Boat Care and Maintenance

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by Johnthethird, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. Johnthethird

    Johnthethird Paddler

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    My wife and I purchased new kayaks in the spring...and Id like to keep them looking that way for as long as possible. Im very diligent about rinsing and washing the salt and sea scum off of them, but was wondering what the rest of you do to keep your boats shiny and new looking, and also to keep the rudder movement like new? Is armorall a good idea for the deck? Is WD40 a good/bad idea for rudder movement?

    I have thermoplastic Delta boat, and my wife has glass Necky.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Armorall and WD-40 Probably will not hurt anything. However, I think 303 is a better choice for hardshell boats, whether plastic or fiberglass. And, seek out Corrosion Block in lieu of WD-40 for lubricating and protecting metal fittings. CB truly is a superior product. The small squeeze bottle is well designed for small fittings. WD-40 evaporates more rapidly than CB.
     
  3. scott_f

    scott_f Paddler

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    I rinse out my boats in salt water on the next paddle :shock:
    Other than rudder and skeg maintenance, the most important thing IMO is preventing UV damage. I don't use any products other than wet sanding and polishing the gel coat every couple years. For thermoform there are polishing compounds available as I believe they have an acrylic layer over the abs.
     
  4. Seadddict

    Seadddict Paddler

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    Since 99% of my paddling is in salt water, I rinse my boats with fresh water. A mild soap gets rid of scum, if any. For glass boats I don't see the applicability of 303 on the deck. A good boat wax is better IMHO. I have no experience with thermoform. 303 on rubber hatches if you have them. I do so about monthly. As Dave says, use a dry lube on rudder parts, not an oil based product which will gum up and/or hold sand or dirt. A skeg mechanism & cable should only need to be kept clean with fresh water or in some cases flushed with soapy water.
     
  5. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Stay away from using Armorall and WD40 on your boats.
    Don't wax the decks if want to do re-entries.
    Just wash the salt water off and store out of the sun.
    Clean the grit from the cables.

    Roy
     
  6. Bluenose

    Bluenose Paddler

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    303 the thermoform if you wish but they will still fade if stored in the sun. Keep both your boats inside when not in use. A rinse with a hose will get rid of the salt.

    As a side note, don't let a new boat or the fear of superficial damage keep you from exploring new areas and techniques. You bought your boat to use it, so do so. You don't need to abuse it, but a boat with dings has character, and every ding is a story.

    As I was dragging my kayak down the beach at a Gordon Brown course, he remarked, "Ah, there's a man who cares not for his boat". LOL. I like it that way. :D
     
  7. pikabike

    pikabike Paddler

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    Armorall and similar products wash off quickly in water. Don't even bother. 303 on the rubber hatch covers helps protect them from UV, but it too wears off fairly soon.

    Besides keeping boats outdoors, the single biggest contributor to dulling the gelcoat is straps used when transporting your kayak. I don't know if there is a really good way around that. Maybe put a soft, perfectly clean cloth between straps and gelcoat and that might slow down the dulling.

    Always hose off the boat, including hardware, after paddling in saltwater or heavily mineralized freshwater. I flush the skegbox and the slider control as part of this.
     
  8. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    About rubber hatch covers:
    I was emailing Matt Broze (Mariner Kayaks) recently and one topic that came up was the possible condition of the Valley (VCP) rubber hatch covers on a used boat. Matt mentioned the effects of styrene off-gassing (from fiberglass boats) as a contributor to hatch cover deterioration. Something to think about...If you store your kayak indoors, it may be best to leave the hatch covers off. Outdoors, a screen cover is a good idea if the hatch lid is off to prevent local rodents (and worse) from setting up housekeeping.

     
  9. designer

    designer Paddler

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    I wash them out with fresh water and go over scratches with gel coat cleaner restorer. I might also apply a little automobile wax. Others have reminded me that those scratches are "smile lines" for the kayak and if I wanted it scratch free, it would just live in the garage.
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    John mentioned rubber hatch cover deterioration from styrene outgassing on FG boats.

    Our double is a 1993 vintage CD Libra, and it has a 2004 vintage rubber hatch cover, unchecked, still supple and peachy. I can not detect styrene odor inside the hatches, despite regularly storing it with the rubber cover over the opening. My guess is that after 5 years or so, styrene outgassing is a nonproblem.
     
  11. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

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    The comment about Valley hatches deteriorating from fiberglass off-gassing may not be correct. Supposedly Valley hatches fall apart these days because of a rubber formula change completed by Valley several years ago. The change was to accommodate consumer wishes for hatches that float. At least that is what a long time Valley dealer told me recently when I was complaining that the new hatches (2 round ones) I bought six months ago fell apart. Sealect Designs are now my choice when replacing Valley hatches.
     
  12. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Matt Broze's comments were made recently but were based on experience from some years ago, I'd guess. The Broze brothers (Matt & Cam) closed Mariner Kayaks sometime around 2007.