Sunscreen for your Kayak

We have had a few customers come in looking for a product we no longer carry: the old McNett 303 that some people used on the decks (and hulls?) of older kayaks.

This products usefulness on our new fabrics is debatable, we no longer use it, but acknowledge that some would like to. I actually think it could be very useful in protecting boats in extremely prolonged solar exposure, such as:

-sailboat deck stored kayaks
-rental boats or tour fleets
-outdoor storage

It can be found at the MEC in Canada and the REI in the U.S.A.

REI link:

MEC link


Outside Hull repairs with AquaSeal

If you have tagged your boat while out on an adventure, it an be a sickening feeling to look at the blemish left behind.
I’m going to detail (with photo’s) how to fix the boat with a minimal impact to the aesthetics of your beautiful boat.

First ensure the abrasion is not a hole, as; it does not penetrate through the skin. If it does, turn the skin inside out and glue a patch on the INSIDE of the skin before attempting to repair the outside.

Clean the abrasion with rubbing alcohol and let dry.


Mix a combination of AquaSeal (in your repair kit) with a small amount of black pigment; I use artists gouache. Mix vigorously and thoroughly.




The next step is to outline the abraded area with masking tape. Use two or three layers of tape and then press it down.




Fill the abraded area with your darkened glue, and place some extra within the tape borders.



Using a paint scraper or similar tool, GENTLY spread the glue within the bordered area. You are attempting to smooth the glue for maximum atheistic effect. Use only the scraper. If and divots or blemishes appear, restart. Glue that spills over the tape border should be scraped or wiped off immediately and the residue cleaned off with rubbing alcohol.




Use a utility or pocket knife to score the glue along the border of the repair area.


You are only separating the glue on the tape from the glue on the repair area. You really really do not want to cut into your boat. If you are worried about this, skip the knife step. Pull off the tape border very slowly.



Let the glue dry for 14 hours.


When cured, the glue will be strong and supple.


“The skin is too damn small!!!”

Something I posted on

A quick note on our shrinking skins; this is something that happens on a regular basis due mostly to the material in the L-strip and to a small extent the hull fabric itself. When wetted and dried repeatedly the core fabric expands and contracts; when you leave you boat rolled up over the winter they will in some examples contract as much as 2″. This is a bigger problem in longer boats (K1!!) as there is more L-strip and hull length to shrink!

We don’t think this is a major problem, or one we are willing to correct. Hear me out, there are a few reasons: The solution to the “problem” is simple and our weldable fabric is bar none the best in the industry (the company who makes it for us is constantly approached by many kayak companies and asked for “Feathercraft’s fabric”, quote, unquote).


If your boat is hard to assemble/ extend, its probably not you. Fill your bathtub with water and submerse the boat over night (24 hours+). It is best to turn the skin completely inside out through the cockpit. When you pull your boat out of the water immediately assemble it (wear a swimsuit!!!). A couple hours after you have stretched the skin out, try and extend it an extra hole or two.

What we do (in short):

Turn the skin inside out,  except for the very ends.  Close sponson valves.Totally submerse the skin in a tank or bathtub full of water, overnight or for two days.

What happens:    water gets into the fabric itself,  from the inside.  The inside has less coating than the outside.  Water is able to seep in between the coating and the fabric.  The nylon fabric expands when wet.

– Assemble the boat while the skin is still wet, and extend.

Let the skin dry on the frame. This should help you guys out, hope it does.
Happy paddling all.

Take care of your frame. Because it takes care of you.

We have many people come to our shop from all over the world bringing in their Feathercraft with some sort of ailment that needs to be healed. One of the most consistent themes we see in our repair shop is the dreaded and avoidable Siezed Frame!

Today I wanna touch on the fact that you bought a Collapsible Kayak, and that kayak needs regular collapsing!! If you do not take your boat apart and give its frame a little TLC, you will invariably face one of the following; pocketbook lightning, hours of exasperation or brand new really expensive rigid kayak.

If you intend to keep your boat assembled for a long period of the paddling season (3-5 months and longer) you NEED to lubricate the frame. This cannot be stressed enough. Salt water will get in your boat by some means, and when it evaporates the salt crystals left behind will form a cement in the joints of the frame. I have worked on a seized insert on a keel bar that I swear was stronger than any part of the rest of the frame; the boat had been left together for 2 years. The frame required extensive repairs to the tune of $500. Have I scared you yet?

Removing the Piston from the Cylinder.

The repair kit comes complete with a bottle of BoSheild T-9; this should be applied to all the inserts on the frame and the piston parts of the extension bars.

When applying the T-9 use a pair of rubber gloves instead of a rag so that the lubricant is not absorbed by the applicator. Using gloves allows a little lubricant to go a long ways, a simple drop on each insert is plenty enough.

A drop on a rubber glove goes a long ways.

Should you run out of Bosheild, you can contact FC for more, or visit a bicycle store. They carry Teflon based chain oil, such as Phil’s Tenacious Dry Lube. These will work almost as well as Bosheild. Be sure to use a Dry lube, not a Wet lube (the guys at the bike store will know what that is).

Please lubricate the frame at least once a year to ensure your boat lasts you a long time.

Boat in a Bag

A few words here on how to best to pack away your kayak into the backpack; both to leave as much space as possible in the pack, and to make packing the bag as hassle-free as possible!

Ok, lets get started.

Pull the frame out of the skin and separate the frame parts into 4 piles; bow section, stern section, mid connectors/extension bars, and lever bars/coaming side arms.

Fold up the bow and stern sections and use a piece of shockcord to cinch them tight. Do the same to the loose lever bars, coaming side arms and bracing bars.

One really important part of putting away your boat is the care invested in rolling up the skin. The skin is by far the most important and expensive part of the kayak, so a little care and thought should be used when  putting it away. DO NOT fold the skin. Prolonged storage in folds can leave creases in the skin that will take a while to stretch out.

With the deck upwards, fold the ends into the cockpit.Have the red webbing straps handy for use in a moment.

Begin rolling the skin up as tight as possible from one end.

Use the two red webbing straps to cinch up the hull tight.

The frame and skin should look like this at this point, ready to pack away:

Open up the bag and place the seat into the bag against the pack-straps so that it will add a little more padding for your back. Place all the cross-ribs and hatch rims in the bag now.

Place the skin in the bag on top of the rims, hatches and seat. Place the bow frame section on one side of the skin, and the stern frame on the other. Place the remaining frame parts on top.

You should have plenty of room left in the bag for a PFD, pump and maybe a gear bag.

With boats that have longer bow and stern sections, a great idea is to protect the exposed frame with your PFD or foam. I have never experienced frame damage after a flight yet (knock on wood), perhaps due to the fact that the boats are so heavy!

Hope this helps.