M I R A G E Sea Kayaks - OWNER'S MANUAL / Care of your Mirage sea kayak.
Thank you for purchasing a M I R A G E Sea Kayak
Your kayak has been designed and manufactured with the highest quality of materials, workmanship and care.
Your kayak has been designed and manufactured with great expertise to last you a very long time; we regularly see many 20 plus years old Mirages in great condition.
Your M I R A G E Sea Kayak will only last a lifetime if you take care of it.
>>>>>>>> The following warnings and advice are aimed as a guide and cannot, by the nature of the sport, be fully comprehensive. They are intended to help you make a more informed decision in the care of your seakayak and as to whether you should participate. If you are not willing to assume all risks to yourself or others and abide by a duty to care for other water users, you should not go kayaking.
Technological advances (like our IRT Process) have made kayaks more complex, and the pace of innovation is still increasing. It is impossible for this guide to provide all of the information required to properly repair or maintain your kayak.
If you have purchased a sea kayak with a very advanced build lay-up and manufacturing process; like a Carbon or Kevlar IRT or a feather-light Kevlar IRT. You MUST look after your craft to get the maximum benefit. These kayaks are not fragile, however they have been carefully built to get the maximum strength and the maximum lightness (its a fine balance) You need to keep them well maintained and very well stored and care with transportation >> if you are not sure, then please call us at the factory or talk to your Mirage dealer.
Please make sure to seek out your own information on the use, care and maintenance of your sea kayak - Please feel free to contact us at Mirage to discuss any questions that you may have. We strongly recommend that you take regular tuition with a qualified sea kayaking instructor. Improve your skills and keep safe when you are out on the water.
Wash your kayak with fresh water
The kayak should be washed inside and out with fresh water after every use, make sure to remove all sand and grit from your kayak and the mechanisms of the pedals, hatches and seating of your kayak. Rinsing off sea water will help preserve metal parts. Leaving salt water on your kayak, can even corrode the highest quality of stainless steel; especially make sure the hinges on your pedals are rinsed.
Remember to rinse the inside of your rubber hatches, as salt and sand can deteriorate the seal for these hatches
Make sure you also dry out all of your hatches and cockpit after each use, so water is not pooling in your kayak.
Care of deck lines, bungee cords and toggles
Keep deck lines taught and inspect all ropes & bungee cord for wear and tear regularly. Pay special attention to the condition of toggle ropes as they usually take the strain of carrying and towing, replace them when they begin to show wear. Salt water and UV exposure will deteriorate these cords.
Care of rudder cable - stainless steel or spectra cord
Always check that there is no fraying of your rudder cables and your shackles are tightened. This can occur over time and these cables will need to be replaced, prior to having it snap when you are out in the water.
Your Mirage sea kayak has been designed to track straight without the rudder system. If your cables does snap, when you are out paddling, then please disengage the cable on the non snapped side (this will make your rudder free flowing and mush easier to paddle steer and you will get home) maybe think about having a replacement kit with you; especially if you are undertaking an expedition.
Damage and gel-coat scratches
Deep scratches through the gel-coat exposing laminate should be repaired. Small star cracks, gel-coat scratches and chips are a fact of life in a composite kayak, and do not pose a threat to your kayak’s lifespan.
Refer to our M I R A G E Care Page for more information
Storing your sea kayak
If you store your kayak outside, keep it up-side-down. This keeps the kayak dry and in the long term is best for your kayak by slowing down water penetration into the laminate.
Remove hatch covers if you store long term.
Keep the kayak out of direct sunlight to best preserve the deck elastics and ropes, also over a period of time gel-coat pigment will fade due to the UV light.
If you cover the kayak with a tarpaulin or similar, note that trapping moisture between the tarp and the kayak’s gel-coat may lead to osmosis of the gel-coat (little bubbles and blisters).
Only use a tarp for short periods, remove and dry both kayak and tarpaulin if condensation builds up under the cover.
Ideally, suspend the tarpaulin so to prevent it touching the kayak, this prevents condensation and chafing of gel-coat.
NOTE: Osmosis is a storage and moisture issue and is not covered by your warranty; Please store your kayak properly and keep it dry during storage.
- osmosis is a bubbling / blistering in the gel-coat, it occurs when there has been water settling on the surface of the gel-coat for an extended period of time and slowly perpetrates below the gel-coat and forms bubbles. The main way this can occur with your sea-kayak is if it is stored under a tarpaulin (or similar) and moisture is trapped between the tarpaulin and kayak for extended periods of time. Moisture can be created by condensation.
Ideally, hang the tarp so to prevent it touching the kayak, this prevents condensation and chafing of gelcoat.
The best solution to storing your kayak is to keep it inside a garage or shed. This generally reduces moisture in and around the kayak, and shades it from UV light.
Storage & Transportation of your kayak - detailed advise via Paddle Smart
Cradles / wall racking etc.
If the kayak is kept on the floor, use sculpted pieces of medium density foam, e.g. closed cell foam, as cradles in which to sit the kayak.
The cradles should be positioned directly under the front and back bulkheads to avoid any pressure distortion on the hull. If the kayak is hung from the roof in straps, position the straps onto the bulkheads, again to minimise pressure distortion.
If a pair of padded trestles or a padded wall mounted rack are used to store your kayak, place the inverted kayak on the trestles/rack resting on its front and rear hatch rims (remove hatch covers first). Storing your kayak on the hatch rims prevents shape deformation.
Transporting my sea kayak
The minimum requirement to transporting your kayak by car is a padded roof-rack and webbing straps. This is the least secure way of carrying the kayak as the kayak is prone to shifting due to side-winds, and bow and stern ties are advisable.
The kayak is prone to damage when strapped to a bare roof-rack as the load will be placed on two relatively small pressure points on the kayak, and this may cause star cracking or worse, especially if it rests on a lighter deck section or hull section away from the bulkheads.
A padded pair of upright bars bolted to the roof-rack help by stabilising the kayak in side winds, though not necessarily from damage if it sits on a point away from the bulkheads. This may be lessened by resting the kayak on its side.
A better solution is to sit the kayak in V or J shape cradles. These cradles stop the kayak moving in side winds, and maximise the contact pressure point areas, especially if the cradles line up with the bulkheads. For cars with roof bars close together, bow and stern ties are advisable. If the bow and stern are tied down through the toggle ropes, check the condition of the toggle ropes after every use as this does greatly increase the rope wear.
Cradles are also better for keeping two or more boats apart, and prevent rubbing and chafing, which may be severe if the boats are covered in sand.
The directions / suggestions above are only a start to keep your kayak in good order and to keep you safe when paddling. Please make sure to seek out your own information on the use, care and maintenance of your sea kayak -
Please feel free to contact us at Mirage to discuss any questions that you may have. We strongly recommend that you take regular tuition with a qualified sea kayaking instructor. Improve your skills and keep safe when you are out on the water.
Mirage Sea Kayaks highly recommends that prior to kayaking, you read the guidelines on the Paddle Safe Paddle Smart website (www.paddlesmart.org) and undertake kayaking skills lessons from any reputable kayaking instructor.