RUST Kayak Guide

What are RUST Kayaks, and what are they used for?

The RUST Kayak, introduced in September 2020 as part of the Boat Vendor Update, was and remains the first non-motorized vehicle aside from horses in the game. It utilizes coordinated paddling in order to achieve forward thrust.

Kayaks, RHIBs, Solo, and Duo Submarines can be purchased by players for Scrap at both Small and Large Fishing Village monuments. Of the four vessels, Kayaks come with some assembly required, but costs the most to learn outright, and by far is the most efficient water vessel. So much assembly that instead of getting one immediately, you learn the blueprint instead. Don’t forget to learn and craft a Paddle while you’re at it, or you’ll be up a proverbial creek.

How to Acquire a Kayak

The Boat Vendor's Shop at the Large Fishing Village in RUST

The Kayak Blueprint can be purchased for 50 Scrap at the Boat Vendor inside the Small or Large Fishing Village monument. In lieu of requiring Low Grade Fuel, players will instead also need to buy, learn, and craft a Paddle from the same vendor or find one while scavenging the road and monuments. Players may also directly learn the Kayak and Paddle via the tier 1 tech tree at a combined cost of 115 Scrap from the default vanilla blueprint scenario.

The Kayak can hold two players, with neither seat taking precedence over the other with regard to function. Players in either seat can wield weapons, eat, or do any other hotbar-related activity. They may also equip and use the Paddle to gain momentum.

Like other floating vehicles in RUST, a player can push the boat when it is beached, floating, or stuck. Be warned, when pushing it, you will quickly exhaust a considerable amount of calories. Bring extra food if you plan on pushing it for whatever reason. It might be just as simple to pick up the Kayak instead of pushing it using a Hammer.

Alternatively, you can acquire one by “borrowing” from any water-front property that might have neglected to put it behind a door. The Kayak has no locking feature but is quite a rare sight being used in RUST due to the ready availability of Rowboats as an alternative.

Anatomy of a Kayak

Like any other vehicle type, there are specific names for the individual pieces that make up a whole vehicle. While some of these aren’t absolutely pertinent to the game or operation of the Kayak, they might be referenced at some point in this guide.

  • Bow – the front-most portion
  • Back Seat – seat towards the back
  • Front Seat – seat towards the front
  • Port – left side
  • Starboard – right side
  • Stern – the back-most portion

Kayak Screenshots

Kayak Fuel System

Okay, so maybe the Kayak doesn’t use traditional fuel. Instead, it uses player-initiated, repetitive paddle strokes to achieve movement. So why mention Fuel at all? Well, unlike pushing any vehicle, no additional calories are burned by a player using a Paddle to move about. They are 100% free to move from place to place without consuming fuel or other resources.

Kayak Controls

The Kayak is its own sort of animal with regard to movement. While placement is pretty straightforward and mounting is the same as any other vehicle, there is no motor interface. Instead, observe the following controls.

Skipper Controls:

  • In either seat, mount the Kayak
  • Place a Paddle on your hotbar and select it to equip
  • Hold A to bear directionally left while rowing on your right side
  • Hold D to bear directionally right while rowing on your left side
  • Alternate between A and D every one to two paddles in order to achieve forward, relatively straight momentum
  • Holding either A or D exclusively will cause you to paddle in a perfect circle but arrive nowhere in particular except back where you started

All Seats

  • Hold Left Alt + Mouse to look around
  • SPACEBAR to leave the vehicle
  • X to swap seats

Kayak Repair, Decay & Durability


The RUST Kayak can be repaired 30 seconds after it last took damage. This requires using a Hammer and having Clothc, Wood, and Metal Fragments in your inventory. Each repair swing will repair up to 54 damage. Any passenger can repair it while moving.

When a Kayak is completely destroyed, you have to craft and place another one. Once it reaches 0 health, it will sink through the world and disappear.

Decay Rates

The Kayak starts out with 200 health and will slowly decay over 180 minutes while outside, with a 45 delay from when they are purchased or spawned before this 180-minute window begins.

If left in deep water, full decay will occur after 120 minutes. If sheltered (roof overhead), it will last indefinitely or until the base is raided and the roof is long since destroyed. It’s much easier to just pick up a Kayak than attempting to house it.

Durability Damage Chart

The RUST Kayak has 200 Hit Points; all calculations were based on this number. While fire-based ballistics are included, their damage is impact-based only, as this vehicle is immune to fire damage over time. All calculations used an LR-300 Assault Rifle, MP5A4, and Pump Shotgun for the assorted ammo types at point-blank range, where applicable.

Ammunition / ToolDamage Done PerTotal Req. to Destroy
5.56 Rifle Ammo450
Incendiary 5.56 Rifle Ammo6.432
Explosive 5.56 Rifle Ammo9.0523
Pistol Ammo3.755
Incendiary Pistol Ammo634
12 Gauge Buckshot20.710
12 Gauge Slug7.223
Handmade Shell16.213
HV Rocket200+1
40MM HE Grenade62.54
Satchel Charge200+1
Timed Explosive Charge200+1

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if the Cargo Ship hits my Kayak?

While the Cargo Ship will not directly destroy your Kayak, it can get caught in its immediate wake and/or gravity, and players onboard can be damaged and even immediately killed as a result.  Approach cautiously.

Can a Kayak traverse the death drop in caves safely?

We tested this. If you could somehow place the Kayak in the water and then push it from the shore into a cave, down to the single bucket drop, mount it, and have someone push it from behind. You can 100% drop down the bucket at a very slow rate of speed and reach the bottom without taking damage.

Admin Commands & Convars

ConvarDefault ValueDescription
spawn kayakAdmin command to spawn a Kayak

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the RUST Kayak serves as a unique alternative to motorized vehicles in the game, relying on Paddle power over using a fuel source. It’s incredibly affordable and even expendable in most cases. It offers efficient water transportation for up to two players, especially useful in the early wipe. Be sure to use this resource-friendly boat to explore the waterways and sneak up on your enemies.

Be sure to check out our Discord for all of our most recent updates. Be good to each other, always.

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About No Limit Llama

An aspiring woodworker and web designer. Father, husband, and Rust veteran. Llama has written op-eds and official game documents for over two decades. The earliest writings were on Asheron’s Call, followed by World of Warcraft and eventually Rust. The vast majority of his indoor time is spent running Rust servers or helping friends with their Rust-related projects. He enjoys working around the house, continuing his education when time permits, and creating new processes to simplify activities of daily living for his friends and family. He has an incredible wife, a dog, three children, and one granddaughter.

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