How to Repair your Inflatable Kayak

An inflatable kayak or boat is one of the safest types of raft or boat for anyone. They are also cost effective in comparison to other types of boats. However, even with their extreme durability and the fact that they are virtually unsinkable, there is still a risk that you will have to repair it at some point. Perhaps it scrubbed against a rock that put a small hole in it, or maybe it caught on a piece of glass along the river bed in the shallows. Either way, knowing how to repair your inflatable kayak could keep you from being stranded somewhere downstream.

Locate Your Leak

If you are not sure where the leak in your inflatable kayak is, you can still find it, provided you know the general area of it. If it does not have much air pressure in it, add more air and then apply soap and water to that area of your kayak. As the air leaks out, it should form a bubble with the soap. Once you have found the bubble, circle it with a permanent marker and then you will be able to spot the hole easily.

Small Hole, No Problem

In the event you have a small hole to deal with, you have options when it comes to a repair. There are some who say that for a tiny puncture, you can use a little bit of glue on it. The kayak should be clean and completely dry before you put glue on it. If at all possible, it is best if you can let the glue dry for 12 hours before you fill it with air. However, if you are downstream of where your vehicle is and you need to get back home, you can put the glue on it and let it dry for approximately 30 minutes. Then you will want to fill it with only a little bit of air, no more than 3/4 what you would normally put into it. When you are back home, you can put more glue on it and let it dry for the full 12 hours. Just keep in mind that the longer you can wait to put the kayak back into the water after applying glue, the more likely it is going to be to hold air long enough for you to get where you want to go.

Larger Patches

The glue should work on a pinhole sized hole. If you have a small tear in your inflatable kayak, you will need to apply a patch along with the glue. This should only take a few minutes and you should be able to get back into the water in a reasonable amount of time. However, there does come a time when a patch may not work to hold the tear closed, at this point, you may need to contact the kayak manufacturer to see what they recommend or if it may be covered by a warranty. Some patches and the glue option may work even if you have a leak in the seam of your inflatable kayak. If it does not, then you may also need to contact customer support for your kayak.

Things to Consider when Buying an Inflatable Kayak

With all of the people who are discovering the joys of kayaking, is it any wonder that people are looking for an easier way to enjoy it? An inflatable kayak is definitely one kayaking option that is delighting a lot of people. It is easier to take to the water because you do not need a trailer or risk damage to your vehicle by putting it on the top of your car. Another thing that people love about them is that they are more durable while remaining cheaper than a wooden kayak. However, to ensure you get the best inflatable kayak for yourself, there are a few things you may want to consider when buying an inflatable kayak.

Does the Inflatable Kayak Meet Your Needs?

Inflatable kayaks have a lot of features that may make them better for certain situations. For instance, a self-bailing kayak is ideal for whitewater kayaking, but because of the many ports that are in the bottom of it, it will not perform well in calm water. The ports are there to allow water to pass through in fast currents, with slow water, they end up holding water. Another consideration is that many self-bailing kayaks lack tracking fins, which makes them difficult to control in calmer waters when you want to go straight ahead.

Single Person or Tandem Kayak?

If you go out kayaking solo a majority of the time, you can get by with a single person kayak. However, even single riders sometimes prefer the tandem style kayak because it will provide you with more storage area within the kayak and it does give them the freedom to take along a friend. Tandem kayaks have adequate room for 2 or 3 people to ride along. They are great for families who do not want to venture out in separate kayaks and many of them are roomy and durable enough to allow you to take along your pet.


Sit Inside or On Top Kayak?

There are inflatables that offer a more traditional style cockpit by providing you with a space that you sit down into. However, many people prefer the openness of riding on top of their inflatable boat. In warm climates, riding on top is good because it allows you to stay cooler and you will feel less confined. The downside is, you will also stand a better chance of getting water spray on you. This means, if you live in an area that stays cool longer, you may want to consider the sit-in kayak, which can protect you from more wind and water. If you want to feel less confined, but still want protection from water spray and winds, you may need to look into a canoe style inflatable kayak. They are wider and allow more space within the cockpit.

Do you need a Fishing inflatable Kayak?

Do you need extra storage space for your fishing gear or scuba gear? Do you need an inflatable kayak that is stable enough to handle you reeling in a larger fish? An inflatable kayak is instantly more stable than a traditional style kayak, but there are specific inflatable fishing kayaks designed just for fishing and hunting activities.


Is It Easy?

One of the best things about an inflatable kayak is that they are easier to handle than a traditional style kayak. If you plan to take your kayak out into the woods on a camping trip so you can kayak in a hidden lake, it needs to be light enough for you to carry comfortably? A person who simply wants to drive to the lake or river and pull it out of their car will have less reason to be concerned with weight. Will you be able to carry it like a backpack or will you need to find a case that you can carry easily? Some inflatable kayaks have shoulder strap handles for you to use and others come with a backpack, which is easier for many people to deal with. Does it come with a pump or will you have to purchase one?

Do You Feel Safe in It?

Inflatable kayaks are designed to be durable. The material they use is puncture resistant. However, many kayaks have multiple chambers for air so that if you do somehow get a puncture in it, you can still make it back to shore. A lot of them also have foldable aluminum frames built in to help them hold their shape. If they do not have the aluminum, they have other features that will ensure they are solid. When looking at things to consider when buying an inflatable kayak, you must feel that you can trust it to get you back to shore. Otherwise, you may not enjoy your kayaking adventure the way you should.

Kayaking With Children

Although on the onset it seems dangerous, with proper planning and research, kayaking with kids can be very rewarding. The following offers should help you with the planning, as well as tips to keep tempers and stress low.

Prior Navigation

Children often seek security and comfort from their parents, and often can notice signs of distress or panic. It does not do much for the children’s comfort and confidence if you are as surprised or shocked as they are at the state of the waterway. Ensure you scout the waterway before you take the kids. This should happen in different conditions to accommodate any unpredictability and avoid surprises.

In addition, check with the local weather experts on the probable conditions. Take the kids out during the calm, minimal current and low tide conditions, as they are not built for the demands of rapids and exertion. To get the best sites, consult experienced paddlers and the local boating and kayaking associations, state parks for kid-friendly destinations.


Children tend to be bored easily and fast, therefore, ensure that the length of the trip is enough to keep them engaged. Regardless of age, half an hour to an hour is sufficient for the first excursion. The duration of the trip increases with the child’s age as the older ones are more adaptable and patient. However, for toddlers, a few moments of sitting on the kayaking by the shoreline should suffice. Other factors that determine the length of the trip include familiarity with the water and kayaking, maturity level, swimming ability, fitness level, and personality.

Training and Preparation

Preparation determines the kid’s comfort when the actual day comes. Community and local centres offer paddling and boating lessons. The fact that this is done in community pools makes it far safer and exciting than training out in the natural water bodies. Other than boating skills, physical fitness is essential. Well, this does not mean forcing your kid to build bulging muscle to tackle the rapids: just a light workout regimen to improve endurance. The easiest ways to achieve this include light jogging, rope skipping, cardio and light weights.

Kayak Options

Typical kayaks offer a snug fit for a single paddler. However, other options to accommodate other parties such as extra paddlers, kids and pets exist. When selecting a family kayak, consider the age of the child, budget, comfort levels, the number of paddling opportunities and the trip goals. Children about the age of eight can do light paddling, so consider a kayak with bow space and paddling allocation.

The weather conditions and season also significantly determines the choice of the kayak to pursue. Cold waters require decked kayaks and waterproofing spray decks. Do note that the middle section in family kayaks is meant for equipment storage, so it does not offer sufficient insulation and cover for the child. However, it does suffice for warmer waters and weather.


Though safety equipment is crucial for all age groups, including the adults, it is mandatory when kayaking with children. Personal floatation devices are available for children of all ages, including toddlers. The smallest sizes feature a neck pad to offer head support for the small babies. However, prepare to get some resistance while trying to fit them the PFDs. Ideally, prepare the children by fitting them the safety clothing at home, and offer them a reward every time they keep it on.

We all know that one factor that infuriates children is hunger. Healthy, easy to carry snacks and fruits should make the trip much easier. Do not forget to pack in enough water for hydration. Ensure you stick close to what the kids love eating to reduce chances of acting up in the middle of the trip, out in the waters.

Children will enjoy the trip more if the trip seems to fit their requirements. With this in mind, personalize every aspect of the trip to accommodate what interests your kids. This encompasses everything from the planning, packing, and the activities during the trip. An ideal way to cultivate more interest in the trip is to tell your kids to tag along their best friend.

Fishing from a Kayak

Kayaks have a number of uses, ranging from recreation to sporting events. However, one of the oldest functions was fishing. Kayaks have been in use for thousands of years for fishing, as well as catching sea mammals. The following highlights the benefits of fishing from a kayak, as well as tips on how to improve your skills and increase chances of success out there in the waters.

Benefits of kayak fishing:

  1. The best fishing spots are usually hidden; well, the fish need to hide from all manner of prey, including humans. Access to these sites is limited to only the slimmest of boats. Kayaks are thin, light, and streamlined for a streamlined torpedo like results. The design allows you to access small ponds, narrow waterways and backwater areas, right where the biggest fish are. A common hiding place for fish includes estuaries, small deltas, and spots where the backwater connects to large water bodies. As long as the entry has zero blockages, you are in for an exciting fishing adventure.
  2. Stealth: One of the banes associated with motorized fishing is putting pressure on the fish, and spooking them away. Successful fishing requires stealth, especially on shallow waters. A kayak allows you to glide quietly on the water and chatter until you get to the right spot, right on top of the fish. While at it, avoid boat-to-boat chatter and unnecessary noise.


    1. Kayak selection does significantly affect your fishing success. The primary elements to consider include comfort, stability, comfort, storage space and transportation options. The ideal fishing kayak should be relatively wider than the water sports type. The extra width allocates additional storage space, as well as room for attachments such as rigs and fishing rods.
    2. Whether you buy used or new kayaks, customization is always recommended for fishing kayaks. The hours are waiting out require optimised comfort, so you might want to install a comfortable seat, or add some padding to the already existing ones. Other necessary attachments include fishing rod holders, anchor and cooler. Foresight and prior design considerations are crucial to ensure that everything is within reach, without crowding one section of the boat. However, the primary factors are storage, versatility and stability.
    3. Safety is crucial for fishing from a kayak. This is especially so if you are in the backwaters. Be dressed to swim and survive. The standard equipment includes personal floatation devices, a helmet, and fitting, quick-dry clothing. Do not forget your communication equipment in case you run into trouble.
    4. Rigging is crucial when fishing, especially if you are out after the big fish. Ensure that all the equipment is secured using straps and ropes to avoid losing stuff overboard. For items
      prone to water damage, use waterproof covering such as plastic bags before strapping them down.
    5. Line length: one of the primary mistakes that people make when fishing on a kayak is winding in too much line. This proves to be a problem when you catch a fish, or get the line tangled in weeds. Allow yourself a rod’s length of slack line for effective luring.
    6. Planning is crucial to the success of your trip. The elements to factor in include the paddling distance, available period and your fishing and kayaking skills. Paddling further out does not necessarily guarantee the best catch, smart fishing does.
    7. Versatility is crucial when fishing in a kayak. Research allows you to decipher the available fish species in your area depending on the season, moon phases, environment and the weather, thus saving you from disappointment and unrealistic expectations. The local fishing associations and clubs should have detailed information on this.

A smooth combination and harmony of angling and paddling skills is critical. You would not want to flip over casting the line. Seek training on the proper way to handle the kayak, fishing equipment and other equipment in varying weather conditions. The skills to master include boat positioning, drift fishing, drifting techniques, fishing upwind and sight fishing.

Kayaking With Dogs

Venturing out with your dog on the water is a very exciting experience. Dogs, unlike cats, generally love the water. It would be sad having to leave your dog behind every time you go kayaking. However, do note that this is far different from jumping into the vehicle with the canine for a ride around town. Kayaking is a whole new cup of coffee. The following tips should help you start out and make the process easier.

Dog’s Perspective

Although dogs are intelligent creatures, the sight of a kayak on the first instant does not resonate with the subsequent activity. As with any other activity, intense training is crucial. Do note that no matter how you love the dog, some are just not meant for kayaking. Kayaking requires calmness and patience: hyperactive or nervous dogs will make the whole experience difficult and risky.


For most dogs, even those used to riding in vehicles, a kayak is a strange contraption. For starters, place the kayak in a place the dog will notice, or is likely to pass by often. With time, their curiosity will get to them, and they will explore it on their own terms. This is the most crucial part. Secondly, place the dog inside and gauge the reaction—an easy way to hasten this process is to put the dog’s favorite toy or bedding in there with the dog.


Do not expect the dog to learn on the job; otherwise, you will have a nasty experience out there in the water. On the onset, train the dog on land. Teach the dog how to leap in and sit. Use well-defined commands. Repetition is important. Reward the dog every time they follow your instructions, like a special treat he normally would not get.

During the training, the chief steps include jumping into the kayak, sitting, and jumping out. Each should be accompanied by a distinct command. An extra command that comes in handy during the actual excursion is the ‘leave it’ command. This ensures that the dog is not distracted, or tempted to react to sights such as fish, wildlife or your moving paddles.

After training on land, the next step is on shallow, calm waters. Ensure the kayak is steady, through holding it, before encouraging the dog to jump in. At this time, to keep him occupied and prevent any temptation to start wiggling or acting out, start paddling slowly. For starters, stick to the shore and head out for short durations of time and distances. Do note that the venture out into the open water may make the dog nervous, and they may be tempted to jump out and swim away to the shore. A repertoire of stay commands should work.

Kayak Selection

If the dog feels uncomfortable, it usually leads to a complete ignoring of your commands. Choose kayak sizes and designs that are suitable for dogs and optimized for their comfort. You should be able to fit comfortably without squeezing; otherwise, the dog will bail on you. The allocated sitting space should accomodate the dog, paddler and the equipment. A snug fit is crucial for easily excitable dogs to keep them in check.

Dog Kayaking Gear

The essential gear when kayaking with dogs includes a leash, life vest, sunscreen, harness water and treats. Dog experts suggest water carrying water toys along. Most people overlook the dog life vest on the premise that dogs are natural swimmers. Well, while this might be the case, they are not immune to drowning either.

Kayaking with a trained and desensitized dog is an exciting and rewarding. Just ensure that they are well prepared for the outing with the right desensitization, gear, and treats. In addition, if you plan to take the dog out more, contact your veterinarian for heartworm preventative measures.

The Seaworthy Sea Kayak

The Seaworthy Sea Kayak

A few gifted paddlers – not many– can paddle across the Atlantic in a bathtub and shrug it off as a minor accomplishment. The rest of us, mere mortals, must place greater reliance upon our boats to get us out and back. For us the definition of a seaworthy kayak includes being “Forgiving of the most egregious paddling and judgemental errors.” It’s a heavy burden for a boat for seaworthiness is more than remaining upright and dry in large waves. The kayak must be comfortable and able to maintain course and headway under severe conditions. There is little merit in remaining dry only to be crushed upon rocks or swept past a safe landing.

Every aspect of kayak design, individually and collectively, influences performance at sea and it is unlikely that any one feature will either make or break a boat. For the sake of simplicity though we will discuss each hull characteristic individually while keeping in mind that the sum is more important than the parts.

Above the Waterline

Freeboard is a mixed blessing which when it is high enough to keep us dry, is sometimes to high for easy course keeping. The proper balance is not easily determined through experience but studies of ships at sea provide practical guidelines. The US Navy recommends forward freeboard of 8 – 10% but since kayaks are small light, and travel at low speeds, 6% of the length is a reasonable compromise. Of course all the freeboard in the world is of little help if there is inadequate volume forward to keep the boat from plunging deeply into waves. The correct volume is assured by superimposing the extreme wave condition over the hull shape and then designing in enough volume to support the hull as shown in Figure 1. Adequate volume can be achieved by incorporating flare into the topsides (The Navy guides us here and recommends 20 to 25o), building in spray strips and using long overhanging ends. The choice is usually one of aesthetic values although long overhanging ends caise pitching which is counterproductive. One distinct advantage of flare and spray rails is that the direct spreay away from the boat instead of channeling it aft inot your lap.

The boat can be considerably lower aft since one is not likely to be power through waves in reverese. Six percent of the length is a flexiblwe rule of thumb based upon casual observation.

Providing rules for midships freeboard is complicated by the degrees of possible shapes (tumblehome and flare). In the end, it probably takes care of itself since the boat must be deep enough to accomodate your body and stability requirements mandate a minimum amount of vilume above the waterline.

Below the Waterline

It has long been recognised by ship designers that “V’d” sections in the ends produce a more seakindly motion with less pitching and pounding. It should not be surprising then that most Inuit kayaks have sharply “V’d” sections since they would have learned the lesson the hard way.

Pitching (Vertical rotation of the boat around its center of gravity) is As the canoe encounters waves a pitching motion is instigated which drains away energy in the creation of waves. Because the pitching inertia varies as the square of the distance from the center of rotation (Nominally the center of gravity in canoes) tremendous forces are involved and their reduction is advantageous. From a design standpoint, there are two significant paths. The first is to increase waterplane area in the ends which has a damping effect on vertical motion. The second is to design the hull with seperation between the Longitudinal center of bouyancy (LCB) and the longitudinal center of flotation (LCF). Since the hull rotates around the LCB and the LCB has a tendency to shift aft as the bow rises the increasing waterplane aft serves to dampen the motion.

Loading, as mentioned earlier, has a large impact and it is almost always advantageous to concentrate weight in the middle of the canoe. Whether this is done by moving gear or people makes no difference although moving the paddlers has the greatest impact as shown in Figure 9-4.

Midships Section Shape

Earlier in the discusion about stability (Chapter 6), we touched on how hull shape affects roll in waves but it is worth mentioning that the importance of flat versus a rounder bottom shape has been greatly exagerated. Because the local gravity is always normal to the wave surface paddlers traveling across waves which are longer than twice the canoe’s beam do not “sense” so much heel as one would expect . Figure 9-6 illustrates what happens. Nevertheless, canoes with very flat bottoms and a sharp turn at the bilge have a quick roll and tend to be unnerving in short steep seas that match the natural rolling period of the canoe. This is not a significant problem when one has his wits about him but, as fatigue sets in, mental anticipation is low and body responses sluggish. It is not surprising then that such hulls have earned a bad reputation for seaworthyness. Arched bottoms and softer bilges provide a smooth, slow roll requiring a slower response time. Mind you, plenty of flat bottomed Grummans have traversed the the far north so it would be foolish to say they are inherently dangerous.

Section Shape at the Quarters

To achieve the high Prismatic coefficients appropriate for high speed efficiency many designers have resorted to “U” shaped sections aft with very hard turns of the bilge. The increased bouyancy in the quarters lifts the canoe rapidly when a wave passes underneath. Aside from the abrupt motion, the loss in lateral resistance can cause the hull to slide down the wave and broach. A softer turn of the bilge aft and “V’d” sections (associated with low Cvp’s) promote directional stability and are desireable. Compare the two hulls in Figure 9 – 7 and imagine how the wave would affect each as it passes below.


In the bow, the situation is reversed. Rapid maneuvering is best done at the bow whether to avoid rocks in heavy whitewater or to prevent a broach in open water and it is the bow person whose strong draws or prys make the turn. If the canoe is to respond effectively to these strokes, it must be free to move laterally. Therefore, “U’D” sections (as opposed to “V’d” sections) and considerable rocker are desired. It is interesting to note that such sections and rocker may not cause any loss in speed since the waterline length need not be affected. An added bonus is that the rocker reduces wetted surface. The shape that will provide the proper maneuverability without excessive pounding is not easily found.

Canoe design has been greatly influenced by racing canoes and their characteristics applied indiscriminently to all canoes with unfortunate results. Seaworthyness demands the ability to orient the canoe to best encounter waves and should not require heeling or unusual strokes yet many straight keeled, fine ended, obsolete racing canoes have been promoted for tripping. Such boats require exceptional skills under adverse conditions and are unsuitable for the average paddler who is fatigued or possesses rudimentary skills. Futhermore, the deep fine ends bury deeply in waves reducing control in following seas. “U” shaped sections and a rockered bow permit easier course correction and are less influenced by waves. The two types of forward sections are shown in Figure 9 – 8, the more seaworthy shape on the right.

In the final analysis, seaworthiness is a relative quantity strongly dependent upon how the canoe will be used. Quiet ponds and streams are undemanding and impose no need for the same canoe that can duke it out with the big rollers of Lake Superior. Similarly, seaworthiness in a whitewater playboat differs significantly from that required by the wilderness river tripper. Anticipated conditions and priorities dictate hull parameters while the inevitable compromises of canoe retailing dictate the final shape. Striking a reasonable balance between the two is never easy.

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayak

A few months ago, I bought a sit-on-top kayak for fishing. I enjoyed paddling to the fishing sites, and have now bought a sea kayak. I have the bug! I also enjoy computers and software and decided to give a try at building this website.

Site Objective

My objective is to provide a non-profit website as a gathering place for anyone interested in sea kayaks and kayak touring, and to provide useful and fun information for the site visitor. This site concentrates specifically on the sea kayak (or touring kayaks), touring destinations and expeditions, and anything related. We will not be diluting our site content with other areas of kayaking, such as whitewater, kayak fishing, etc. There are other sites out there that cover other those specific areas of kayaking and/or the whole gamut of kayaking in general, but we want to concentrate only on sea kayaks and related material. Check out our links page for links to other sea kayak sites as well as sites pertaining to all types of kayaking.

I am looking for contributors to provide site content, and moderators for the discussion forums. Anyone who provides information to the site will, of course, be credited for his or her contribution.

As the site grows, there will be more articles on kayak handling and safety, kayak design, touring expeditions, etc. The discussion forums have an area for kayak and equipment reviews. These reviews will help someone considering a purchase to be able to see how the equipment performs in real-life.

The discussion forums also have areas for equipment discussions, touring destinations, and a for sale/trade area. Please click on the link to the left and join up and contribute. Together, we can all participate in making the forums area a goldmine of information for all of us.

Thanks for visiting and please keep checking back to see what has been added.