Kayaking And Canoeing

How to Store your Kayak



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It's important to store your kayak the right way when you're not using it. Kayaks are sensitive boats.  Even though kayaks are built to be resistant to cold, repeated freeze-thaw cycles can damage their joints. Even the weight of accumulated snow can permanently warp your kayak's hull.

Overnight storage

Even if you're just storing your kayak overnight, always bring it out of the water. If there's a tide, bring it above the high water mark. The only other thing you usually need to do is to unload it and find a reasonably sheltered place to store your kayak for the night.

Kayaks are light and streamlined, so they're vulnerable to wind. It doesn't take much for the wind to pick up a kayak and slam it against the side of a rock or tree. That's why you should always tie down your kayak whenever you're camping in a windy place.

Always cover the cockpit of the kayak when you're storing it for any length of time. That way, mice, squirrels, and leaves cannot get inside.

Storing a kayak for the winter

The best way to store a kayak for longer periods of time is inside a garage or shed, well away from any direct heat source or severe cold. Wilderness Supply suggests warm storage is better to avoid plastics from becoming brittle. Moreover, if storing in cold temperature loosening screws help prevent damage during storage. If you don't have a garage or shed, any cool, dry, covered location will do. You can even store your kayak in the basement, but you'll have to keep it away from the furnace or water heater. 

Try really hard not to store your kayak outside! However, sometimes you've got no choice. If you've got absolutely nowhere else to put it, find a shady place outside where snow won't build up and which is safe from large falling branches. You'll have to protect it with a tarp, but make sure the tarp doesn't touch the boat. That small pocket of air between the tarp and the kayak is very important to keep condensation moisture from accumulating on the kayak.

Ideally, you'll be able to suspend the kayak on a pair of sawhorses, so that they divide the kayak into thirds. You can also suspend your kayak from the ceiling by ropes or wider nylon straps or slings, which should be all the way around the kayak and not threaded through the grab loops. Don't put any kind of weight on top of the kayak.

You'll probably want to store your kayak on its side. That prevents “oilcanning”, a type of surface deformation which bends the kayak hull inwards. 

If you've got a composite kayak, you can store it upside down if you have to. It's not ideal, but it works.

It's best for the kayak to store it vertically on its stem per Boater Talk, but that's tricky! If you're going to try this, install a pegboard on the wall and fit brackets to the width and depth of the kayak. Wrap some foam padding around those brackets before you use it to store your kayak. 

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