For some kayak anglers the season never ends, especially in the southern hemisphere. For many of us that have the winter months looming on the horizon, the kayak fishing season will end soon. Before that time, we we need to decide how to store a kayak so that it is protected from the elements and ready for the next exciting kayak fishing season.
Either way, our kayaks need some caretaking so that our investment lasts for many seasons. There is nothing worse than finding a huge crack or damage that prevents you from being on the water with fishing at the beginning of a new season. So I want to help you with some simple storage tips about storing your fishing kayak properly to prevent damage.
There are a multitude of ways to store your kayak. Your resources will determine the best way to store it. Leaving it out in the direct sunlight or outside during the winter can minimize the lifespan of your kayak. For some who use their kayak year round, it is a good idea to keep it in a shaded area or use a zip-up kayak cover that is custom made to fit your kayak.
STORING KAYAK IN THE GARAGE
There are more than a few ways to store a kayak in the garage. We reached out to some avid kayak anglers and asked them to share their favorite storage methods for kayaks. There are some kayak storage holders you can purchase that are affordable options, but many folks have figured out the best ways for their setup and created their own Do-It-Yourself methods for storing their kayaks when not in use.
A Do-it Yourself Kayak Cart is handy for storage and loading in your vehicle – Photo by Richie McMichael
THE DIY CART KAYAK HOLDER FOR A GARAGE
Some kayak anglers build a portable stand with PVC rails and wheels resting their boat on it while doing some custom work to it during the off season. There are YouTube videos that show the materials you will need and all of the dimensions to build your own DIY kayak storage cart.
We really loved the one from Ron at Kayak Fishing Addict. Watch his expert tutorial on building an easy storage and loading kayak cart for your kayak in your garage. This is a very effective way to store your larger type fishing kayak, and it’s easy to transfer to your truck or trailer when taking it to the water.
VERTICAL KAYAK STORAGE SOLUTIONS
A simple method is to store it vertically for the short term. Of course, If you store the kayak this way you will most likely need a higher ceiling. The biggest thing with this storage method is securing the kayaks so they can’t tip or fall onto someone or a vehicle. You might want to secure it in some fashion with the cockpit turned away from the wall it’s leaning on.
A couple of ratchet straps attached to something stationary like a post or anchor point is how a lot of anglers do it. Or if you have something to anchor the ceiling you can tie something to the top anchor point and then tie to the top of the kayak to keep it from tipping. If you have a post, that is the easiest to ratchet strap to. If you don’t, you can install anchor rings on studs and tie to those on a wall and ceiling.
A quick build and you can store multiple kayaks in a garage rack space. Photo by Marco Munoz
KAYAK GARAGE WALL MOUNT IDEAS
A wall-mounted rack is a great way to store one or more kayaks in your garage without taking up floor space. You will need lots of wall space though for this storage solution. You can find several wall mount storage racks like the following.
There are also numerous ideas for DIY kayak rack videos on YouTube as well. This link is an example of a simple easy kayak rack you can build yourself.
Several ratchet systems exist for hanging kayaks from the ceiling. Photo by Spencer Jones
KAYAK CEILING STORAGE
Hanging your kayak from the ceiling is a good way to keep it completely out of the way, not taking up floor or wall space in your garage. There are pulley systems and racks available for this method, and most are affordable as well. A pulley system is recommended because it’s not always easy to lift a 100 pound kayak over your head for very long. Another option is to mount wall racks high on your walls maybe above other shelving. So it’s not necessarily a ceiling storage but it’s the same principle which is getting the kayak up and out of the floor.
Here are a few easy ceiling options to start:
- RAD Sportz Kayak Hoist (120 pound rating)
- HARKEN Kayak Hoist (145 pound rating available)
- StoreYourBoard 2 Kayak Ceiling Storage Rack (150 pound max rating)
It is best to suspend the kayak with the hull up to prevent damage to it. You can create your own as well. The biggest key being a good solid anchor to ceiling joist or stud. Then a system for not only securing the kayak but also getting it up there. That’s why pulley systems are so popular.
STORING KAYAK OUTSIDE
You can store your kayak outside during the winter or summer months but it should be protected from the elements as much as possible. As mentioned earlier, a cool, shaded dry area is best. If your kayak is left outdoors it is best to cover it securely as animals may make it a temporary home causing damage.
The freezing temperatures combined with moisture would be disastrous as well. It should be kept off the ground as well. If you are using a plastic tarp to protect your kayak it is best if the tarp is suspended and not touching the kayak. Mold can build up thus causing damage to your kayak. Outdoors is a suitable way to store your kayak as long as it’s protected from the elements.
With a little lumber you can build a sturdy kayak rack for storing outside. Photo by Matt Baden
WINTERIZING YOUR KAYAK
You may want to check your bungee cords and be sure they have plenty of elasticity and are not frayed. You may also encounter small rodents that can chew into the cords while stored in the winter months. You might stick a small box of mice or rat pellets nearby to prevent this from happening.
Also, be sure to clean out your cockpit and remove the seat and clean out any debris that might have accumulated during your past season. Be sure to also inspect your hull. You will want to look it over carefully, especially the scupper hole areas and any place the frame of the seat rests on the kayak.
A warranty may cover any damage incurred and it’s best to take care of this before you store your kayak for the winter.
KAYAK THEFT PROTECTION
Also, if you store your kayak outside you may want to be sure to use a cable lock system to prevent it from being stolen from your property. Kayaks can be an easy target for vandals. You may also want to keep a photo of your serial number of the kayak in your phone for insurance purposes.
Storing your kayak properly will keep your investment safe and out of the elements which can do some great damage. Using the valuable information above will help keep your kayak in superb condition and ready for your next kayak fishing adventure!