Kayaking is one of my favorite water activities. There is nothing better than getting out on the water in a kayak piloted by you and only you.
I have been an avid kayaker for a few years now and dreamed of one day buying a kayak of my own and not just borrowing or renting.
My biggest roadblock was storing the kayak.
Like most of us, I do not have a lot of space to store my own kayak. This has prevented me from buying one of my very own for a long time. Tired of trying to borrow or rent, I was determined to buy and store my own kayak!
If any of you are in a similar predicament, here are all the tips and tricks I have learned on my journey to owning and storing my very own kayak:
1. Home Garage or Shed:
Ideally, you would store your kayak in a garage or shed.
This helps to keep the UV rays off of your kayak as well as keeping it dry and save from the outdoor elements.
A garage or shed is the ideal way to store a kayak indoors without it taking up valuable living space.
How to Store Your Kayak in a Garage:
When you are storing your kayak, whether it is in a garage or elsewhere, you do not want to store it directly on the ground.
Long periods of time on the ground can eventually warp or deform the hull of your boat. Not to mention you risk exposing it to dirt or excess moisture.
The two best ways to keep your kayak safe from warping and other dangers is to suspend it or store it on a rack.
You can purchase suspension equipment or a rack that is intended for kayak use, or you could build one yourself!
2. House or Apartment Storage
Another place that you could store your kayak is inside your home or apartment.
This is not as ideal as a garage or shed, but not everyone has access to those.
Don’t worry. When I had an apartment, I thought a kayak was an impossible dream, but I found a way to make it work!
I also had neighbors who stored their own kayaks in their apartments and on their balconies.
It can be done!
Here are three easy ways that you can store your kayak in an apartment or at home:
– Hang it from the Ceiling:
One of the easiest ways to save space and store your kayak properly in your apartment is to store hang it from the ceiling.
This not only saves space, but it ensures the kayak does not become warped or damaged. It can also double as a decorative piece in your house when it is not in use.
– Hang it on a Wall or Rack:
Another option would be to hang it on the wall or on a rack.
This does take up more space, though.
– Outdoor Storage (For a Home):
Another potential storage space is the great outdoors. This option comes with some challenges.
You want to make sure that when you store your kayak outdoors, you protect it from the potential weather effects.
The shade is your best friend. UV Rays and extreme heat can be harmful to your kayak. The sun’s rays can cause fading for your hull.
If you cannot find a place that is shaded, and even if you can, you should also invest in a weather-resistant tarp. This will help to protect your kayak from the sun and heat.
When using a weather-resistant tarp, it is best to hang or suspend the tarp above the kayak. If you wrap the kayak in the tarp, you could accidentally create a moist environment. This will create and assist mold and fungal growth, which can be damaging.
You also want to be wary of potential moisture.
This is true even when storing indoors but is more of an issue when storing your kayak outside.
Make sure that your boat cannot become filled with water, either from rain or snow. You also want to make sure that if you do hand a tarp above your kayak, the tarp will not fill with water and press down on the hull of your kayak. This can cause warping or the deforming of the hull.
Can I Store My Kayak Outside in Winter?
Whether or not you should store your kayak outdoors in the wintertime will largely depend on where you live.
If you experience extreme winters, you should not store your kayak outdoors.
It can be challenging, but you should bring your kayak inside and attempt to find storage in the winter months.
When putting your kayak away for the winter, you should also make sure you clean it, dry it, and spray it with a kayak protectant.
This will help preserve the life of your kayak and will make sure you are ready when spring and summer roll around.
Should I Store my Kayak Vertically or Horizontally?
Whether or not you store your kayak vertically or horizontally depends on how you are choosing to store your kayak.
3. Vertical Storage:
If you choose to store your kayak vertically, you will want to make sure you rest the stern side on the ground and put the bow up on a wall.
If you can, it would be best to store it on a foam stabilizer to prevent any damage to the stern.
It is not advised that you store your kayak vertically on the ground for long periods of time.
4. Horizontal Storage:
Another potential option is to store your kayak horizontally. You will want the cockpit to face out and the bottom of the hull to face the wall.
If you are storing your kayak horizontally for a long period of time, then you will want to consider alternating which side it is stored on to prevent dents from forming over time.
Is It Ok to Store a Kayak on Its End?
Storing your kayak on its end can cause similar damage as storing it on its hull.
If you have to store your kayak in its end for short periods of time, make sure you place the stern on the ground and the bow against a wall.
After a time, this can cause deformities or cracks due to uneven weight distribution.
5. How to Store Your Kayak Paddles:
Storing your kayak paddles are similar to how to store your kayaks. It is ideal for you to store them indoors, especially in a harsh winter.
If you are storing your kayak on a rack, you should construct a similar rack for your paddles.
The most important thing to note when storing your kayak paddles is to keep your paddles free of moisture.
How Do you Store a Sit-on-Top Kayak?
Sit-on kayaks store very similar to sit-in kayaks. They are flatter and might be easier to hang than the sit-in kayaks.
One thing to look out for if you are storing a sit-on kayak is that they can be heavier than a sit-in kayak. Because they are built differently, there is a bit of a weight difference.
This weight difference shouldn’t matter when it comes to storing your kayak on a designated rack, but it can be tricky when you are storing your kayak with suspension.
Make sure that you are suspending your sit-on kayak that your suspension system is securely set into the ceiling or properly fixed to the wall.
Wall anchors can be very helpful if you do not have available studs.
Be sure to look into the proper equipment to make sure your kayak doesn’t come crashing down.
Can You Store Kayaks on Top of Each Other?
Stacking kayaks is not usually recommended.
To stack your kayaks, you would have to store them on their hull, and this is very bad for them – only worse with the weight of another kayak placed on top of them.
Unless your kayaks have a flat hull, which is uncommon, I recommend storing them separately in one of the other mentioned methods.
A rack would be a good option since you could purchase racks that have more than one space to store.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Another thing to consider when storing your kayak and paddles is to make sure your kayak is dry inside.
Make sure you open up a hatch or drain plug if you have them and make sure they are completely dry.
If you need to empty some water, you can use a bilge sponge. You can also suck out water, mud, or sand using a shop vac.
You also want to make sure you clean and protect your kayak. In a perfect world, you would wipe your kayak down after every use, but this is not always the case. At the very least, make sure you properly clean your kayak before a long period of storage.
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Shelby Sullivan is our specialist when it comes to pontoon boats and recreational watercraft. She is often found sailing the freshwater lakes of Michigan. She is also a light-traveler who enjoys camping and traveling the world. Read more about Shelby here.