How do I care for my kayak?
ROTOMOLDED KAYAK CARE
Our “roto” kayaks are made of high-density linear polyethylene, which is virtually maintenance free. A minimal amount of care in storage and transporting will help the kayak maintain a like-new condition for many years.
Polyethylene will become more flexible when in warm conditions such as a hot, sunny day. It is possible for a kayak strapped tightly to a roof rack for a series of days to temporarily deform at the weight bearing points. Use a rigid bar sport rack in addition to a “kayak cradle” to disperse the weight.
COMPOSITE KAYAK CARE
Composite kayaks (PRO models), made of a fiberglass or Kevlar laminate, require a small amount of additional care over rotomolded kayaks. Some sections will be more flexible than others. Scratches or superficial damage can be buffed with rubbing compound and followed with a polishing compound. Gel coat repair kits are also available from your Wilderness Systems dealer for more extensive repairs. Hard impacts may result in structural damage, so inspect your hull after a collision. Inspect the interior of the hull at the location corresponding to the impact. Look for fine white lines mirroring any damage on the outside of the hull. This may indicate a resin fracture. In some cases this may require a composite repair kit available from your Wilderness Systems dealer.
Usually, a quick rinse of fresh water is all that is necessary to keep your hull clean and functioning in good order. This is very important after paddling in salt water, especially if your boat is outfitted with a rudder system. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the rudder, rudder cables, and footbraces with fresh water to remove salt residue. Superficial scratches may occur, but can be removed or reduced by use of a marine boat polish designed for polyethylene hulls. Sanding or use of an abrasive rubbing compound is not recommended. To keep your kayak shining and minimize the long-term degradation caused by UV exposure, use an ultraviolet protectant such as 303 Aerospace Protectant, available at your local Wilderness Systems dealer.
Avoid dragging kayak across the ground to prolong its life and maintain its look and performance. Two people, utilizing the carrying handles, is the best way to transport the boat. Alternately, you can transport using a kayak cart, available at your dealer.