Storing Your Kayak
Kayaking has become one of the most common sports and has been gaining popularity. However, when you own a beautiful kayak, you want to keep it in its shiny pristine condition for as long as possible. You would want it to have a long life so that you could enjoy the sport for as long as possible without having to spend money on another kayak.
One way to keep your kayak good as new is to store it properly. You might only use your kayak in a particular season or on the weekends and want to store it away for the rest of the days. If this is the case, you would find our kayak storage guide really helpful as we would discuss tips for storing your kayak at your home, deck, cabin or club so that you can protect it from damage or from the effects of the weather. We do not want your kayaks to be affected by these factors and not perform as well as it used to.
Why is proper storage important?
As mentioned before, to keep a kayak good as new, it is important to figure out a proper way to store it. If it is not stored properly, it might damage the hull, which can impair the paddling and ultimately make the kayak unstable.
Furthermore, if the kayak is not stored properly, there is a high chance that different insects might end up making the cockpit their home in the winters. This would damage the kayak come the new season when you are ready to go kayaking again.
What can damage a Kayak?
If you own a folding or inflatable kayak, it is relatively simple to store it. All you have to do is fold it and keep it somewhere dry and cool. However, for those who have traditional kayaks, the heft and size of the boat might be a problem when finding a suitable storage spot. Let us look at some of the factors that can affect the performance of a kayak and that you should be wary of when you are looking for a possible storage place.
- Heat: If you live somewhere with extremely cold weather, you might want to know that constant freezing and thawing would damage your kayak. This becomes even more of a problem if you have a kayak made of fiberglass which is being repeatedly exposed to moisture.
- Sunlight: No matter what type of kayak you have, be it made of plastic, fiberglass or coated fabric, prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause the hull to degrade. This is because UV rays in sunlight are harmful to the hull.
- Cold: While cold weather is harmful to fiberglass, hot weather is harmful to any kind of kayak. It can very easily deform the material of the hull. This is why you would have to keep your kayaks away from any heat source. Thus, do not store them in rooms that get warm easily or places which are exposed to direct sunlight.
- Moisture: Moisture is known to destroy even the hardest material, and a kayak is no match for it. When it gets constant exposure to moisture, the material starts to degrade over time until it is no longer able to work at all.
Where to Store your Kayak
The answer to this is dependent on how often you use it. If you are one of those people who go kayaking every day or every other day, your storing method would be a bit different from those who take it out for only a few months in a year.
If you use your kayak daily, you need not worry about storage. You can place it on one side of the room. This is how any kayak seller stores their kayaks since they are selling them every day. However, before you store your boat, you need to make sure it is absolutely clean and dry. What you need to remember is that this method is fine to use if you are storing your kayaks for only a day or two. However, if it has to be stored for a longer period of time, you would have to work with other methods as this might end up damaging your kayak in the long run.
Storing for the Long Term
The first thing you need to remember to do, whether you are storing the boat for the long term or short term, is to clean the kayak properly with water and dry it out. Take out any unnecessary item and try to find out if there is any damage to the kayak and fix it. Store it somewhere inside where there is no sunlight and where it would not freeze.
Once it is all cleaned up, you can store the kayak by slinging it on its side with the help of webbings. These webbings are to be placed 1/3rd of the way along the hull of the kayak. The straps should be neither too tight nor too loose; too tight straps might end up damaging the material of the hull and deforming it.
You can also store it by putting it upside down with the hull up and parallel to the bars. Distribution of weight is supposed to be even so that the kayak is not damaged.
Indoor or outdoor storage?
If you are one of those people with a small house or do not have enough space to store your kayak inside your house, you can choose to store the boat under a deck or on the roof. However, with the outdoors, factors like sunlight and moisture might hold more importance. For this purpose, you need to come up with places that are shaded. You can even use a weather-resistant tarp for this purpose.
If you live somewhere where it snows or rains a lot, the tarp you use might end up weighing you are your kayak because it might fill up. You have to make sure this does not happen since it would end up deforming the hull of the kayak.
The indoors are the safest in terms of keeping the boat away from direct sunlight and moisture through rain and snow. If you have some space available, like a shed or garage, you have to store it there.
What not to do!
Following are some of the things you should not do when you are trying to store your kayak for both the long term and short term as they might end up damaging the hull. These tips apply no matter what type of kayak you have.
- When you are planning to hang your kayak for storage purposes, never try to do so by hanging it by its ends or from the carrying toggles and grab loops.
- If you have a poly boat, try to avoid storing it on the floor or any other hard, flat surface for an extended period of time.
These methods would surely end up destroying your kayak and wasting all the precious money you spent on it.
When you have spent such a large amount on something, you would want to protect it and keep it safe so that it looks good as new. However, only storing it won’t be enough. Storing properly is a big part of keeping it safe. Thus, when you store the kayak, keep the following things in mind so that not only is your boat safe but so are you.
- With all the storage systems and methods we have discussed, go for the one that is the easiest to use.
- In order to secure the kayak, make sure that the safety straps are over the top of the boat and that the straps are strong enough to hold the weight of the boat easily.
- When you are loading your kayak on the storage rack or unloading from it, make sure you don’t end up straining your back.
- Secure your boat rack to the floor or dock with the help of a free-standing system.
- To make things easier for you, when you are storing the kayak, make sure that the racks are at a suitable height that would allow you easy access to your kayak.
When you are buying a kayak, you would want to keep using it for years. However, without proper storage and care, it is simply impossible. You would end up damaging your kayak in less time than you expected, and you would be forced to buy a new one.
To avoid damaging your kayak and to make it durable and long-lasting, make sure you follow the methods outlined in the kayak storage guide that we have provided for you above. If you follow the steps, we can guarantee that you would be able to enjoy kayaking for a very long time.