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DIY Kayak Rack Ideas and Plans

Mark Armstrong
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Create a personalized storage solution for your kayak with a budget-friendly DIY kayak rack.

A DIY kayak rack can give you a custom rack at a fraction of the cost of a professionally-built one. It can also be a fun project with a feeling of accomplishment at the end.

We’ve handpicked some of the best homemade kayak rack ideas and plans to get your creativity flowing. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, these easy-to-follow plans are sure to bring a sense of satisfaction and adventure to your kayaking setup.

30 DIY Kayak Rack Ideas

1: Simple Freestanding Wooden Kayak Rack

This wooden kayak rack is not only easy to make but it’s affordable too. You can alter the design to suit your needs, for example if you want to store either one, two, or three kayaks.

This can be a useful rack for both indoors and outdoors. Because it’s freestanding, you don’t need to worry about attaching it to a large wall. But if you want to fully secure it for safety, you could bolt it to a suitable wall or the ground.

2: Canoe And Kayak Rack

If you’d prefer something with a little more pizazz, this canoe and kayak rack with a roof could be just the thing. This DIY kayak rack can store multiple kayaks or canoes, so it can be a great option if you have a few different vessels.

Just like the DIYers in the link, this could be a great kayak storage solution for a beach house or lake house. The rack provides covered storage so it can be great for sheltering your kayaks from rain and direct sunlight. The open access means it’s easy to load and unload your kayaks.

Plus, you could easily lock your boats to the kayak rack to prevent them from being stolen. Remember to purchase a kayak lock when you buy the rest of your required materials.

3: DIY Kayak Rack

This DIY kayak rack is another freestanding option that can give you storage space for up to six kayaks. However, you could always customize the rack if you wanted to add additional shelves for more kayaks.

With 360-degree access, this can be a good choice of rack for a large space, such as outside on your driveway or in your yard.

This one can hold three kayaks on either side, so you don’t need a wall for added support. However, this means you’ll need ample space around the rack to be able to load and unload the kayaks on both sides.

The wooden rack can easily be painted to suit your style and blend in with the rest of your house or yard. Painting it could also give it an extra layer of protection against the elements to prolong the life of the wood.

4: Wooden DIY Kayak Storage Rack

This DIY kayak rack can be a great choice for either inside or outside. It’s made from wood and can be customized to hold one, two, or more kayaks. You could also customize the rack to hold heavier kayaks, such as fishing kayaks. This could be done by choosing stronger and thicker wood for your shelves.

This rack can be fixed to a wall or to the ground. You could also add smaller shelves to keep your kayak paddles organized and safely stored.

5: Easy PVC Pipe Kayak Rack

This kayak rack is built using PVC pipes, so it can be easy to make. PVC pipes can also often be cheaper than wood, so it can be less expensive to make this plastic kayak rack compared to some of the more elaborate wooden ones.

This one uses 2-inch PVC pipes for strength and is designed to support the weight of two 70-pound kayaks over two levels.

This could be a good kayak rack for use indoors or outdoors, helping to keep your kayaks safely off the ground.

6: Wall Supported Kayak Rack

If you have a spare solid wall in your garage or on the side of your home outside, this DIY kayak rack can be an ideal option. It’s designed to hold three kayaks and is made out of wood, using mostly 4×4 and 2×4 pieces of lumber.

The kayak rack features horizontal storage on one side, with the back of the rack designed to be supported by a wall. The kayak rack can be fixed to a solid wall either indoors or outdoors. The top shelf is designed for a lighter kayak and the bottom shelf can be better suited to storing your heavier kayak.

7: Wooden DIY “Yak Rak”

This custom wooden kayak rack, or “yak rak”, can be a fantastic addition to a front or rear porch. This can help you get your kayaks off the ground for safe and proper storage, especially if you want to keep your kayaks outdoors.

For this one, you’ll require a circular saw and a mitre saw, plus enough wood to support the number of kayaks you plan to store.

You can also add padding to each of the wooden shelves. This is so that the hulls of your kayaks have a softer surface to rest on, to prevent damage.

8: DIY RV Kayak And Bike Rack

This kayak rack is a little different and is designed to hold two kayaks and two bikes. It’s designed to be mounted to the back of an RV so you can take your kayaks on vacation easily.

With this rack, the kayaks are stored vertically. It is made using a truck bed extender, a dual hitch, and a cargo carrier. The cargo carrier acts as the base for the extender in the vertical position, and it can be used to carry other cargo, maximizing your storage space.

> Best kayak racks for RVs and campers

9: DIY Pool Noodle Kayak Roof Rack

If you want to take your kayak to new paddling spots, you’re probably going to have to load it on your car (or trailer). This DIY kayak roof rack makes use of some inexpensive pool noodles, tie-down straps, and bungee cords.

This can be a very cheap kayak rack to make on your own. But for added safety, you might want to upgrade the straps to suitable cam straps.

Bungees might also not be the best idea to use for bow and stern lines, as bungees tend to move with your kayak. Rope or straps as bow and stern lines can help to prevent the kayak from flying off the front or back of your car.

10: DIY PVC Kayak Stand

This kayak stand is made using PVC pipes so it can be an affordable DIY kayak rack to make at home. It’s relatively easy to make and can be great for both outdoor and indoor use. The PVC construction means it can be tough enough to withstand rain and snow. And you can paint it whatever color you want.

This can be a very cheap kayak rack to make on your own. But for added safety, you might want to upgrade the straps to suitable cam straps.

The design means you can lean the rack at an angle against a wall (like a ladder), so you don’t need to bolt it to anything. Because of the leaning design, you might not want to store very heavy kayaks using this stand.

11: Kayak Wall Rack

This DIY kayak wall rack is a simple wall-mounted rack that can be easily customized for the number of kayaks you want to store. If your walls have enough height and width space, you could potentially build as many kayak shelves as you want.

This one is made out of wood for strength and durability and can be easy to make if you have all the right tools. You’ll need a mitre saw and a table saw, plus a hammer drill.

Make sure you choose a solid wall to support the rack.

12: DIY Kayak Truck Rack

If you have a pickup truck and your kayak is too long to fit in the truck bed, a homemade kayak rack can be a good option. This DIY kayak truck rack can let you haul your kayak on top of the truck, so you can free up the bed to carry other gear. So you can essentially increase your storage capacity.

This one features a wooden frame that is secured inside the bed of the truck. Your kayak can then be secured on top of the frame. The overhang of the kayak rests above the cab.

You can even customize yours, like the one in the link, to include fishing rod holders.

13: Homemade Kayak Storage Hoist

This DIY kayak storage hoist can be ideal if you want to get your kayak off the ground. This rack lets you suspend your kayak from the ceiling of your garage.

This type of storage rack can let you free up space on the floor and allow you to utilize space above your head to maximize the overall storage space in your garage. So you should still be able to get your car in and out.

The DIY hoist system also means it can be easier to lift the kayak compared to lifting it with your arms because it uses ropes and pulleys.

Make sure your ceiling can support the weight of your kayak before you start.

14: Double Kayak PVC Roof Rack

If you want to be able to get your two kayaks from A to B, a kayak roof rack can often be a convenient way to transport them. But some store-bought kayak racks can be  very expensive. This PVC kayak roof rack is a cheaper option.

This is a DIY rack made from PVC pipes. It’s designed to hold two kayaks on the roof of your car in a similar fashion to a kayak stacker rack. But you’ll still need to have roof rack crossbars installed on your car to support this DIY project. 

15: DIY Outdoor Kayak Rack

This DIY kayak rack can be a pretty easy one to build and it shouldn’t take too long either. This can be a great storage solution for getting your kayaks off the ground and out of the garage. It can hold two kayaks.

This one uses four fence T-posts with eight U-bolts and four 2x4s. The 2x4s act as the supports for your kayaks and the T-posts make up the frame. The U-bolts connect it all together.

16: DIY Double Kayak Rack

If you want to carry two kayaks on your car and you only have a set of crossbars, you might struggle without a dedicated kayak rack, such as J-cradles or a stacker rack. This double kayak rack could be a more affordable way to haul two kayaks on your roof.

This one uses two 5-foot galvanized pipes (cut from one 10-foot piece). The pipes can be fitted into your crossbar mounts and become extended crossbars. This can give you the extra width to load two kayaks on your roof instead of just one.

You should make sure the pipe you choose can be securely fitted to your crossbar mounts, or the rack could be unsafe.

17: DIY Kayak Pulley Storage System

Another great way to store your kayak if you don’t have enough wall or floor space for a large kayak rack, is to hang it from the ceiling. This DIY kayak pulley system makes use of an affordable bike pulley system so you can choose a suitable kit to adapt to suit your kayak.

One thing you might want to upgrade is the rope. You may need heavy-duty rope to support the weight of your kayak, since most kayaks will generally weigh more than most bikes.

18: DIY Canoe And Kayak Rack For Trucks

This DIY canoe rack can be easily customized to fit any size of truck bed, even short beds. It can be a great way to transport both a canoe and a kayak at the same time. You can also haul two canoes or two kayaks, if you want.

This one is made with pre-treated wood so it’s durable enough to handle the weather and be left on the back of your truck.

You can make use of the roof of your cab to provide additional storage space and support for longer kayaks and canoes.

19: Kayak Fence Storage Rack

This DIY fence storage rack can be ideal for storing your kayaks off the ground. This simple rack can be mounted to a fence in your yard and takes up minimal space when it’s not in use.

It uses straps and D-rings so you don’t need to cut any lumber or work with any 2x4s. No mitre saws required. It’s cheap and relatively easy to make.

20: DIY Kayak Storage Rack On Wheels

If you’re looking to make a kayak rack that’s a little more elaborate than PVC pipes and simple shelving, this kayak storage rack could be just what you want.

While it uses 2x4s for the frame, the brackets to support the kayaks are custom-designed specifically to hold kayaks. You can cut the curved brackets out of plywood and attach straps to secure your kayak.

The casters connect to the bottom of the wooden frame so you can move it around easily. This means you can wheel the rack from your garage to your driveway when you’re ready to load your kayaks on your car roof.

21: Easy DIY A-Frame Kayak Storage Rack

This A-frame kayak storage rack can be a fantastic option for storing kayaks outdoors. With its A-frame, it does not require any support from a wall, and it can be great for storing long sea kayaks.

This one is made using sawhorse brackets, which help to provide stability. It can hold up to three kayaks and it can be covered with a tarp to protect your kayaks from the elements.

22: Homemade PVC Kayak Rack

This DIY PVC rack can be a great choice for indoors and outdoors. It’s very lightweight and is easy to move when you need to. This particular one can hold up to three kayaks. But if your kayaks are on the heavy side, you might only be able to store two.

This is made with PVC pipes. But you will need a PVC pipe cutter to cut some of the pieces to the correct size. You’ll also need PVC cement to hold it all together.

23: DIY Kayak Storage Shed

If you’d prefer your kayak rack to offer shelter from the sun and rain, this DIY kayak shed could be ideal. This wood-frame kayak rack is designed like a small shed, so it has a little roof to provide additional protection from the elements. It also makes it more secure, as the wooden frame can be locked around the kayaks, instead of your kayaks being locked to a post.

This can be a good option to store your kayaks at the side of your house or against a boundary wall or fence. 

24: DIY Kayak Storage Cart

This DIY project gives you a kayak storage rack and cart in one. This kayak storage cart can be an ideal storage solution for heavy fishing kayaks. It not only stores them safely off the ground in a shed or garage, but you can wheel the entire rack out to your car (or your dock if you live on the water).

This wooden and PVC-framed rack features locking wheels so you can easily move it out of the way if you need to access other items in your garage.

25: DIY 16-Foot Kayak Rack

This kayak rack can be just what you need to store longer kayaks or even canoes. The rack is made from wood and can hold two kayaks. You could also start another DIY project to make additional storage at the bottom for your paddles or a box for your life vests.

The rack can be amended to suit different lengths and widths of kayaks by adjusting the lengths and widths of wood in the frame.

This can be a good option for inside or outside.

26: Wheeled Kayak Storage Rack

This DIY kayak storage cart can be an affordable storage solution for two kayaks. With the four casters on the bottom, it can be a great option for storing heavier fishing kayaks.

This one has a wooden frame, from scrap lumber, and includes pool noodles and PVC pipes in the construction. This can be easily customized to make storage areas for fishing rods and other tackle, PFDs, and kayak paddles.

27: Easy Upright Kayak Storage

This DIY storage rack offers vertical storage for a kayak, so that you can make use of the height in your garage if you don’t have enough horizontal wall space.

This one can be made pretty cheaply, using 2x4s and galvanized pipes. There’s also padding in the form of pool noodles and foam roof rack pads to protect your kayak from scratches.

28: Easy PVC DIY Kayak Stand

If you don’t have a lot of room for a large kayak rack, this compact kayak stand could be just what you need. It is made entirely from PVC pipes so it can be inexpensive to make.

A great thing about this rack is that it can be moved around easily, so you can position it wherever you want. It’s also small in size so it can be ideal for a balcony or a small deck.

29: Outdoor Kayak Rack With Roof

Boat Rack ProjectPin

This outdoor kayak rack can be a great storage solution for your backyard. The rack is pretty tall, so you have the option of storing multiple kayaks if you install enough shelves.

This can be used for kayaks and canoes. You could also use it to store SUPs.

The roof frame on this particular design is open but you can use this as a support for a tarp. This can allow for air circulation around your kayak. You could also customize the plans to include a solid or more permanent roof.

30: Homemade Kayak Wall Rack

This homemade kayak wall rack can be an affordable and space-saving option for safely storing your kayaks. This rack can be mounted to a solid wall in your garage, a bedroom, games room, or even outside.

It features heavy-duty arm brackets – two for each kayak – plus rope, bungees, carabiners, steel screws, and eye screws. This can be a cheaper alternative to purchasing a dedicated kayak wall rack.

Why Build Your Own Kayak Rack?

More Affordable

Building your own rack will usually be a lot cheaper than buying one, which can be great if you’re trying to save money. However, the amount of money you save comes at the expense of the time you’ll have to commit to designing and building the rack yourself. 

Saving money can be one of the main reasons why some people choose to build their own kayak racks. It can also be enjoyable and give you a great sense of accomplishment when your project is complete.

Custom Racks

Making your own kayak rack can give you a custom rack without the high cost of a professionally-built custom kayak rack. This means you can get exactly what you want, with all the features you need. And it can be built to the exact specifications to fit your space.

With a DIY kayak rack you can design and build it to fit in a particular space, with the capacity to store as many kayaks as you want. This can be an advantage over store-bought racks, which may only be able to store one or two kayaks.

You can also add paddle storage or storage solutions for other accessories.

Improve Your DIY Skills

Once you’ve built a kayak rack, you should have gained the skills and experience to design and build other projects. This could help you out in the long run as it could save you money on future projects that might otherwise require a professional craftsman or contractor.

Building a DIY kayak rack can let you get acquainted with various tools and can give you some experience working with wood and other materials that you might not ordinarily use. This means you can often gain completely new skills plus develop your existing skills.

You may even discover a new hobby in DIY.

Are You Feeling Creative Now?

Hopefully you’ve found enough inspiration to go out there and make your own kayak rack. Remember to measure your space and think about what extra features you could add to your custom design.

If you’ve enjoyed this list, share it. And if you’ve built a DIY kayak rack, tell us about it.

Don’t want build your own? Here’s our guide to some good kayak storage racks you can buy off the shelf.

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