Care & Repair
Klatwa Wooden Paddle Care
Deck or Hull Repair
If a puncture occurs, you patch it just like a bike tire tube. For the urethane hull, use Aquaseal adhesive and Cotol, the accelerant. In a pinch, duct tape will work if the area to be patched is first swabbed with rubbing alcohol or sanded. Aquaseal can also be used for cosmetic nicks, and to fill in gouges. For Hypalon hulls, use a rubber cement or specific Hypalon glues found in marine shops where inflatable rafts are sold.
Preparation for glueing a patch:
When patching the hull, your patch should have rounded corners.
For urethane hulls: clean the area to be patched with Cotol accelerator and mix with the Aquaseal, following the instructions on the container.
For hypalon hulls: have the area to be patched clean and dry. Using a hypalon adhesive, apply a thin even coat to both the patch and area to be patched. Wait 3 to 5 minutes until just tacky. Re-apply adhesive. Wait till tacky. Press surfaces together. Allow to dry for two hours.
Roughen non-fabric surfaces. Apply a thin even coat of Aquaseal to both surfaces.
At room temperature, wait approximately five minutes, until adhesive is “just after tacky”.
Press surfaces together.
Cure time with the accelerator is two hours. For thickest repairs, allow up to 36 hours.
Most of all, a little care and maintenance will ensure a long and stress free life for both you and your kayak.
Store your Feathercraft either in the bag or assembled.
If storing it in the bag:
Let the skin completely dry on the frame.
Rinse the frame tubes thoroughly with fresh water.
Take extension bars apart.
Lubricate spring buttons, inserts, and wipe framework clean of any salt deposits with Boeshield T-9.
If you are keeping your kayak assembled:
Store it in a dry place, covered, and protected from the weather elements.
Keep cockpit covered to avoid unwanted guests taking up residence in your kayak.
If salt water has pooled in your kayak, take it apart every two months and relubricate the frame.
The welded urethane skins do not need any additional treatment. Clean with mild detergent and a soft scrub brush.
The kayak has been stored for a while, and now the skin is tight, and it is difficult to extend the frame.
For nylon Cordura decks, completely soak the deck to allow the deck to stretch out when extending the frame.
For urethane skins, turn the skin inside out; close the sponson valves; completely submerge the skin in a tube of water for at least 24 hours. Assemble the kayak and allow the skin to dry on the frame. This stretches the skin back.
Can I car-top my Feathercraft?
Absolutely. Feathercraft Kayaks can be carried on the top of your car just like any rigid kayak. Usually the kayak is secured to the car rack, hull side down. Care should be taken to not cinch down too hard on either the bow or stern ends, creating a reverse bow effect. Care should also be taken when “running” rope or cord over the Polytech deck. The colored film on the deck could be scuffed.
Ensure the kayak is well secured to the rack, and that the rack is well secured to the vehicle. Secure the kayak across its beam at two points, and have a rope attached to the bow and stern ends of the boat and the vehicle. There is no particular rack that we suggest. Both straight bar racks and cradle systems work well. Remove all light weight items from kayak, such as sea sock, spray skirt, life jacket. If you are using a cockpit cover, be sure to tie it on to a deck line. Items are easily sucked off and out of the kayak at highway speeds. When car-topping the K2, a minimum distance between the bars of the rack is approximately 1 meter, or 3 feet.
Single coated fabrics will eventually loose their urethane coating.
The fabric used on the sea socks, spray skirts, hatch tunnels & covers is a single coated nylon. With a single coated fabric, water can migrate through from the top side and will eventually push the urethane coating off the fabric. So far, there are not after-market products that will coat it like new. Depending on the amount of use and humidity, estimated wear can be between three to five years. Should seam tape begin to peal, seams can be sealed with tent seam sealer or Aquaseal. As of 2011, we began using a double coated nylon fabric - meaning there is a urethane coating on both sides of the fabric. This is a premium fabric, and is offered as standard on the Expedition kayaks.
Travelling with your Feathercraft.
This is best part! Pack it up and away you go to a multitude of exotic destinations. Of course travel in general is not quite as easy as it used to be. A little pre-trip planning and weighing will make your air-line baggage experience painless. Every airline seems to have their own rules for baggage allowance and surcharge. However, most have a 50 lb (23 kg) bag limit. Pre-weigh your bag before arriving at the airport. Make any small adjustments to keep under the limit. Give the kayak bag some additional padding with your life jacket, personal clothing, towels. When checking in, call it sporting goods. Not all airline employees have heard of a folding kayak - strange, but true.
Mildew on Nylon Gear.
It is best to try to avoid mildew and mold on your nylon paddling gear. Let your gear dry completely before storing. However, if it happens, here's some suggestions:
- Mix 1/2c Lysol in one gallon of hot water (Lysol can attract bugs. Use Mirazim as an alternate). Wash gear with sponge. Let air dry. After it dries, mix one cup salt with one cup concentrated lemon juice in one gallon hot water. Wash with this solution. Let dry. Float bags and many other non-fabric surfaces can sometimes be flushed or scrubbed with a low-strength bleach solution. CAUTION - Always test on a small piece of fabric before tackling a large area.
- Never put single coated nylon gear in a washing machine.
- Check for other cleaning solutions and tips on-line.
REI Cleaning Solutions