Before buying a kayak, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. One of them is how you’re going to store it. The last thing you want is to have a huge kayak with nowhere to put it. Or worse, damage your kayak due to poor storage. There are many ways to store a kayak. But not all of them are right.
This is something that many kayakers don’t consider. They end up making mistakes and their yaks don’t last.
Not you, though. Because you have stumbled on the ultimate guide to storing your kayak.
Where to Store Your Kayak
If you are lucky enough to have extra storage space, it is best to have your kayak indoors. It will be better protected from the elements and thieves. A garage, extra room or basement would be perfect.
For some people, extra space indoors is a luxury they cannot afford. But not to worry. There is nothing wrong with storing your kayak outside. As long as you do it properly (more on that below).
How to Store Your Kayak
Whether you decide to keep your boat inside or outside, you have to do it the right way. Contrary to what you may have heard, kayaks are delicate. A small mistake could mean a damaged and, consequently useless, vessel.
1. Indoor Storage
The good thing about indoor kayak storage is that you have several options—thanks to the walls. You can pick a small empty spot and make it your kayak space. Depending on how much room you have to spare, one or all of the following ideas will work.
Lift your kayak and place it against a wall, with the bow at the top and the stern at the bottom. Be sure to cushion it since it will be bearing the whole burden. Place something padded between the stern and the floor. The material should be anti-slip.
Start with the kayak right side up, close to a wall. Next, lift one side and lean it against the wall. The hull should be facing the wall and the cockpit towards you. One side will be leaning against the wall at an angle.
Come back from time to time and change sides.
c. Hang the Kayak
Maybe you don’t have space on the floor but there is a bare wall. You can make use of that with braces. Some kayakers like to build their own braces from scratch while others prefer buying.
As you can imagine, a suspended kayak poses a risk to you and anything stored under it. So secure it well. And don’t hang it too high.
Kayak braces are amazing because they save on space. They also ensure that pressure is evenly distributed across all parts of the boat.
Note: Even though you keep your kayak inside, you will still need to cover it to keep away dust.
2. Outdoor Storage
If you are planning to store your kayak outside, you should build some kind of platform for it. Placing it directly on the ground is not a good idea. Alternatively, buy or make a rack—especially if you have multiple kayaks.
The biggest challenge will be the elements. Your kayak can be easily damaged by the sun, snow and rain. To prevent this from happening, use a cover and then a tarp. You may have already bought a kayak-specific cover when you got your boat.
The tarp offers ultimate protection from the elements. However, it should not touch the kayak at any point. Make something similar to a tent with it and then put the kayak under it.
Knowing where and how to store the yak is one thing, preparing it for storage is another. You don’t just come out of the water and put it away.
First, you need to clean it. Take out the removable and fabric parts like seats. Wash these separately and keep them in a bag.
Use water and a mild detergent to gently scrub the boat clean. If you had an amazing kayaking season, then thorough cleaning is required—no doubt.
Once you are done, drain the water and let the vessel dry. You can use a towel to wipe it and speed up the drying process.
Secure your kayak: regardless of how or where you store the kayak, see to it that it is properly secured. A Kayak is heavy and the story wouldn’t end well if it fell and hit someone or something valuable. This applies to all the methods discussed above.
There is more to worry about: other than getting ruined by the elements, your kayak can get stolen. Don’t leave the boat exposed. Also, consider locking cables.
Storage facilities are an option too: someone may decide not to buy a kayak because they do not have storage space outside or inside their house. But you don’t have to keep the yak at your place. Storage facilities are safe. You could also ask a friend to keep it for you.
Never hang a kayak by the grab handles: they are called grab or carry handles for a reason. Use them to transport your yak to the water and not for any other purpose. Hanging a boat from the handles will weaken them and they may break, eventually.
Beware of pests and rodents: as already discussed, keep everything covered and don’t place your kayak directly on the ground. Otherwise, tiny creatures will make their home in the boat.
Temperature issues: extreme temperature changes can cause problems such as moisture and mold. So this is something you need to look out for.
Check the kayak occasionally: when your boat is in a storage facility or the attic, you may forget about it until it is time to start kayaking again.
The main thing to remember when storing a kayak is to keep is secure and at a position that won’t deform it. The methods discussed above will help you accomplish that. When storing indoors, a vertical or horizontal position prevents deformation of any kind. If you don’t have floor space, use braces to hang it.
For outdoor storage, the elements and thieves are your biggest problems. Cover the kayak then use a tarp. Remember to clean and dry your vessel before storage.
Check the kayak from time to time so you don’t get a horrible surprise.