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How to properly Store a Kayak? (Guide)

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Kayaks are large and bulky, which does not always make storage easy. The choice of a suitable storage location, however, is very important to keep the kayak in good condition. Properly stored, the kayak remains undamaged and is ready for the next use at any time.

This article is essentially about the two big questions: Where and how to store a kayak?

Indoor storage is the best option. Belt systems and wall mounts allow space-saving storage of kayaks. Alternatively, kayaks can be stored outdoors. A suitable storage location offers protection against UV radiation, moisture, thieves and extreme temperatures.

But let’s take it slow. This should be taken into account when choosing a storage location.

Where should a kayak be stored?

For inflatable kayaks and folding boats the storage is quite uncomplicated. The boats can simply be rolled up or folded up and stowed in a dry and cool place that is also protected from sunlight. With classic fixed kayaks this is a bit more complicated due to the size and weight.

The choice of a suitable location is important. A place with dry air that is hardly exposed to direct sunlight and where it is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter is ideal.

  • Sunlight: Ultraviolet radiation, which is part of the sun’s rays, damages almost all kayaks. Polyethylene kayaks are particularly hard hit.
  • Moisture: If the kayak is permanently exposed to moisture from rain, snow or high humidity, this will destroy the hull of the kayak over time.
  • Cold: Cold temperatures are a smaller problem than heat. However, constant freezing and thawing can cause great damage. Experience has shown that this is especially true for fibreglass kayaks.
  • Heat: High temperatures can deform the kayak. The boat should therefore not be exposed to direct sunlight in the summer, nor stored near heat sources or in rooms that become very hot in the summer heat.

Storage locations for kayaks

The storage locations for kayaks can be divided into two categories: Indoor and outdoor.

  • Indoor: If you have enough space, you should store your kayak indoors. A garage, a garden house or the living areas offer the kayaks the best possible protection against moisture and extreme temperatures. Kayak wall and ceiling mounts save space during storage.
  • Outdoor: Most people, however, do not have the space or the possibilities to store such a large boat indoors. Those who live in an apartment are dependent on outdoor storage. Often the boats are stored under the eaves directly at the house, find protection from the weather in a carport or are simply stored under a tarpaulin.

When choosing an outdoor spot, the following points must be considered:

  • Shadows: Choose a spot that is as shady as possible to protect the boat from UV radiation and heat. If there is no shade, weatherproof tarpaulins will help.
  • Protection from moisture: Rain or other liquids should not accumulate in or on the boat. If you use a tarpaulin, you must also make sure that the water does not accumulate on the tarpaulin. Over time, the weight of the water could bend the kayak.
  • Correct use of a tarpaulin: Instead of wrapping the tarpaulin tightly around the kayak, the tarpaulin should be hung over the kayak. Direct contact will encourage the formation of damp areas where mould can form and fungi can settle.

How should a kayak be stored?

In addition to the choice of a suitable place, the exact way in which the kayak is stored is also important.

The boats should not be stored on the ground. Canoes are designed for use in water. If a kayak lies directly on the ground for too long, this can lead to deformations of the kayak. There is also a risk of the boat getting dirty and damaged by moisture.

Most kayakers therefore use a frame or suspension system for the long-term storage of their canoes:

  • Strap system: With a strap system the kayak can be mounted under the ceiling or on walls. This type of storage is practical because it saves space. The best wall and ceiling mounts for kayaks have wide straps that are wrapped around the whole boat. Kayaks should not only be suspended from the handles. The handles are not suitable for this purpose and could give way. Concentrating the load on a few points could also lead to deformation.
  • Frame: A frame for kayaks can either be purchased or built. The frame is simply placed on the ground. The kayak can then be placed on one level. However, make sure that not only the top and bottom but also the sides of the kayak are protected from the weather.

When storing the kayak with a belt system or on a frame, these points should also be observed:

  • Distribute the weight evenly: When wintering the kayak or simply storing it for a longer period of time, a badly balanced kayak may bend. When storing the kayak, you should therefore make sure that it does not rest on only a few points, but that the weight is evenly distributed.
  • Clean the kayak thoroughly: Before storing the kayak, a greenish cleaning is mandatory. Dirt, sand, dirt particles and salt water must be rinsed off. Then clean the boat with (mild) soap and water. Strong solvents and chemicals should be avoided in order not to damage the boat. Inflatable kayaks should also be thoroughly cleaned before storage.
  • Avoid pressure points: The kayak should not be fixed too tightly when it is suspended by straps or stored on a frame. Do not tighten the strap as much as you would do when transporting the kayak on the roof rack. Permanent strong pressure could also cause deformation.
  • Care for other equipment: The paddle that has served well during the season should be removed from the boat, as should the splash guard, bags and other equipment, and rinsed thoroughly with tap water. Then let the equipment dry and store it indoors.
  • Make the kayak theft-proof: A kayak is often a big investment. It is therefore important to protect the kayak from theft. When stored indoors, the problem is smaller. Whoever stores the boat outside should choose a place that is not visible from the street side. Make a note of the Hull Identification Number (HIN) and scratch it into the boat at another point. Connect the kayak to a fence or building with a cable lock. This makes work difficult for thieves.

Conclusion

To store a kayak you do not need a huge house. Belt systems as well as wall and ceiling mounts allow space-saving storage. The main thing is that the storage location is not exposed to direct sunlight, humidity or large temperature fluctuations.

A tarpaulin cover provides protection from sunlight and weather when the kayak is stored outside. If the boat is stored outdoors, protection against theft also plays an important role. The chosen location should therefore not be visible from the road and the kayak should be additionally secured with a cable lock.

With the instructions in this guide, your boat will survive the next storage period undamaged and is ready for use at any time.

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