Kayaking in rough seas can lead to leaks or punctures when you are using an inflatable kayak. There is no need to worry! Inflatable kayaks and inflatable boats are long term investments because any damage can be repaired with cost-effective measures. Most of them come with a repair manual which directs the user to follow specific instructions depending on the brand. Some inflatable boats come with repair kits.
Locating the Damage on Your Inflatable Kayak
The leak or puncture on your kayak can be located by spraying the areas with soapy water. If you are completely unaware of where the leak is located, try to check common areas such as around the air valve or pointy curve of the kayak at the front and back. If you have been kayaking in shallow waters, then check the bottom of the kayak.
When you spray soapy water on these areas, you will notice a bubbling around the punctured area. It could be possible that the damage is on the material or it could be damaged or lose valve.
Repairing a Puncture or Leak
You can buy a repair kit which will consist of patches in different sizes and repair glue. For example, the Sodial® repair kit comes with 3 PVC patches, a wrench and repair glue. You can also buy Stormsure Adhesive repair glue which can be used for any inflatable kayak or inflatable boat.
Once you have located the puncture, you can simply add a small drop of glue after drying the area thoroughly and allow it to dry for at least 12 hours. If the puncture is slightly bigger, mark the area with a marker then use the patch and repair glue from the inflatable kayak repair kit. Follow the instructions from the manual. After sticking the patch, inflate it and check again for bubbles by spraying soapy water around it.
Tip: Make sure you use an inflatable kayak cleaner to clean any dirt before you stick the patch.
Repairing a Valve Leak on the Inflatable Kayak
Valve leakage can cause your kayak to slowly lose air.
- Spray around the valve with soapy water
- If you see bubbling, then use a wrench to take out the valve while your kayak is still inflated
- After that, clean the inside and outside valve before you plug it in again
- Once you have plugged in the valve after cleaning, inflate it to hear any leaking noise
- Spray the soapy water once again to check for bubbles. If it is still bubbling, you might need to change the whole valve.
Check your warranty card to see if the manufacturer could send you a new valve. Certain inflatable kayak may have the valve wrench in the kit or you may have to buy the wrench. Also, read the instructions to check if you can remove the valve while it is inflated or would you need to deflate the kayak.
Tip: Always carry an emergency repair kit for your inflatable kayak while you are out in the sea. You can buy Stormsure® Tuff Tape on Amazon
If you want to learn more about inflatable kayaks, visit the official site of OSHAUN.