How To Store A Kayak

Before you purchase your new kayak one of the most important things you should ask yourself is how and where do you plan to store it? Will you be keeping it at home when it’s not in use or will you need to think of other options?

Because we know how important kayak storage can be, we have put together this guide on how to store a kayak, so when you purchase your next yak you should be better prepared for keeping it protected and preventing it from damage.

Where Should I Store My Kayak?

Before you can consider where you’re going to store your kayak you will need to know the dimensions of your yak. This will determine whether you’re able to store it inside or outside, depending on the storage space you have available.

If you’re short on space you might find that the size of the kayak you can buy is dependent on the size of your available space, so it’s useful to measure both the yak and the space before you commit to buying the vessel or storing it.

Indoors: The Preferred Option

Storing your kayak inside and away from the elements can be the best option, as this way it remains dry and protected from harsh weather conditions.

A garage or basement can be a good option if you have space, otherwise a shed or even a spare room in your home can work well.

However, you will need to make sure that the room is not too hot or too cold, as this can affect the integrity of the yak, so it’s best to be above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) and below 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius).

You should also make sure that the kayak is not near any windows where the sun might get through or moisture might get in, as sunlight and moisture can be particularly damaging to your kayak.

Build Your Own Kayak Storage Rack?

No Room Indoors? Outdoors It Is...

If you don’t have the luxury of spare indoor space then your only other option is to store your yak outside. If this is the case then you’re going to need to think about the weather conditions. Firstly, you will want to find a place that provides a bit of shelter for your vessel.

A shaded area can be preferable but if that’s not available to you then you might want to consider using a protective cover, such as a tarpaulin. Using a waterproof and UV resistant cover designed specially for kayaks can be useful but you might still want the tarp for added protection.

It can be a good idea to cover your kayak regardless of whether the spot is in the shade or not as this will not only keep it safe from the weather but also from sand, dust and even bugs and animals that might want to hideout in your cockpit.

Storing your kayak outside will likely pose additional problems compared to storing it inside, so you will need to take extra precautions to keep moisture out. If you’re using a tarp, it can offer better protection if you position it like a tent over your vessel, as this will allow any rain or snow to slide off and not sit directly on top of your yak.

If you allow the tarp to sit directly on the yak, you might be at risk of mold or other fungi growing on the hull because of the moisture being able to get through if there is not air circulating around it.

Marinas And Kayak Outfitters

If you’re short on space to store your yak both indoors and outdoors at your property then you might want to consider storing it at your local paddling center, marina or kayak outfitters.

You will often find that places such as these can offer kayak and canoe livery and may have storage options where you can rent space from them. This can be a good idea if you are also short on transportation options for your yak, as you know it will always be at the water, ready to go.

Because watersports centers will often have canoes and yaks for rent, they should also have the correct type of storage solutions for each vessel that will protect them from the weather in all seasons, as well as keep them in a secure manner that should maintain the integrity of the hull.

A benefit of storing your vessel at a marina or paddling center is that there should be professionals on hand to be able to help you with launching or even preparing your yak for storage.

Best Ways To Store A Kayak

Clean It Before Storing

Before you put your yak into storage you need to make sure that it’s completely clean and dry.

First of all, you might want to remove the seat and any other soft fabric components, so you can store them separately. While it can be tempting to just bring your yak out the water and put it away immediately, you will need to wash it.

To do this properly, you will need to get some mild soap and water and clean over the outside of the hull as well as inside the cockpit, so that all dirt and residue is completely gone.

Make sure you rinse it well with clean water to get rid of all the soap. Once you’ve done that you will then need to let it dry. The entire yak needs to be completely dry before you can think about storing it, because if it’s not, the moisture can cause fungus to grow, which will ruin your craft.

You can use a dry towel to help speed up the drying process and this should allow you to see if your kayak is completely dry. Be sure to empty out any water that might still be inside the hatches.

Making sure your boat is both clean and dry before you store it will help to prevent any damage, meaning your kayak should be more likely to keep its durability for longer, so you should get even more life out of it.

If You're Storing Inside...

While storing your kayak indoors can be the best option, you will need to know which way is best to store it and how not to store it. First of all, you will want to avoid having your yak sitting on the floor on its hull, as this can cause significant damage to the hull as it will deform its shape, even after a very short time.

The best options are to have it resting vertically, with the stern on the ground and the bow end up against a wall. Another good option is lay it on its side, horizontally, with the cockpit facing out towards you and the bottom of the hull facing the wall.

If you plan to store your yak for a while without using it, you should alternate the sides that it’s leaning on if you’re storing it horizontally, as this will help to prevent one side from becoming dented over time.

There are storage racks designed specifically for kayaks, which will allow you to store your vessel up off the ground. Some may require the craft to be upside down and others may be suitable for the hull to be the right way up, creating more of a cradle for the hull.

Even though your yak will be stored inside, using a kayak cover or tarp to protect it from dust can still be a good idea, even if it’s on a rack. There are various racks you can buy, depending on your needs and budget, or you could always make your own.

Recommended Ways To Store Your Kayak Outside

The best way to store your kayak outdoors is to first make sure it will be protected from the elements. One of the most important things you can do is to cover it, as this should give it some protection from both harmful UV rays and moisture.

How you store your yak will be similar to the indoor storage options, in that you should avoid laying the vessel flat on the ground and ensure that it’s either stored vertically, leaning against a wall, or horizontally on its side.

For outdoors, however, you will need to make sure that your vessel is fully covered, or at least with the cockpit covered, and then use a waterproof tarp to create a tent like structure for your yak to rest under. The tarp will need to be pulled and secured tightly, either using trees or rope to help suspend it to let air circulate.

If the tarp is not tight, it could sag and cause rain or snow to build up and rest on it, which could then render your protective tent useless. Water should be able to run off the tarp without depressing the fabric.

You can also use a rack that will let you elevate your kayak off the ground, which could help significantly in wet or wintry conditions. You can attach racks to the side of an exterior wall, as long as it’s sturdy structure.

How To Hang A Kayak

Hanging a kayak can be a good way of getting your vessel up off the floor, freeing up floor space and allowing it to rest securely without pressure being on a particular part of the yak. You can hang a kayak on either an interior or exterior wall, so can be a good choice for both indoor and outdoor storage.

Ropes or brackets can work well in creating a storage system. Both systems can be attached to your wall, with the rope system being secured with hooks in your wall, allowing your kayak to be suspended on its side using the ropes.

Bracket storage is just like it sounds, where brackets are attached to your wall, allowing your kayak to rest on the brackets. They will often fold up out of the way, when you’re not storing your yak.

Both of these styles of storage systems can either be purchased or you can attempt to make your own. But make sure that when you hang up your kayak, it’s equally balanced on the rack, with the cockpit centered between each bracket or strap.

One thing to remember when you’re hanging your yak is not to hang it from the grab loops, as this can be dangerous and can cause the hull to warp under its own weight.

It’s also not recommended to hang your vessel from the ceiling, as this can put too much pressure on the hull. It can also be dangerous and less secure, so it’s better to store it in a location that you’re easily and safely able to reach it to lift it on and off of the rack.

Lock It Up! Keeping Your Kayak Safe

When it comes to storing a kayak, you will want to make sure that it’s not only safe but also secure, no matter where or how you choose to store it.

For storing the kayak against a wall, either on its side or vertically, you should consider using straps to stop it from falling over and hurting anyone as well as getting damaged. However, remember to keep the straps tight but not overly tight, as this can cause too much pressure, which can then result in dents to the body of the yak.

If you’re storing your kayak outdoors you will also want to think about how secure it is. Will it blow away in the wind? Is it safe from theft? This is where it can be a good idea to lock up your vessel, even if you’re only leaving it for a short time.

There are various locks you can get for keeping your kayak safe, that will allow you to lock several kayaks together or lock it to a tree or other permanent structure, so that you know it’ll still be there when you get back to it.

Locking Up Your Kayak


Now that you’ve learned about the different and best ways to store your kayak you will hopefully be able to get more life and more enjoyment out of your boat.

As you will have seen, there are several ways you can store your craft with various options depending on your circumstances, so now there’s no excuse for not getting that new kayak.

Just remember not to store the yak flat on the ground for any length of time and make sure that it’s kept out of extreme conditions and harmful sunlight. And always remember to lock it up before you leave it.

If you enjoyed this, let us know, and help inform your fellow kayakers by sharing this with them.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Taylor Wright

I like that you said you can use a tarp to protect your kayak from any rain or snow. My dad is worried that his kayaks will wear down faster since they are hanging outside. I’ll be sure to show him this so he can look up any outfitters that will store it.


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