This page contains some general suggestions and
ideas that will answer many of your questions.
In the event you have more specific questions, or would just
like to chat, you can get a hold of us two ways:
Like a car, your kayak can be kept as immaculate or lackluster
as you choose. Any quality car wax will keep the boat protected
from UV rays and looking brand new. Fading should not be an issue,
however if stored in the sun your kayak, like your car, will fade somewhat
over time. Any substance is going to scratch when rubbed against rocks or
oyster shells, and this also includes plastic of all grades. You have invested
in a composite kayak for the benefits in performance and weight, but you have
to realize it will get scratched as you use it. We suggest looking into a class
at your local Kayak shop on how to do minor repairs on gel coat. You will be
surprised at how easily small scratches can be removed simply with rubbing
compound. Deeper scratches and dings will usually take some knowledge of
using high-end sandpapers and eventually even gel coat. Check with your local dealer to
see if they have a repair dept in the event you need help with this kind of work. Your local dealer can acquire gel coat from us to match your boat in the event you will make a
repair or have one done for you. If I can give one piece of advice, do not try and go to your local
marina - they only cater to large crafts and will charge too much for what you need done. You
do not have to do this; kayak repairs are not expensive. As a service to our customers, Impex
Kayaks has a full repair shop here in Asheville NC. We have the ability to get your kayak,
repair it inexpensively, and get it back to you in a relatively short time. Please call us
for details on this kind of service - do not over pay for repairs. Remember the same
Gel Coat is used on Standard Glass all the way through Carbon Kevlar. Higher
end or lower end composites are no more or less prone to scratches or dings.
Deck Lines & Storage Bungee
Deck lines should be kept somewhat loose to allow your hands to enter under
them freely in moving the kayak or in a rescue. These lines can be tightened
or loosed by adjusting the tension and retying the knot. They will loosen
over time, but will also expand and contract with heat and moisture.
Bungee lines will stretch out over time, as gear is stored under them.
These too can be adjusted, by increasing tension and retying the knot.
There are a few simple rules to storing your new Impex Kayak.
Although there is no 100% right way, try and follow some of these tips. We know many paddlers have
restrictions to what they can and cannot do due to where they live or their weather conditions. In the
event you have a more specific question feel free to call or email. Always try and pad the area the
kayak sits on to avoid scratching and forming divots on the surface of your boat. The seam is the
strongest area on your kayak, so when possible store your kayak on its side. If outdoors, a cockpit
cover is always nice to keep the weather, leaves and critters out. Also when storing outside
try and tie it down; we see more damage from boats blowing around than anything else. In the
event you keep the boat outdoors all summer, be sure and try to keep the back band and seat pad
covered. These items are made of Neoprene and will fade if overexposed to sunlight. The more
outdoor storage, the more 303 you will need on the hatches and gaskets. The cold and the
heat will not affect a kayak within reason. If your garage gets up to 130 degrees you may
want to consider a new place to store the kayak. Other than that, use your best judgment.
If you just threw it on the ground to hibernate until spring it would most likely be just
fine. Remember this kayak is an investment, we did our best to build you a boat that
would last forever, the more you do to help that gives you a nicer kayak for life.
Enclosed in a cable housing, the heavy gauge stainless
steel cable operating your skeg is virtually maintenance free.
From the slider to skeg box this system has been examined with care to
ensure the least possibility for problems on the water. Take a second to
pop your head down into the rear hatch. Along with the fine workmanship
that goes into the skeg box, notice we have even put a guard on it to stop
paddlers from knocking the skeg cable off the housing with tent poles and
things. There are 2 problems that may arise with any cable operated drop skeg:
Kinking and jamming with rocks.
Your skeg is jammed - Do not force it. Chances are at the last landing you got a rock wedged into
the skeg box and now it is jammed. Hopefully you are practicing the buddy system and your buddy
can go to your stern and pop the pebble out. In the event you are alone, what can we say? As you
paddle to the next landing to get the pebble out do the math in your head and you will realize
the probability of this happening is so low it is ridiculous.
You kinked it! - A common problem that occurs at all levels of paddlers, not just beginners.
Many times you will see experienced paddlers who never use their skegs run aground with
the skeg deployed after a long windy crossing just because they forgot it was down. Not
much you can do here other than learn your lesson and have us fix it. The whole process
of taking out your skeg and having us replace the cable takes no more than a week, and
we will get you right back on the water. Or you may be on the water anyway - remember
you CAN paddle without the skeg. In the event a problem arises with your skeg
feel free to give us a call, and we will get you through the process.
Your rudder will allow easy steering on the Irie and
Mendota for hours of enjoyable paddling. There are several
things to be mindful of while using your rudder:
1- Be sure to wear a protective item on your feet. Any time you have a
moving part involving metal and a foot you should be careful.
Is this a problem? No, just a suggestion.
2- Sand can get into the pedals from time to time and make the rudder seem
harder to operate. A good blasting with a garden hose will usually dislodge
any foreign substance from the foot pedal area. If the problem persists, take
the foot peg and slide it off the rudder assembly inside the kayak, wash the area
with soap and water and lubricate it with a thin lubricant like WD-40.
3- Pay attention to your bolt. There is a stainless nut and bolt that serves as
an axis point for the rudder to swing on from the up and down position. This bolt will actually
tighten as the rudder is continually moved up and down. Periodically checking to make sure
your rudder deploys easily is the key. In the event it gets tight, simply loosen this nut and bolt
some. Remember the rudder should always be deployed and raised using both hands on the top
in a pushing and pulling manner.
Rubber: Over the years VCP brand hatches have proven to be the
best and most reliable rubber hatches on the market.
Their ability to be easily put on and taken off in all weather conditions
while standing up to anything Mother Nature can throw at them certainly
makes them tops. No product is without fault however, and if left
untreated these hatches, like any other, will break down and begin to
rot after some years. To stop this, and keep your gear protected for
the lifetime of your kayak, we recommend the use of 303 Protectant.
It can be purchased at any quality kayak or outdoor shop and will
protect your hatches from harmful UV and all other harsh weather conditions.
Composite: Composite hatches offer a larger, lightweight and more
modestly priced alternative to VCP or other rubber hatches. Many
people will use only these types of hatches as it gives them the ability
to store large or bulky gear safely under their deck. Once again without
fault, any composite hatch on the market will take more attention to detail
in closing to assure a dry fit. Impex Kayaks stands behind all of our products,
and although we don't think any manufacturer would be silly enough to say
something is 100% dry, these hatches - when closed properly - are as dry as any
other. The key is the closure. Begin by making sure the rubber gasket is not
bent or mashed down in any one spot and then apply the hatch to the boat, making
sure the gasket is properly fit in the recessed area. 303 Protectant will keep
these gaskets protected and supple. Over long periods of closure the gaskets will get
pressed down; the 303 gives them springy life and better memory over the lifetime of your
kayak. When not in use the hatches should be loosened to let the gaskets "stretch" out.
Once in place, do not buckle the straps and just pull on the tail - this never works. Instead,
using your eye, line the buckles up next to each other on the hatch until they are close to closing.
Then attach the buckles - you should find they are hard to close. With the heel of the hand press
firmly on the hatch, which presses down the gasket creating a dry seal. Now lock the buckle in
place. It should be hard to close, but not so hard it seems impossible. Follow the same steps on
all your straps, and your cargo and hatches will stay dry even in the roughest of conditions.
Transporting your Kayak
There are so many good options these days it is hard to say.
It comes down to how much help you need getting the boat on the car
and what your budget can afford. Your local dealer can give you the best
idea and show you an assortment of racks in different price ranges. As a
suggestion, always carry the kayak on the hull or on its side with ample
padding to stop scratches. Make sure the bars are far enough apart to give the hull good support. In the event you have a short roof, we recommend some hull support saddles.
Use tie down straps that have guards to stop the buckles from scratching the deck. Bow and
stern lines are good for 2 reasons: In the event the rack fails and the boat comes off at least
you only have a few dings and not a boat run over by a semi. The other is it isn't always a semi
that hits your boat - sometimes it's a Miata or a Mini Van. No sense turning a great paddling trip
into a lifetime of bad memories. Be sure that your hatches are on securely and have the lariats
attached. Some folks even take them off, although we have never had a problem. The thing is
that they are not only expensive - a hatch is one thing that is pretty hard to paddle without.
Nothing is worse than losing paddling time waiting for a hatch you let blow off your car.
If you have any other more specific questions please give us a call or drop us line.