Tips for Storing Your Kayak.

Tips for Storing Your Kayak.


If you live on the east coast, and you’re driving down the highway anytime in the summer months, you see an almost unlimited number of vehicles with kayaks on their roofs. This is probably for a couple of reasons. First, the occupant of the vehicle may be going someplace where they intend to use the boat, or they just may think it looks cool to drive around the kayak strapped to their roof rack. Either way, there comes a point in time when you need to take that kayak off the roof of the vehicle and store it someplace. In order to avoid theft or damage to the kayak, someone with an expensive boat will probably take it off their roof after every use, and then put it into storage until the next use.


No matter what your motivation is for having a kayak, when the weather gets cold and there’s ice on the water, you’re going to want to put your boat someplace safe and secure. When it comes to storing kayaks, paddle boards, SUPs, or canoes, there are only two storage options, indoors or outdoors. Storing your kayak outdoors is the least desirable option because the boat is still exposed to the elements. At this point you might say that it’s a boat after all, and it’s supposed to be out in the weather in the water, and this of course is true. However, they were never designed to be out in the water 24/7 365. Therefore, storing them outside requires special precautions. Now we all understand that if you live in an apartment, condo, or some other habitat, with minimal or zero storage space, you may very well need to keep your boat out of doors. However, if you can find a location like below the eaves or overhang of a roof, under a deck, or in a portable carport, you’re way ahead of the game. Regardless of the location you choose, you need to be aware of the damage that UV rays can do to a plastic boat. Therefore a location out of the sun is desirable.


You may also want to consider putting a tarp or covering over your boat. The key thing to consider here is to not allow the tarp to touch the boat. Any point that the tarp touches the boat can accumulate moisture which, when the conditions are right, will allow the growth of mold and fungus, and this can stain the hull. The other thing you want to consider is you do not want water to collect in the boat. Therefore, you need to store it upside down, and if possible have some type of covering that will keep direct rain and snow off the boat.


Finally, you want to keep critters from getting into your boat and destroying the seat or fittings. A boat can make a nice comfortable over wintering home for a raccoon, squirrel, or opossum. The way to deter them is to put 20 or 30 clothes dryer cling free sheets into the boat. The odor will keep the rodents away. The only other thing you want to pay attention to, just like a tarp touching your boat can accumulate moisture, you do not want your boat placed directly on the ground. No matter what circumstances, keep the boat elevated so that it does not have direct contact with the ground or pavement.


Now we get to storing our boats indoors which, of course, is the most desirable location. Some of the points we’re going to make for indoor storage will also apply to outdoor storage, so listen up. At the end of the day the things that can damage your boat while it’s in storage are extreme heat, which can cause defamation of the hull, remember it’s only plastic, extreme cold, particularly if you have a fiberglass boat, moisture, and sunlight. All of these make indoor storage a much more attractive option if available.


There are two good ways to store a kayak indoors. First is suspended. This means hanging your boat from the ceiling or rafters. There are numerous devices on the market that will allow you to do this. Basically they consist of a sling and some type of pulley mechanism, so that you can actually sling the boat, and pull it up tight to the ceiling. These are okay, but you need to make sure the boat is properly supported, the weight evenly distributed, and once again, rodents can get into your boat and destroy the interior. Make sure you put clothes dryer cling free sheets inside the boat before you hang it. In addition, remove your seat and put it in a safe place other than the boat. The other way to store your boat is on a rack. Now you can make racks out of 2”x 4”’s and such, but they tend to be clunky, clumsy, and they will certainly get in your way when your boat is not on them. There are numerous wall hook arrangements that are extremely attractive and do a very effective job of supporting your kayak, paddle board, or SUP made by several manufacturers such as Malone, Rad Sportz, Suspenz, Extreme Max and Tech Team We happen to like Tech Team’s model 713 because of its rigid welded steel construction, superior powder coat finish, soft polyurethane padding that protects the boat, and it can support up to 75 pounds per hook. More than enough for the average kayak.


There are also overhead racks that do an excellent job. These can also be used for kayaks, paddle boards, and surfboards. Typically these racks are anchored to a ceiling or rafters, and can support up to two boats on padded arms. These are also made by a variety manufacturers such as as Malone, Rad Sportz, Suspenz, Extreme Max and Tech Team


Some of the general points you may want to consider when you’ve made your final decision on how you’re going to store your boat for the winter are that; number one, keep your boat clean. Rinse it off with fresh water and use a mild automotive type soap to clean it off and rinse again. You also want to distribute weight evenly because if you don’t, and the weather gets warm, it’s very easy for the kayak hull to become slightly distorted. And if you’re going to hang it from straps or any other arrangement, you do not want the straps too tight for exactly the same reason. At the end of the day you want your boat to be protected and in pristine condition when you go to take it out the following spring.