Its nice to get out on a clean kayak the first fishing trip of the season. So once you take that tarp off or drop your boat from its storage in the garage set aside a little time to clean up the kayak. Here are some Tips for Spring Cleaning your kayak.
Some owners clean there kayaks prior to storing them which is a good idea. However some northern anglers fish until the winter weather disallows us to continue and cleaning in below freezing temps just doesn’t happen. So wheel your kayak onto your driveway hose it off and clean it up with some simple green and water. Brush or sponge off all the dried on bait and fish blood along with the dirt mud sand and any other crap that stuck there from normal fishing. When complete let dry for about a half hour.
After the initial cleaning personally I like to remove the small scratches and scuffs from the hull. To do this you will need a heat gun with a narrow tip. The tip will direct the heat to a smaller area which allows better control. Wait for the air to become hot 15 – 20 seconds. Slowly run the heat over the scratched area until the scratches disappear and the plastic has a shiny look to it. Do not hold the heat gun in one are for long periods of time as your will risk damaging the kayak. This process will eliminate most minor scratches and will clean up deeper ones.
The second part of kayak clean up day was to replace the Yak Attack Nite Stripe. The stripe lasted two fishing seasons but was pretty damaged with quite a few missing spots. To remove the Nite Stripe simply using the heat gun run the heat along the decal for about 2 seconds. This will loosen the glue allowing you to simply peel off or even use a plastic scraper or an object that will not scratch and damage the kayak to remove it. Installing the replacement is simple. Just remember it should be over 60° F outside or in your garage for the adhesive to be effective.
Finally restoring the boats color and shine. Using 303 Aerospace Protectant will protect the kayak from the UV Radiation of the sun. UV Radiation over time will deteriorate the color and will make the plastic become brittle and crack. To prevent the UV fading process #1 limit the time of exposure of your kayak to the sun. #2 Utilize 303® Aerospace Protectant™. 303 is by far the best product on the market for keeping your kayak looking new and restricting the effects of UV degradation. 303® Aerospace Protectant™ can be used on roto-molded polyethylene, ABS plastic, Vinyl, Carbon Fiber, and other plastics.
It is best to reapply every 3-5 weeks for the best performance. It literally takes about 15 minutes to apply to the top of the kayak. Personally I don’t bother reapplying 303 to the bottom of the hull as my kayak rides upright all of the time and 303 on the hull makes it way too slippery on the vehicle transport rack.