Kayaks are one of the easiest types of boats to take out on the water, but they do pose a few challenges when it comes to storage. A hard shell kayak tends to be fairly large and bulky, and you may find that you are unsure of where you will find the space to store it at home. You will also need to make sure that the storage option that you choose provides proper protection from the weather, thieves and animals that like to use the cockpit and other compartments for nesting.
Fortunately, there are tons of options available to properly store your kayak for any length of time without taking up too much space. Check out these storage ideas along with a few additional tips for making sure that your kayak is always ready to go when you have the urge to hit the water.
Pick the Right Spot
Most kayaks are made from durable materials that can withstand exposure to sunshine and water. However, storing your kayak for longer periods of time requires you to take precautions to avoid having any part of the boat exposed to extreme conditions such as having the sunlight beam down on one area for days at a time. The ideal spot for a kayak is somewhere that does not receive too much direct sunlight or exposure to other heat sources. You also want to keep your kayak out of freezing temperatures. For this reason, the most ideal place to store a kayak is indoors, but there are ways to minimize the risk of damage to your kayak if you must put it outside.
1. Use a Wall Mounted Kayak Rack
This option is one of the most versatile ways to store your kayak. Most wall mounted racks can be placed on any vertical surface that has the ability to support the weight of your kayak. The best place to mount one is in a garage or storage facility, but they can also be attached to some types of fencing.
You can also choose how high or low you want to place the rack. A higher rack keeps your kayak away from the ground, which is important for helping to keep critters away from it. However, you may want to mount it lower if you prefer to be able to reach it easily or if you want to add storage spaces above the kayak.
Some wall mounted racks can also allow you to store two to three kayaks at once. Keep in mind, however, that you must plan for the unit to support the combined weight of the kayaks. Be sure to check the weight restrictions and follow the mounting directions carefully. For instance, you will need to mount the unit into wall studs rather than directly into the drywall.
You will also want to remember that you should never hang the kayak from its handles on one of the hooks. The weight of the kayak can cause the grips to weaken, which means that you may find yourself struggling to get it in or out of the water on your next outdoor adventure.
2. Set Up a Freestanding Kayak Rack
A freestanding rack comes in several different forms. Since some types of freestanding racks can hold up to six kayaks, you may prefer this if you have multiple types that you keep for your family or just for different purposes. A freestanding rack does require you to have enough floor space available in indoor storage spaces, but it can also be used outdoors if you have a flat surface and a cover available. If you have an extra long kayak, look for a freestanding rack that allows you to adjust the amount of space that exists between the ends so that you can achieve proper weight distribution amongst the length of the boat.
3. Hang a Kayak Ceiling Suspension System
Suspending the kayak from the ceiling is the ultimate space-saving solution for storage. However, you do need to know that most models require the kayak to be stored in a flat position as it hangs from the straps. If this is a concern for you, then you can purchase a support sling to hold the middle of the hull at the base.
If you are wondering how you’ll ever get the kayak down, then you should have no worries. You can also add a pulley system to the set up that allows you to easily get the kayak up and down without any strain.
4. Consider a Kayak Ceiling Mount
Suspension systems are a great idea, but they do take up some space below the ceiling since the kayaks will hang. A ceiling mount is another option if you prefer the kayaks to be placed a bit higher. These consist of bars that can hold one to two kayaks. They also have an open L-shaped design that makes it easy to take your kayaks down. Although garages are the most common place to put up a ceiling mount, you may also be able to use them outdoors underneath a deck.
5. Build an A-Frame Tent
This storage idea is for the serious do-it-yourselfer who prefers to put their kayak outside. You can build a simple A-frame tent out of lumber. Then, cover it with a weatherproof tarp. While this serves as a basic shelter to keep the kayak out of the elements, you will need to find a way to keep the boat off of the ground. You can either build racks into your design, or you can use a freestanding rack beneath the frame to provide the proper amount of support for your kayaks.
6. Rent Kayak Storage Space
Living in small apartment or other residence with limited space does not have to ruin your ability to own a kayak. Many marinas, kayaking clubs and other facilities offer people spaces to store their boats for a small rental fee. While this may limit when you can access your boat, it does allow you some flexibility regarding your storage options. If you go this route, then make sure that the rental space has the appropriate equipment in place to safely store your kayak or lets you bring your own rack.
7. Utilize a Storage Shed
If you have an unused shed on your property, then this is another option that can help you to keep your garage free for the rest of your outdoor gear. With a storage shed, you will still want to choose a rack or mount style that fits the space while making your kayak accessible. Storage sheds may also have thinner walls or ceilings, so be sure to carefully assess the stability fo the building before hanging any mounts.
Additional Tips for Kayak Storage
Finally, there are a few things that you need to do no matter which type of storage idea you choose. Give your kayak a proper cleaning before you put it into storage, and remember to let it dry completely before you put it away.
You may also want to add a sun-protective spray to prevent damage from UV rays. This step is essential if you plan to store your kayak outdoors, but you will also need to consider using the spray for indoor areas as well. Many garages and storage sheds have windows that also allow sunlight inside that can damage the kayak over time.
Every storage method will also work better if you keep the kayak covered. You should consider the cover to an addition layer of protection from pests, UV rays and moisture that can all limit the use that you get out of your kayak.
Once you’ve chosen the best storage option to prevent damage to your boat, you also want to minimize the risk of theft. Kayaks are a potential attractant for thieves because they are easy to load and resell later. If you must store your kayak outdoors, try to keep it out of the public’s view as much as possible. Storing it under a cover helps, and you might want to put the storage area on an area of your property that is monitored with a security camera.
Many kayakers also install a steering wheel lock along the cockpit of the sit-in style kayaks that makes it virtually impossible to use the boat unless the lock is removed. A security cable can also be looped from your kayak to a fixed support such as a nearby fence or building.
The right storage option for your kayak comes down to making decisions about the space that you have available and your need for easy access when you are ready to go boating. Always make sure to store your kayak in a way that keeps it off the ground and protects the hull by distributing the weight evenly, and you can expect your favorite method of traveling across the water to last for years to come.