After a long, hot summer, it pays to give your Vibe kayak a quick checkup before prime fishing season in the fall. That’s when you want your boat to be in the best-possible condition. Let’s talk about how to take care of your kayak with some preventive maintenance and storage tips.
If you’re like most Vibe owners, you spend a lot of time in your boat and out on the water – which is exactly how it should be. Of course, when you use your boat, it’s going to get the occasional bump or scratch. Most of the time, these beauty marks aren’t going to affect the performance or longevity of your Vibe. It’s the unseen effects that the water and sun can have on your kayak that tend to be more problematic.
Use common sense – first and foremost, don’t drag your boat over rough surfaces, drop it, or subject it to other impacts that might scratch, dent, or break your Vibe watercraft.
Regular cleaning – whenever you pull your boat out of the water, you should rinse it with clean freshwater to remove any grime. It’s a fact of life that your boat will come across pollutants and unfriendly microbes in most bodies of water, but a quick rinse can help remove most of those. At least once a season, it’s a good idea to wash your boat with mild soap and a sponge as well. You can even wax and polish your boat, if you’re into that.
Double-check fittings – screws that hold in place different Vibe fittings can loosen with regular use. Use a Phillips-head screw driver to gently tighten any screws that need it. These might include carrying handles, gear tracks, rod holders, cargo hatches, etc. Make sure you don’t over-tighten your screws!
UV Spray – once a year, it’s a good idea to use a UV-protectant spray on your kayak’s entire hull and on any other equipment that spends a lot of time in the sun. The sun’s UV rays can destroy just about anything with enough exposure and can cause the polyethylene hull to turn brittle and crack.
Lube moving parts – mechanical pieces like the Vibe Sea Ghost rudder system or the joints on Vibe Hero Seats sometimes need a little love. If something on your kayak squeaks, catches or doesn’t seem to function smoothly, use a spray lubricant like WD-40 (after cleaning your boat) to keep these parts working like new.
Replace broken parts – it’s just a fact of life: stuff happens and things break. What you don’t want is to put off a small fix for too long and let it grow into a larger problem. If your boat has a broken piece that needs to be replaced, take care of it as soon as possible. Vibe supplies kayak parts individually on the site, so there’s no excuse not to replace any pieces that might have issues.
Bigger problems – we’re always on hand if you do have a major issue with your Vibe products. Contact us here if that’s the case.
A major piece of the maintenance puzzle is properly storing your kayak when you put it up for more than a couple of weeks. After ensuring that your boat is clean and in good working order, store it the correct way so that your Vibe is in top shape the next time you use it.
Hide from the weather – store your Vibe away from sun, weather and drastic temperature changes. A basement could work, but an uninsulated attic probably isn’t a good idea. Your boat doesn’t suffer from over-exposure when you take it fishing – it’s the weeks or months that it sits outside under the open sky. Wherever you decide is best to store it, make sure it gets minimal direct sunlight.
Store flat, upside down – like the sun, gravity is a relentless force. Don’t make your boat fight it for weeks or months on end. Lay your kayak flat and face down on something like saw horses or a wall-mounted kayak rack. Polyethylene is a durable, resilient material, but it can be misshaped when improperly stored, especially if it’s subjected to the major temperature changes referenced above.
Loosely cover openings – keep debris like dust, dirt and spiders out of your kayak with a tarp or an old sheet. That kind of sediment can build up and give you a surprise next time you take out your kayak. You put it up clean, so you want it to stay clean.
That’s how we’d recommend storing and maintaining your kayak. Do you do it differently? Share your tips in the comments section below.