Dare We Say…Time to Start Thinking About Kayak Storage?

Consider these tips and product recommendations to keep the critters out and your kayak in good shape.

Admittedly, the idea of long-term storage of a kayak seems like a strange concept to me personally. I’ve lived in Texas all my life and not to throw it in your face, but our paddling season extends well into fall and even through the “winter” season. That said we do recognize that a large percentage of our customers don’t live in the south and when winter comes, it really is time to start thinking about how to store your boats away for the season. Here are a few tips and product recommendations for those looking for affordable, space saving options and more importantly, the protection of your investment — your kayak.

Step by Step…Preparing Your Boat for Storage

  1. Start by washing your boat inside and out with a mild soapy water to remove dirt, grime and for you anglers out there…all that gooey stuff that comes from who knows what. Wipe it down and let it dry thoroughly, especially inside.
  2. Spray your kayak with 303 Aerospace Protectant but don’t over do it. A light coating is all you need.I like to put my hand in an old sock and use it to evenly apply the 303. This will keep your kayak conditioned — so to speak.
  3. Oil any metal parts…again don’t over do it!
  4. Tighten all screws, bolts, etc. to ensure a safe revival in spring in case you forget to do it then. This also gives you time to hunt down replacement hardware should any of it be missing or on it’s way to the rust bucket.
  5. Finally, if storing outside, remove any soft or fabric type materials such as the seat. If a rodent happens to make it’s way into your boat, this is the type of material they like for their nests.

Storing Your Boats
If you don’t already have a rack system setup, you should certainly consider it. Too often, customers will store their kayak flat on the ground resulting in a hull that warps. Your best bet is to store it off the floor and on its side or with the hull side up. The sides and gunnels (upper edge on the sides of your boat) are thicker and with less surface space in those areas, there is a less of a chance of warping. To properly store it on it’s hull or side, you’ll need to invest in a kayak storage device.

The following are a few of our most popular recommendations:

NRS Kayak Hanger – Simple and affordable. The NRS Kayak Hanger is the perfect solution for those with ceiling space in a garage, porch or other storage room. Can be installed in minutes and comes with loops to store you paddle. The kit comes with everything you need.

Talic Kayak Tilt Storage – My personal favorite is the Tilt Storage Rack. While not recommended for outdoor use, it is quite possibly the best looking and easiest to install wall rack system. When not in use, the arms can be moved up so they don’t get in the way.

Malone J-Dock Hybrid Kayak Storage System – Don’t be fooled, while affordable, this system can take a beating and boasts a corrosion proof construction. What makes this unique is it’s ability to hold more than just one kayak. Don’t have two kayaks? Use the top portion of the system for your paddle, snowboard or other outdoor gear.

Harken 90 lb. Kayak Lift System – Worried about how you plan to lift your kayak onto the wall or ceiling? The Harken Kayak Lift System is exactly what you need. Not only will it get it out of the way you can easily get it of the ground or your roof rack with Harken’s 4 point lift system. A 60 lb. version of the system is also available.

Cover It Up!
Regardless of where you store it, you may want to consider protecting your boat with a cover to keep critters out. We sell both full boat covers as well as cockpit covers for sit inside kayaks. Click here to view our complete line of full boat covers and cockpit covers.

Whether your store it inside or out, take care of your investment, otherwise you’ll be back at ACK.com shopping for another kayak sooner than you think! :-)

Roland @ ACK

Fitness Paddling Tips

I wanted to follow up on my previous post about fitness paddling to discuss some tips for making kayaking part of your daily routine. I feel that the biggest reason kayaking isn’t integrated into regular workouts is because the time it takes prep for a paddling outing but by streamlining the storage and launch processes, you can hopefully cut down the time it takes to get on the water.

Keep your kayak secure with kayak cable lock such as this one by Lasso Kong

Kayak or canoe storage can be the biggest hassle of paddling. After a long day of paddling I sometimes find myself dreading the take down of the boats when I get back home — I was just paddling all day, I’m ready to kick back and relax! Well, if you feel comfortable in your neighborhood, it can actually really speed things along if you leave your boat mounted on your car. We DO NOT recommend this for everyone but depending on your comfort level and the type of rack system that you have, leaving your boat on your car overnight for periods of time is something some people choose to do. If you do choose to do this, you should take great care. We offer a number of locks and tie downs that could come in handy which you can find here. If this is not an option for you, consider a quick load/unload hoist or garage rack system.

Make it easy to load and unload with a hoist system such as this Harken 60 lbs Kayak Lift System

Once you’ve decided how to store your kayak or canoe, you should familiarize yourself with loading it on and off your car. After a couple of outings, you’ll do this naturally but it doesn’t hurt to practice. Mastering a quick loading technique can really speed up the time it takes before and after a paddling workout. Keep an eye out for our in-store seminar “Loading and Unloading a Kayak” for tips from our expert staff on how to do this quickly and properly. The seminars take place in Houston, Austin and San Marcos.

Finally, finding the perfect launch point for your paddling workouts is a must. Our Kayak Launch Points App should help you find what you are looking for. Ideally, you will be able to find a point that doesn’t require a long drive time but also allows you to back right up to the water so that you don’t have to lug your kayak very far before paddling. Boat ramps and designated kayak/canoe launch points are a great place for quick unloads.

These are just a few tips I could think of when it comes to fitness paddling, but if you have any pointers yourself, we would love to hear them! Just comment below. – Joseph @ACK