How Long Will A Plastic Kayak Last? [Care Tips]

If you’re not very familiar with the different types of kayaks, you would probably be most familiar with a plastic one. Also called rotomolded kayaks, plastic kayaks are made from polyethylene molded into the kayak shape we know today. So how long will a plastic kayak last, and how can you take care of your one for maximum longevity?

Plastic kayaks are mass-produced and the most popular kayak. However, if you take care of your plastic kayak, it could last you for over a decade. Keeping it clean, covered, and out of the sun will allow you to get the most value out of your kayak. Storage also influences the lifespan of your plastic kayak.

If you are the proud new owner of a plastic kayak, you will be pleasantly surprised to hear that it can be almost indestructible and are the best choice for many experienced kayakers! 

Stay with us as we discuss what influences the lifespan of a plastic kayak and how you can take care of yours!

Factors That Influence How Long A Plastic Kayak Will Last

There’s a reason for the growing popularity of plastic kayaks, and it’s clear to see why! Because of how plastic kayaks are produced, they are highly durable and the perfect choice for kayakers who like to navigate their way on rocky shorelines or rough waters. 

Although plastic kayaks are ideal for these situations, if you know your kayak will be banged around a lot, plastic should be your go-to because of its affordable choice. 

Plastic kayaks will ultimately offer you the best price-to-durability ratio of all the other types of kayaks while providing you with outstanding performance. 

With all this being said, it could be difficult to beat a plastic kayak, and by taking proper care of yours, you can easily get ten years or more of good use. 

However, when it comes to plastic kayaks, there are still a few things you will have to keep in mind when purchasing them, such as the factors that could play a role in their longevity:

Overall Moisture Exposure

A factor that most people tend to underestimate about plastic kayaks is moisture exposure. For instance, if you generally use your kayak in saltwater, it will significantly decrease its lifespan. The main reason is that salt water’s deteriorating effect will affect your kayak.

How You Handle, Transport, And Store Your Kayak 

How you treat your plastic kayak is a crucial factor in its longevity. For example, if you drag your kayak over hard surfaces instead of hauling it, you may make a huge mistake. You should also tie it down properly during transport or storage.

How Frequently You Do Maintenance On Your Kayak

Establishing a regular maintenance routine for your plastic kayak would be best. This would include checking the hull for cracks or holes, sealing them wherever needed, and waxing your kayak to protect it from water damage, especially after using them in saltwater. 

In addition, replacing accessories and worn-out parts would also help, as well as removing debris stuck on the kayak itself. 

All this should be part of the regular maintenance routine and should be done at least once every three months if you use your kayak consistently or before storing your kayak for the next season.

Care Tips To Make Your Plastic Kayak Last

When you invest in a kayak, it only makes sense to look after them to increase their usage. So let’s look at some of the pro tips to make your plastic kayak last for a decade of paddling!

Always Keep Your Kayak Clean

After you have finished your kayak session for the day, be sure to rinse your boat off. You can mix some clean water with a bit of vinegar or bleach. 

If you store your kayak under a tarp, you should also ensure your kayak is 100% dry before you cover it. This way, you will avoid the growth of mold and mildew.

Always Keep Your Kayak Covered

When you’re not using your kayak, keeping it covered is always a great idea! Covering your kayak becomes even more crucial if you cannot store your kayak in a shed, garage, or house. A cockpit cover would be the best way to keep the insides of your kayak protected and clean. 

Luckily, cockpit covers come in various sizes to fit a specific cockpit’s dimensions for a tight seal when outside. This will prevent any chances of spiders, bugs, leaves, rain, and snow from coming into contact with your kayak. 

If you don’t have a cockpit cover, a well-positioned tarp will be better than nothing, although you still need to remember that debris and bugs will still find their way inside.

Keep Your Kayak Out Of Direct Sunlight

Of course, there is no way to paddle outside in the water without contact with the sun! This is obviously what a kayak is for, but you should refrain from storing your kayak outside. 

Leaving any boat, especially a plastic one, in the sun for long periods can cause severe damage. Most modern kayaks have UV inhibitors in their main material. Still, prolonged sunlight exposure could cause your plastic kayak to turn into a dull color and can even cause damage to the hatch covers.

If you live in a particularly hot climate, the scorching sun can also cause your kayak to become deformed, especially when they are left on the roof rack of a car without any protection.

Store Your Kayak In A Hanging Position

When it comes to plastic kayaks, it would always be your best bet to store them hanging. However, do not hang them directly from the carrying handles when you hang them. 

This is not only when the handles become very worn out over a short period, but it could also cause it to sag, which is very bad for the hull.

Final Word

If you’re a nature lover, paddling on your kayak and exploring the reefs are probably one of your favorite activities. This is when it becomes especially worth knowing how you should care for your plastic kayak and what you can do to keep it by your side in the long run! 

It is crucial to maintain your plastic kayak regularly and keep them clean to prevent them from deteriorating!

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