Kayak storage isn’t often given much thought, but doing it improperly can lead to permanent damage. Matt Miller, Director of Parts & Accessory Sales at Hobie Cat USA, shares tips and techniques for properly storing your Hobie Kayak.
Important: When storing your Hobie Kayak, do NOT hang your kayak from the bow and stern handles. These handles are designed for carrying the kayak, not for hanging for long periods of time. The plastic will slowly stretch over time and possibly even eventually fail which will create a hole. When storing your Hobie kayak, it is important to be sure that it is well supported.
Storing your Hobie Kayak on the ground or on a rack
One technique for storing your Hobie kayak is by putting it upside down and resting on its two crossbars. The rails of the kayak are very stiff and can support the weight easily. Padded crossbars will reduce the chance of any scratches or marks on the rails. If you must store it right side up, use cradles or something that is shaped to the contour of the hull. If the kayak is resting right side up with little to no support, the entire weight of the kayak may rest on one point on the bottom and possibly cause a flat area to develop. We do offer custom molded cradles for the Adventure Island and the Pro Angler.
Storing your Hobie Kayak with hanging racks or straps
If you plan on hanging your kayak from a ceiling, a minimum of one inch webbed strapping should be used to spread the load of the kayak over more area. Using rope to support it may leave dents in the rails, especially in the heavier kayaks. Best if stored upside down with the strap loads on the stiff cockpit rails.
Removing dents after improperly storing your Hobie Kayak
If you do see a dent or flat area from improper storage, you can remove it fairly easily. For minor dents, put the kayak in the sun with the dent up. The plastic will soften slightly and the plastic will return to its original shape. For more severe dents, pour near boiling hot water over a towel on the dent and pressurize the hull. The air pressure will push on the softened plastic, returning it to its original shape. A great way to put air pressure in your hull is to direct a shop vacs exhaust flow into the opened drain plug. Do not force more than a pound or two of pressure into the hull without the possibility of the pressure easily escaping. Pressure in the hull can cause damage.
So how do you store your Hobie Kayak? Leave us a comment below and let us know!
Amanda Berrent is one of our staff experts from the Houston store that started off as a frequent customer trying to fuel her kayak angling hobby. Her focus is on salt water fishing and she was actually featured on the cover of Texas Salt Water Fishing back in January of 2012 (see it here). During her time here, Amanda has become a very strong member of the staff but she admits that she is still learning a few things. Recently, she shared her story of loading a kayak onto her vehicle on her own for the first time.
So there I was, waiting on my boyfriend to show up to help me load a kayak onto our Jeep for a weekend of fishing. At the time, we did not have a garage to store the kayak in so we had it in our storage building, 25 minutes from our house. There was some sort of misunderstanding (probably on his part since guys don’t listen!) and he was still at home when I got to the building. He said, “don’t try doing it alone. The boat is too big for you to handle so I’ll be there in a bit.”
The boat at hand is a Hobie Revolution 13, thirteen foot, five inches and weighing around 70 pounds. I am 5’8”, weigh about 125; slim and somewhat fit, but not athletic in the least bit! The Jeep I was working with is a beast! With a six inch lift and thirty-three inch tires, it stands about two foot taller than I am. This was my first attempt at lifting and loading a kayak by myself, and I knew it was going to be a challenge but when he said “don’t do it, it’s too big”, it was a challenge I had to accept!
Before I get into details, let me tell you that there was already a boat on the roof rack, a Wilderness Systems Ride 115 that the guys loaded before I left work, so the room I had left was very limited. My first attempt was the ultimate fail. I tried lifting the boat with the side cut out handles, directly over my head and onto the jeep from the side. Not only did I almost break my back, I also came close to busting a few windows (I will need to work on bench pressing and weightlifting before I try that again)! My second idea, although it took a little time and was nowhere near graceful, got it up there! I ended up sitting the nose (bow) of the boat onto the back of the jeep, stood under the boat and got into many awkward positions trying holding it in place while shimmying to the end in order to push it up on the Jeep. It took a few tries due to the width of the two boats but I knew that strategy would be my best bet and it worked, plus gave the passerby’s a good laugh!
I had only been employed at ACK for a short time, but when I got back to the store on Monday I immediately inquired about other ways to load kayaks and found out about some load assist options that are available. Don’t hesitate to check them out!
I headed out to the check-in for the American Swimming Association’s 3rd Annual Dam 5K race that started at 7:45am on Saturday. I convinced my boyfriend to come along with me, so I loaded a Hobie Revolution and Hobie Sport into my truck, grabbed a couple of breakfast tacos and we were on our way to Lake Travis. We got there and unloaded the kayaks, checked in, and after a quick paddlers safety briefing, we were ready to launch! We didn’t have enough paddlers to assign every swimmer their own kayak, so we spread out and kept our eyes peeled for stressed swimmers and motorboats. Thankfully, most of the swimmers kept their line pretty well and none of them had to stop. I have to say how impressed I was that all the swimmers finished the race on their own accord, with the fastest swimmer coming in at 1 hour and 43 seconds. This was my first time as a safety paddler for a swimming race, but I have already volunteered for upcoming races. The swimmers and organizers were very thankful to the paddlers and showed their appreciation with yummy cinnamon rolls and t-shirts. It was a lot of fun to break into this community and provide a great service for these athletes. People were so impressed by the Hobie Mirage kayaks that we had a small demo after the races were over so swimmers and paddlers alike could experience first hand the awesomeness of the Mirage kayaks. Overall, it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to the next one!