Although we hate to admit it, it’s officially time to start thinking about kayak storage. With temperatures dropping and in many places, snowfall becoming more and more frequent, kayaks take a back seat to cozying up indoors and spending a little quality time next to the fireplace. With that said, we have a few storage tips and product recommendations to make your transition from fall to winter a breeze.


Step 1: Prepping Your Boat for Storage

Cleaning your boat and ensuring everything is secure and ready for Spring is an important step to take before storing your kayak for the winter. It will make spring feel that much sweeter when you finally take your kayak out for the first time and everything is ready to go! To ensure that your kayak stays safe while being stored and is ready for an easy transition once spring hits we have compiled a few tips for you to consider.

  1. Wash your boat inside and out with a mild soapy water to remove grime and slime (kayak anglers will be especially familiar with that weird slime that seems to accumulate!). Wipe it down and allow to dry thoroughly, especially the inside. We don’t want any mold growing throughout the winter!
  2. Lightly spray your kayak with 303 Aerospace Protectant. This step is similar to waxing your car in that it keeps everything looking polished and clean while protecting the paint on your yak. Trick: put your hand in an old sock or oven mitt and use it to evenly apply the 303.
  3. Lightly oil any metal pieces. Be careful not to over do it!
  4. Tighten all screws, bolts, and loose pieces to ensure everything is in one piece come spring. This also allows you to inventory what parts need replacing and updating before you take it out again.
  5. Lastly, if storing outside, remove any soft of fabric type materials (such as the seat). Rodents and other critters love this type of material for their winter homes!

Step 2: Cover It Up

Whether you plan on storing your kayak indoors or outdoors, you should consider protecting your boat from critters and dust with a cover. Check out our options of full boat covers and cockpit covers to see what suits you and your kayak the best.

Step 3: Storing Your Boat

Having a rack system set up indoors is something you should definitely consider. We have seen too many warped hulls caused by the kayak being stored on the floor all winter to not recommend a simple system! Your ideal storage solution should be to store your kayak off the floor and on its side or with the hull side up.

The sides and gunnels (upper edge on the side of the boat) are thicker and with less surface space in those areas, there is a lesser chance of warping. To properly store you’ll need to invest in a kayak storage system. Below are a few options to consider when storage hunting.

Malone HighRise Kayak Storage System

The Malone HighRise Kayak Storage System mounts to any wall and is easy to set up. On top of that, it is one of the better looking storage systems on the market (in my opinion). This rack is not recommended for outdoor use so consider your open garage space before buying.

The Malone HighRise Kayak Storage System is a high capacity wall system that was designed to confidently hold canoes and large over-sized kayaks where weight is a factor.

Harken 90lbs Kayak Lift System – 4 Point

Want to hang your kayak from the ceiling but worried about how to do it? The Harken Kayak Lift System is perfect for you. It allows you to lift your kayak off the ground with ease and suspend it so that it is out of the way. Come spring, you can trade out your kayak for spring storage- this lift system holds everything!

Railblaza Wall Sling and Starport Kayak Hanger

The Railblaza Wall Sling and Starport Kayak Hanger utilizes Railblaza’s popular Starport Mounts to let you store your kayak, SUP, or canoe,  on pretty much any flat surface. The kit has everything you need and comes with simple instructions to make storing your yak easy and smooth.

Do you have a different way of storing your kayak or storage system you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!



The post Kayaking Tips: Winter Storage Solutions appeared first on The ACK Blog.


  1. Light maintenance before storing our boats is important and can give us many advantages. Light oiling, sprays etc are good option to use. Oil coating can help dust not to fix and can be removed easily after coating.
    Nice tips.. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Leaving mine in a crawl space on a dirt floor. Was planning on wrapping the cockpit in shrink wrap. Better to lean it on its side or ok sitting flat on the floor?

    1. James,

      Placing it on its side is better than it laying flat so if you can get it to lean up against a wall of some sort (and make sure to place something soft at the point of contact with the ground – even a towel would be good), that’d be best!

    1. Sami,

      Sure thing! Just remember to cover it up to keep it out of direct sunlight (UV rays will still hit in winter and do the most damage), lift it up to detract critters and beware of theft.

      Other than that, you should be good to go!


  3. I think winter time is kind of a bummer when you have to put away all the summer toys like kayaks and other equipment and spend less time in the sun. I think your storage options will increase the life of the kayak.

  4. Thanks for the tips, especially the 303 Protectant. Here in Northeast Ohio we are still at it, with temps in the middle 40’s. Our goal is to take a picture of us on the water with three inches of snow on the trees; after that it will be ski season.

      1. Hi, Dayvee. We got our snow on November 17, and here are some pics, shot by my pal Rick Shapiro. It was 31 degrees and we were comfortable in our NRS neoprene boots. I’m the yellow boat. We’ve been out a few days since then, and we’re planning on a trifecta on New Year’s Day: ski in the morning, bike ride, kayak in the afternoon. Weather is supposed to be 31 and sunny, so it should be good. Ah, the Rust Belt.

  5. Critters can be attracted to more than simply soft seats!
    If you have a sea kayak with deck lines, be sure these are well rinsed to remove the salt. I’ve had deck lines decimated by mice, even when the kayak was inside in dry storage all winter.