Kayaks are fun, they are made out of 4 main processes which are Composite, Rotomolding, Blow-molding and thermoforming. Whichever process it’s made of, the main material is especially plastic and made for a favorable performance in the water. But they definitely need some good care while storing it or it will warp or take severe damage. I personally store my ones vertically and here in this article we will discuss how to store a kayak vertically and many other storing ways.
Thinking about storing your kayaks, 4 factors you have to determine first that where and how! I mean, where you want to store your kayak and how you want to do it, is it a short storage or long-term storage
Many people learn about storing kayak in a hard way, it costs them a lot of money. But we don’t want that to happen with you folks, realizing the facts in the first term should save you from a loss of money, time and stress. So let’s get started.
Where you want to store it:
Storing your kayak inside your house, garage or any kind of shelter is the best option to store it. If there’s not enough space inside your house, then outside is the only option you got but if you store it properly protecting it from direct UV rays, heat or other vicious animals then it will be fine. But monitoring it timely is must have things to do.
How you want to store it:
Learn how to position your boat and what you can use to support it. Also, get tips on keeping your boat clean, avoiding hull damage and preventing theft.
Short term storage:
if it’s a short time storage then keeping it horizontally or vertically is the easiest way to store it!
Long term storage:
for long-term storage, you can store your kayak in kayak rack or in a suspended position. You can also keep it vertically by strapping it with a supporting pipe.
Before storing precautions
Before storing your kayak, there are few precautions. These works are super easy but so effective at storing it for a long time. We all should maintain this precautions for a good longevity of kayak.
Keeping it clean and dry
After using it, there’s sand, mud, algae, salt and other grit and debris that can be found inside your kayak. It’s really good to wash it and remove all the dirt out of your kayak after every single use. Make this habit to clean your kayak properly every time after use, for a short term you can simply use your garden hose to clean it.
For a long-term storage, you must have to wash it with a mild all-purpose cleaner such as soap and a sponge to wipe down your kayak. Cover every hatch and all the other nooks and crannies. After washing it with water and soap, dry it properly and wipe it with a dry towel inside the hatches and nooks properly. If there’s water remaining inside especially in the hatches and watertight area, then the fungus and mold can take place which can ultimately deteriorate the plastic layer over time.
Cover your kayak
After cleaning it, close all the watertight component hatches inside and out. Then cover your kayak with a kayak cover. It will resist small animals such as mice, wasps, geckos away from your kayaks, they can make a hole or damage badly to your kayak.
The kayak cover also protects your kayak from UV rays, outside elements, and dirt. Using a cover is a must for outdoor storage.
Control the temperature
Don’t store your kayak to somewhere it’s extremely cold or hot! The room temperature should not exist 37-degree Celsius or below freezing point, either way, it will damage it a lot. If you store your kayak outside, don’t keep it in direct sunlight. It’s the worst decision to store a kayak, many people learned it in a hard way but we don’t want you do learn it that way. The heat will warp the plastic and fade the surface. If you decide to store it in your garage, make sure to keep it in a darker area.
Remove all the soft materials ( for outside storing )
Remove the soft materials or fabric such as seat from the kayak if you are planning to store it outside, then put it into your closet or somewhere safe from moisture and cold.
Choose a place
Choose the right place for your kayak to store. It can be a garage, shed or workshops. Depends totally on your indoor space option. The place must be at a optimum temperature for the kayak, moisture free. Consistent exposure to moisture from rain and snow can damage the hull materials, the plastic will degrade for sure over time.
If there’s not enough space inside, store it on outside with a little more care.
How to store your kayak ( indoor )
If your kayak fits inside, then vertically is the best option to store it. Build a rack first as a supporting material. For building a rack –
- You can purchase 10 feet (3 m) of 1-inch PVC pipe and 4 PVC joints and 3 1-inch PVC mounting clamps to create a 1 ft (.3 m) by 4 ft (1.2 m) rectangular frame. This will secure your kayak vertically against a wall.
- Assemble all the joints, using the materials make a rectangular shaped frame
- Place the frame 5 feet above from the ground, Screw the clamps into the studs of the wall in a straight line. This frame will support your kayak well, actually, the frame size and installation height from the ground depending on your kayak size.
- Place the bow through the rectangle from the bottom of the rack. Remember to push up on the stern towards the wall so that the bow goes through the rectangular frame and the stern touches the ground. The cockpit must face out.
- Check it once in every week, see if it slipped or moved from it’s position or not! Now you learnt how to store a kayak vertically
Build a rack
Buying a rack for kayak can be expensive sometimes, there are kayak racks in all ranges. But best option is You can build a rack by your own simply and put the kayak on it. Now the key fact of storing a kayak in a rack is, don’t put all the pressure in one spot of a kayak. If you do so, it will warp after a period of time.
The best way is –
- Made a kayak rack, must be strong enough to hold several kayaks
- Measure the distance between the center of your scrapper holes. It can be 9-13 inches depends on your kayak.
- Take 2 PVC pipe and mount it on the rack and maintain that distance between two pipes.
- Keeping it that way, you are actually supporting the whole kayak on its strongest point.
- This takes enough space, so if you have enough space inside, you can follow this way of storage to store it on a kayak rack. There are also some kayak racks that you can find on the store. You also can afford them to store your kayak.
You can also buy a kayak rack for storage, there are many kayak racks available in the market in the different price range.
How to store your kayak ( outdoor )
Select a moisture free, clean outdoor space for storing your kayak outdoor. Make sure the surface is plain so that it will keep the balance. Then you can store your kayak by these ways are given below.
There’s no issue of spaces outside, so you can put it vertically with any wall or something maintaining an angle with the wall. This is the way how to store a kayak vertically in outdoor. Must remember to store it so that its stern is touching the ground and its bow is up towards the ceiling. Simply it means to keep the back of the kayak in the ground, not the nose. Make it ’s its cockpit facing out.
- To protecting it and keep it in on the place, put some padding underneath it. You could place a few towels or cushions inside a small crate and place the end of the kayak inside.
- To make it more steady, helping it standing in one place you can make a bracket with pipes attached to the outer wall which can hold the kayak.
Tilt the kayak so that it’s horizontal and rest it against a wall with its cockpit facing out. It must be resting on its side, not flat. Maintain an angle with the wall.
The side of a kayak is one of the strongest parts, so it will not warp easily. But if you keep it that way the whole season, depending on what your kayak is made of (for example, plastic dents easily), it could begin to dent. So don’t forget to flip it into its other side at least once in a month.
N.B: when you decide to store your kayak outside don’t forget to use a cover which will protect it from UV rays, outside elements, dirt and other critters. Putting a cover is good even in inside storage but it’s kind of mandatory for a outdoor kayak storage.
Don’t do this with your kayak when storing it
- Never store it upside down, it will put all the pressure to a particular place of the kayak and ultimately it will damage the hull and results warping over time.
- Never hang your kayak by its grab loops. The weight of the kayak will make the hull sag down, causing it to warp.
- Never store it near any heat source, it will surely warp faster in heat, try to store it in an optimum temperature as we discussed before.
Kayaks are the carpet of joy in the open nature, allows you to spend a quality time. But without proper care anything won’t go the distance, if you don’t know how to store it properly then any number of warps and deformations can occur.
If that happens it will never be the same like it was before, trying to repair it will costs more damage possibly. So just a little care and knowledge can save your expensive kayak from warping and deformation. So why not storing it in the right way, with a perfect storage you can sail with your kayak every passing year. Happy sailing, folks!