it away, then used it on Sunday and only then rinsed it down at the end of the trip.

As long as you rinse the salt off when you have finished your trip and let it dry, you'll be fine.

Do lift up the floor and dry under there with a cloth tho - it is easier to do this with the main tubes inflated.

User avatar
PJohanson
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Post by PJohanson » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:16 pm

If you're using the kayaks for two or three weeks, you don't have to rinse them each time.
The kayaks will dry on the outside in a very few minutes. Let some air out before leaving them in the sunshine. After the outside is dry, be sure to put the kayak in the shade. It's easy to puff up the boat full the next time you use it.
When you want to pack the kayaks away for travel, that's when to rinse the outside with fresh water, let them dry on the outside, let out the air and dry between the outer hull and the inner inflation chambers with a towel or cloth. I find I don't need to pull the kayak out of its hull, but I can move it around and dry it all over.
I keep mine inflated for a couple of weeks at a time, but I let out some of the air in case it gets warm in the porch. It's important to let out some air from the inflatable floor or two of the long narrow tubes may pop their divider and become one. This happened in my boat on a hot afternoon, but luckily it's not an uncomfortable problem with the floor only 3/4 inflated.

gabone
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:21 am

Post by gabone » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:53 am

If it gets some water on the inside, is it really necessary to pull out the rubber out of its nylon cover and wash it ? I noticed that the water gets through the zipper to the rubber chambers.

Thank you both for the tips,
Gabriel

User avatar
PJohanson
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Post by PJohanson » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:39 am

Just because a little water got in where you sit doesn't mean much has snaked around the chambers inside the hull. I dont think it's necessary to pull it out from the hull most times. Just get a thin towel and blot out the water.
See if Jeremy gives any different advice, but I rarely wash the inside of the hull. When I do, a damp facecloth with a tiny bit of shampoo or dish soap is what I use for a quick wipe, then I wipe it with a towel.and the inside of the hull is dry in moments. Same for the inflation chambers.
I've done that twice in two and a half years. Most times that I want to fold up the kayak and put it away, I runse the outside and wipe out the inside where I sit, let it dry in the sun partially inflated till the outside fabric is dry, deflate it and rub everywhere I can reach with a thin towel (smalll hands mean I can get right into the bow and stern) then fold it up and it's dry and good for travel.

paddlesheep
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:01 am
Location: Vancouver

Post by paddlesheep » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:59 am

Two words...Sham-Wow. They are incredibly handy for mopping up the kayak and getting all the water out after a paddle. Works as a bailing sponge too. You know the Germans always make good stuff.

Mine is just a dollar store version though. Same thing as the $20 one at Costco.

davedomingo
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:57 pm
Location: Dublin, California

The triangles inside the AdvancedFrame hull

Post by davedomingo » Mon May 17, 2010 10:00 pm

Inside the hull of the AdvancedFrame Convertible are four pockets that hold triangular plastic stiffeners. i can't keep water from getting in there (between the stiffeners and the pockets), and it's really hard to get those assemblies dry once they are wet. Any advice? Thanks!

User avatar
PJohanson
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Post by PJohanson » Tue May 18, 2010 9:25 am

I use a piece of cloth like a kerchief or rag from a shirt to dry out the pockets. Lay the cloth over the corner of a wire coathanger, and gently wiggle it into the pocket. Don't use the hook of the coathanger, just the bent wire corner.
Any moisture that doesn't wick up into the rag is only a few drops, and can ruddy well stay there and wick out & evaporate gradually. In my opinion.

davedomingo
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:57 pm
Location: Dublin, California

Thanks

Post by davedomingo » Tue May 18, 2010 9:43 pm

PJohanson: I appreciate the prompt and helpful answer.

That seems like a great technique -- very resourceful -- but it's kind of frustrating that the design allows water to gather in such a place. It feels like I can get everything dry pretty quickly (esp. with a fan running) except those pockets and stiffeners. If any water gets in there, it seems destined to 'live' between the stiffeners and the hull indefinitely.

I am inclined to get the pockets and stiffeners 100% dry and then seal the edges of the stiffeners with with silicone sealant so no water gets behind them anymore. Anyone think that's a bad idea? Thanks, all.

Post Reply