Kayaks generally do not need much maintenance, but a little bit will go a long way to enhance your pleasure in using the boat. It will also increase the longevity of its appearance and even its structure.
Rinsing out or washing the interior (particularly the cockpit) to rid it of sand, food waste, beach scum and general debris is a good idea after each use and will prevent the growth of mold or other things that can “foul” the interior. A rinse using freshwater is usually sufficient. An easy way to accomplish this is to set the kayak upside down on saw horses and hose out the interior through the cockpit. Excess water and dirt can simply run out of the cockpit. Use a damp cloth to wipe out the insides of your bulk headed compartments.
Check the foot pedals for freedom of movement. If necessary, wash the sand or mud from the rails with a hose to prevent abrasion and sticking.
A water rinse is often sufficient. Water born scum can be removed with soap. Use a mild solvent like rubbing alcohol to remove stubborn stains. NEVER USE acetone, toluene, MEK, lacquer/paint thinner, or ammonia-based cleaners on Carbonlite 2000.
Rough edges may be sanded with fine sand paper. Inspect your kayak for extra deep cuts or other damage after use and make appropriate repairs so its performance is never jeopardized when you need it. Keep the hatch cover and rim free of sand or other material that could prevent a good seal.
It is a good idea to inspect your deck hardware occasionally. Make sure all nuts are secure and there is not any unusual wear in the deck where the bolt inserts.
Check the shock cord ends where they attach to the fittings and check the shock cord itself for wear and abrasion.
The nylon that covers the shock cord is susceptible to UV damage and will age with time. If this is so, it is easily replaced. It is important that the 4-point self-rescue bungies behind the cockpit are maintained in good condition.
The carry handles at each end of the boat should be able to support the weight of the boat. Check for wear on the rope. It can be easily replaced as well.