Kayak storage can be tricky if this is your first time trying to maintain one of these boats during the offseason. You need to find a space that is away from the natural elements, and you need to place the kayak in a specific position to avoid hull damage and other negative effects on the structure.
One of the best places to keep your kayak is in the garage. Garages tend to have enough space, are kept secure from the natural elements, and are exposed to little sunlight and moisture when kept closed. If you have the space, check out these methods of proper storage. Just remember to always use professional equipment and to obey any regulations placed on your specific make and model.
Why Does the Kayak Need to Be Stored?
There are many reasons to store a kayak during the offseason, but they all come back to a single purpose: To preserve the hull and avoid damage. Individuals who are new to the activity often make the assumption that their boat can withstand anything, but this is not the case. The hull is perhaps the most fragile part of the kayak, and too much exposure to the elements will result in weak material, damage, and distortion. The main things you need to avoid are heat, cold, moisture, and sunlight.
Heat and cold can occur if a kayak is kept outdoors or placed in a building that is not well kept. Garages have the benefit of being insulated and typically attached to a house, which helps control the internal temperature. Heat can warp the hull by disintegrating the synthetic materials. Cold, on the other hand, can make the hull brittle and more prone to damage. Fiberglass boats are perhaps the most at risk, especially if the kayak is not properly dried out.
Meanwhile, sunlight and moisture can also degrade the hull. The most common threat is if the kayak is rained on and does not have a proper chance to dry out. Being exposed to a severe amount of sunlight, even through a window, can also be a problem.
By storing a kayak in the garage, you can keep your boat protected and avoid the hazards of natural elements. You just want to keep it in a secure location where it will not be disturbed by other activities, including moving vehicles, people searching for tools, and wild garage parties.
If you are still worried about the kayak, consider using products like a sun-protective spray on a hard shell model. These reflect and protect against UV radiation and can provide much-needed moisture and defense against dirt. Cleaning with a basic freshwater rinse is also a good idea before storage, as it eliminates any buildup accumulated during regular activities. If you have any accessories, such as paddles, life vests, a bilge pump, or spray skirts, rinse these as well and store them near the kayak. Once the weather improves, you can then jump straight into the action without having to run around and find everything.
Multiple Garage Storage Methods
Many people think there is a single method to store a kayak, but this is not true. No matter the size of your garage, there are actually multiple methods available for storage depending on the size and shape of your kayak and how many you own.
Check out the following options to find one that is right for you.
Using the suspended method is ideal for individuals who have a large garage or need the extra storage space that comes with using the ceiling. It is possible to purchase a professional suspension system and install it, or you can make your own using wide, flexible nylon straps. You need to make sure there is enough room for the kayak to be stored horizontally. Straps will be needed on both ends as well as the middle to prevent the boat from sliding out of place.
To best protect your kayak, flip it upside down so the hull faces the ceiling. This protects it from damage from the ground, like somebody whacking it with their car or a broom. When attaching the straps, avoid hanging the kayak from the grab loops. Using the grab loops can bend the boat since too much pressure is being placed around the ends. Wrap the straps entirely around the boat.
On a Rack
Racks are an excellent way to store a kayak, especially if you have more than one. You can make your own rack using basic materials like wood or metal piping. However, many of these racks are also available from common sports or outdoor stores.
To store properly on this type of system, you want to get one that allows you to put the kayak on its side or with the hull facing up. If you fail to do so, you might end up damaging the hull through too much exposure to the elements or pressure. Pressure is the worst enemy of the kayak, even compared to other boats.
Leaning is a dangerous way to store a kayak, but it can be done if you do not have the money, space, or expertise to try one of the other options. Basically, you find a secluded section of the garage and lean the boat up against the wall. This should be done so the kayak is turned on its side with no pressure on the hull. If you have a garage you don’t use often, this method might work. However, it is inherently riskier, especially if the kayak falls over.
You have been warned.
Finding the ideal storage situation for your kayak does not need to be difficult. If you are unsure which method you like best, consider experimenting and measuring the available space. Sometimes suspended will work where a rack won’t fit, and vice versa. If you use the garage regularly to store vehicles, consider moving the kayak to an outdoor shed or perhaps a heated and well-maintained basement. So long as you keep it away from extreme temperatures and moisture, the hull should be just fine.