It’s the middle of summer and you’ve just purchased a kayak. You’re excited to take it out on the water, but you don’t know how to store it in your garage. This blog post will teach you how to store a kayak in your garage properly so that it is safe and easy to access.
What You'll Learn Today
- Is it OK to Leave a Kayak Outside in Winter?
- How Do You Store a Kayak When Not in Use?
- What is the Best Way to Store a Kayak in the Garage?
Is it OK to Leave a Kayak Outside in Winter?
A lot of people choose to just leave their kayaks outside all winter long but this isn’t a great idea – for a lot of reasons. Cold temperatures and moisture combine to create a recipe for disaster – and can seriously damage your kayak.
Freeze-thaw cycles can crack the molded plastic of the kayak and require you to do significant repairs in the spring.
If you must leave your kayak outside all winter long, it’s important that you make sure it’s covered. This will protect the boat from snow and rain, which is the leading cause of damage from freeze-thaw cycles.
Covering your kayak can also protect it from the other debris of fall and winter, such as falling leaves and the snow load. By keeping these elements off your boat, it will make them easier to clean and prepare for the water come spring.
When you cover the kayak, don’t wrap it too tightly with the tarp. Instead, make a sheltered area that will allow you to slide the kayak beneath it. This will make it easier for water to drain.
How Do You Store a Kayak When Not in Use?
The biggest benefit of storing a kayak in the garage versus other types of boats is that it requires very little winterization. It doesn’t need to have fluids replaced or batteries tested. Just stash it and go about the rest of your day!
Clean Your Kayak First
Before you store your kayak, however, you should take the time to thoroughly clean it.
Take the time to clean it and you’ll have less work to do come spring when you’re ready to get it out on the water.
Carefully take out any fabric components of the kayak, like your seat cushions. These can be washed separately in your washer, ideally on a gentle cycle. Then, they can be line dried to prevent mildew from forming as you keep them in storage.
Wash all surfaces with a soap-based cleaning agent mixed with water. As you’re cleaning it remember that this is not just an exterior job – interior too!
Rinse the kayak with your hose, getting into every crevice of the boat.
Finally, drain the water out and wipe the kayak down with a towel. Bring the kayak out into the sun to let it continue to dry all the way before you store it.
Where to Store Your Boat in the Garage
Take a walk around your garage to find the best spot for storing your kayak. The best location will be one with conditions that are relatively consistent in regards to humidity and temperature. Inconsistencies here can lead to moisture issues along with mildew and mold.
If the location is too warm and dry – like if it’s located near a furnace – it can cause the plastic of your kayak to crack.
When you store the kayak, you’ll want to avoid keeping it right-side up. Kayaks are not designed to rest on the hull for any long period of time and it can cause the bottom to become distorted from the excess weight.
You also should not store the kayak on its side or standing up without the right support, since the exterior can become dented.
How Do You Store a Kayak Over the Garage Door?
An easy way to store a kayak is over the garage door. For this, you’ll need to purchase or DIY a storage rack that is specifically designed for kayaking. You will spend the kayak at a tilt or ideally, upside down, letting it position its weight evenly between two evenly spaced beams.
You can also hang the kayak upside down by taking advantage of straps or boars that are anchored to the ceiling. As with the storage rack, this suspension system can be mounted over the garage door or any other location in the garage.
If you hang the garage with straps or bars, just make sure you don’t suspend the kayak from its rudder or handles but instead make sure the straps go around the entire boat for even weight distribution.
Here’s a video that can show you how to store your kayak overhead in the garage – it’s helpful if you’re a visual learner!
Lean it Against the Wall – But Wisely!
Leaning an unsupported kayak against a wall is not a good idea for several reasons. It could fall and the plastic of the boat could become dented.
An alternative is to position a set of boards on the floor near a wall. Position the kayak on the boards with the weight evenly distributed between the two. Lift the kayak by its side, leaning it toward the wall. This will help take the weight off the hull.
Then, you can simply rotate the kayak every month so the alternate side is leaning against the wall. This can prevent distortion or warping over the winter.
You can also strap the kayak to the wall. Stand the kayak upright, then palace the stern on a pillow on the floor. Use bungee cords or some straps to anchor a kayak to a wall stud.
Again, make sure you’re connecting the kayak’s body and not the handles or rudder. For this technique, it’s also important that the cockpit be facing out.
Watch for Temperature Fluctuations
The garage is a great place to store a kayak because you’re less likely to have to worry about sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures.
However, it’s important that you choose a spot in your garage in which these variables won’t still be problematic.
The ultraviolet rays of the sun can degrade the hull material of your kayak. That’s true of just about any material, including plastic and fiberglass. Keep your boat out of the sun.
Similarly, moisture can cause the hull materials to degrade over time. This is why it’s so important to thoroughly clean and dry your kayak before you store it.
Finally, temperature fluctuations can also lead to problems. Extreme heat can deform the hull materials so keep your boat away from heat sources, like furnaces or hot water heaters. Cold isn’t as detrimental as heat, but if you have an unheated garage, you’ll have to watch out for freeze and thaw cycles that can damage your boat if any moisture is still left inside of it.
What is the Best Way to Store a Kayak in the Garage?
As you can see, there are a variety of factors to consider when storing your kayak in the garage.
The garage might not be the best storage place for everyone – but the good news is that, if you decide to take advantage of this space, there are all kinds of different ways you can go about how to store a kayak in your garage. Make some room!