Any owner of a hard-shell kayak will agree that storing it can be one of its biggest downfalls. But, proper storage is key to preserving your investment. Storage for inflatable kayaks is simple – they can be rolled up or folded and then stored in a cool, dry space. Hard-shell kayaks, however, are big and bulky and can be more challenging to properly store while not in use. Once the spring and summer kayaking season has ended, you will want to properly store and preserve it for the next season. Read on for kayak storage ideas for fall and winter.
Before storing your kayak, take the following steps to ensure it will be ready for your next adventure:
- Gently remove grime, dirt and sand with a mild cleaner and sponge and rinse thoroughly. Be sure to clean and rinse the rudder, rudder cables, and foot braces. Dry them thoroughly with a soft towel, including the hatch and the drain plug. Allowing any water to remain can eventually degrade the coating and may promote mold and mildew growth.
- Position cradles and straps that support the kayak one-third of the way in on each end. This should distribute the weight evenly. If you don’t, the hull can deform or bend over time. In addition, don’t tighten the straps too much – long-term pressure can also deform the kayak’s body.
- Consider spraying the surface with a sun-protection spray, especially if you are storing it outside.
- When choosing where and how to store your kayak, consider how easy or difficult it will be to take it out of storage. Make sure to adjust your storage plans accordingly.
Storing your kayak indoors is usually best. This is in order to protect it from the elements – direct sunlight, rain or snow and extreme cold or heat. However, for those who live in small spaces like an apartment or condominium, indoor storage just isn’t practical. Below the eaves of the roof, under the deck or using a kayak tent are suitable outdoor kayak storage ideas to consider.
When reviewing your outdoor storage options, a shaded spot is ideal. If shade is limited or unavailable, you can buy a storage cover or suspend a weather-resistant tarp above the hull. If you use a tarp, be sure there is adequate space between kayak and tarp in order to avoid trapping moisture. In addition to shade, make sure that rain or snow can’t collect on or in the kayak. Exposure to snow and ice can cause the rotomolded plastic on your kayak to become brittle. This will lead to leaks and the need for major repairs when spring comes around.
Kayak Storage Ideas for Racks and Suspension Systems
It is generally recommended that you use a rack or suspension system to support your kayak. The position of your kayak and what you use to support it are critical components of proper kayak storage.
Depending upon how many kayaks you are storing, there are a variety of wall-mounted and free-standing racks on the market for you to choose from. If you are using a rack, consider one that supports the kayak on its side or allows you to position it hull-side up in order to protect its hull. Wrapping foam padding around the rack supports can further protect the coating of your kayak.
If you are hanging your kayak from the ceiling of your garage or under the eaves of your roof, you can purchase a suspension system specifically designed for kayaks or you can make your own DIY suspension system. Protect the hull by hanging your kayak so that the hull faces up toward the ceiling. Use wide straps that wrap around the body of your kayak and never hang it by the grab loops.
A kayak and all necessary accessories, such as paddles, helmets, and life jackets, can amount to a considerable investment. So, it is well worth taking the time to protect your investment from theft once you have determined how and where to store everything. If you are unable to store your kayak in a locked location, such as your garage or self-storage unit, choose a location outdoors that is hidden from view as much as possible. In addition, consider using a specialty kayak lock or a steering wheel lock across the cockpit, making the kayak unusable unless the lock is removed. For further protection, consider threading a durable security cable through a sturdy part of the kayak such as the grab loops or scupper holes and securing it by threading the cable around support beams or a nearby post, fence, or building.
A self-storage unit at Chamber Connection Storage can help you turn your kayak storage ideas into a reality. They offer easily accessible and affordable storage units with the best security available. Contact Chambers Connector Storage with any questions or to learn more about sizes and prices.