I Just Bought a New Kayak, How Do I Store It?
I Just Bought a New Kayak, How Do I Store It?
First, there’s long time storage, for instance, storing your boat over the wintertime and then then there’s short term storage where you’re going to need regular access the boat. Then there’s indoor storage. Generally speaking, there’s quite a bit to consider to store your paddle board or kayak. Before we get started on the best practices for storage, the first thing to address is what not to do. Remember, kayaks are made from plastic. In order to keep weight down they tend to have very few internal structural members. This means you must take special care to support them properly. A quick Hey Siri or Hey Alexa search will give us a list of do’s and don’ts.
- Do not leave your boat exposed to direct sunlight, not only will sunlight. leech away the color, it will also leech away some of the strength of the plastic.
- Do not lay your kayak on a hard rigid surface, such as concrete. As the temperature warms up, the part of the boat that’s against the hard surface will eventually and very gradually start to take the shape of the hard surface.
- Don’t strap your kayak down tightly. All you want is loose straps to hold it in position, so it doesn’t move around and fall. If you cinch it down too tight the straps will eventually dig into the boat and distort it.
- Don’t hang your kayak from its handles. Let’s face it, the handles are at each end and hanging from the handles will eventually cause the boat to deflect in the middle.
- Don’t hang your boat from one end and leave the lower end unsupported. This can create both sagging and stretching.
- Make sure that the cockpits and storage compartments are covered to keep out unwanted tenants like rodents, during long term storage.
Now that we got the what not to do is out of the way. Let’s get into the best practices for storage. First, find a good location. The best location will be indoors of course. But, if that’s not available, choose a location that’s under a deck or eaves or someplace where a boat can be properly protected from the sun and the elements. If you use a tarp to cover your boat, make sure that it does not make contact with the boat because the contact points will tend to gather moisture, which will result in mold and mildew, which may permanently stain your boat. Before you put your boat into long term storage make sure that all the metal parts are clean and protected with some type of petroleum or silicone to keep moisture away. Make sure all screws are tight. Check for missing parts and replace them so you don’t have to hunt around for them the next time you want to use the boat. Before you finalize the storage of your boat, you want to make sure that it’s clean and dry both inside and outside. This means scrubbing it down with a mild anti-fungal soap solution, rinsing it, drying it off with a soft towel, then allowing it to air dry. Another thing you want to pay attention to is to seal all the openings so that you do not get unwanted critters inside. Because not only can they be pesky and ornery when you want to remove them, they are also inclined to leave messes behind that you probably would not want to clean up. Not to mention tearing up your seat for bedding. Finally, you want to store your boat in the correct position. Basically, there are two positions, vertical and horizontal. If you’re going to store it in the vertical position, you want to use a quality vertical storage rack. At the moment there is only one company Tech Team https://www.techteamkayak.com/ that makes a storage rack that will hold the boat vertically, has adjustable features and web straps to secure the boat. It’s their item number 774 Vertical Storage Rack https://www.techteamkayak.com/product/vertical-kayak-storage-rack-wall-mount-00774/. It is an excellent product. Just pay close attention to the installation instructions and make sure that you have an adequate pad or cushion under the end of the boat.
If you’re going to store your boat horizontally do not, repeat, do not hang it from straps as straps will tend to cause the boat to deform slightly, particularly during extreme temperature conditions. The best solution is to use high quality storage hooks. These are made by many manufacturers such as Malone, Rad Sportz, Suspenz, Extreme Max and Tech Team. The one we like the best is also made by Tech Team. Not only is it high tech, precision welded, heavy duty, steel and quite frankly, far stronger than anything else you could buy https://www.techteamkayak.com/product/swing-away-paddle-and-kayak-storage-rack-00754/. It’s easy to set up and has absolutely great features. Once again, you need to pay close attention to the mounting instructions to make sure that the hooks are installed properly and that they are anchored to sound structural members. The instructions specify using a horizontal 2 x 6 mounted to three or four of the wall studs and then mounting the two hooks to the 2 x 6. Not only is this a strong, secure method of attachment, but you can move the hooks to set the spacing between them to match the spacing between the bulkheads in your boat so that the boat is supported at its strongest points and therefore has the least stress and will not distort. Each hook also includes five adjustable and movable EPDM low temperature rated cushions to give the boat exactly the correct amount of support at exactly the correct point.