Keep your investment in tip top shape with proper kayak storage technique

When you buy your first kayak, deciding how you’ll store it isn’t the first thing you think about. It isn’t until you start noticing that the colors are fading or that the hull has developed a slight bend where it was resting in your backyard that you start to realize some upgrades to your storage system might not be a bad idea. With the right gear, like kayak covers and racks, and some proper storage technique, you’ll be able to help your kayak retain it’s vibrant color and hull shape, plus keep it safe from thieves.

Protecting It From Hull Damage

The Malone J-Dock is a popular rack option.
The Malone J-Dock is a popular rack option.

If a kayak is stored so that the weight of the boat is not evenly distributed, it will deform or bend over time. While very durable, the plastic polyethylene hulls are very susceptible to this, but this can also occur with fiberglass and wood frame models as well. To avoid warping of the hull, store the kayak on its side with support at several points along its length using padded cradles or straps. The side of the kayak is the strongest part of the kayak and much less susceptible to bending compared to the hull.

Find a kayak storage rack that will fit into your garage, home or backyard, install it, and you’re all set (until you decide to buy an additional kayak and need a bigger rack)! If you want some recommendations, refer to this past article which outlines popular kayak storage options or contact our customer service team for additional advice.

Protecting It From The Elements

While kayaks are generally very durable against the elements, some things can go wrong if it’s left outside for long periods of time. For the best protection against the elements, store it inside. When this isn’t possible, there are few best practices to consider to defend against sunlight, harsh weather and other elements (like insects and critters).

Danuu's Brat kayak cover is a great option for 9-12.5 ft kayaks!
Danuu’s Brat kayak cover is a great option for 9-12.5 ft kayaks!

When storing outside, the best thing you can do is invest in a protective kayak cover. A kayak cover will prevent sunlight from degrading the hull material and dulling the colors, plus keep out critters and insects that are looking for a warm spot to sleep. It’s also important to remember that when storing outside, your kayak and kayak cover should be angled so that rain water or snow will run off the side rather than pooling on top. Keeping in mind that the cover will be exposed to the elements, you’ll want one that is both UV and water resistant.

Protecting It From Thieves

A Lasso Kong locking cable will make it hard for someone to walk off with your kayak.
A Lasso Kong locking cable will make it hard for someone to walk off with your kayak.

Kayaks are not the easiest thing for a thief to quickly snatch up, but you don’t want to leave the opportunity for a passerby to decide that the kayak in your backyard would look better in the bed of their pick-up. Again, keeping it stored inside is the ideal option as this will hide your kayak away from sight. But when you are stuck using the backyard, do your best to hide it from sight and position it so it’d be difficult for a thief to grab it quickly and run and if that’s not enough invest in a security cable and lock it to a post, fence or building.

Proper Upkeep for Long Term Kayak Storage

No paddler wants to put their kayak away for a long period of time but sometimes you’re forced too. If long term kayak storage is something you’re faced with, consider following the five steps:

  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.

So there you have it. Whether your store it inside or out, take care of your investment, otherwise you’ll be back at shopping for another kayak sooner than you think!