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How To Repurpose A Leaky Canoe Or Kayak

Mark Armstrong
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A repurposed canoe means your trusty old canoe can continue to bring you joy, even when you can’t take it on the water.

There are many ways you can inject new life into your favorite boat. Here are just some of the ways you can upcycle your old canoe or kayak.

7 Ways To Repurpose Your Canoe Or Kayak

1: Bookcase

A canoe can make an interesting bookcase. This involves cutting the canoe in half so it can actually make two bookcases – one with the stern end at the top and the other with the bow end at the top.

You may need to secure the canoe to the wall once you’ve made it, so that it doesn’t tip over.

To make a bookcase from a canoe you would need to install shelves inside the canoe.

2: Make A Planter

Making a planter can be one of the most popular ways to repurpose a canoe. And it can be relatively easy to do. You could also make a planter from an old sit-inside kayak, using the cockpit and hatches for planting your bulbs or seeds.

A canoe planter can be a fantastic, quirky addition to your garden. The large size of the canoe means you have room to grow just about anything. It can be an ideal planter for growing roses or other types of flowers.

It can also make a great planter for growing vegetables, similar to a raised bed. The type of flowers or vegetables you can grow will probably depend on your climate. 

How many people can fit inside a canoe?

3: Garage Storage

Canoes usually take up a lot of space in your garage. But what if you could create additional space using your old canoe? Similar to the bookcase idea, this storage solution involves your canoe being mounted horizontally on the wall rather than vertically.

Mounting the canoe vertically on the wall means you can install shelving along the length of the canoe’s hull from bow to stern. This can give you plenty of extra space to store smaller items in your garage, such as car washing gear or pots of paint.

4: Outdoor Seating

Turning your old canoe into outdoor seating can be a great idea for a lake house or beach house. Even if you don’t have a lake house, you can feel like you do with a canoe bench in your backyard.

There are a couple of ways you can do this if you like a bit of DIY. One way is to cut one side of the canoe so that the deck of the canoe is accessible. The deck is what will become your seat.

Another way to do this is to cover the canoe with wood or another material, so that it’s like your original canoe has a little roof. This can then become a hollow bench. You could also use the interior of the canoe to create storage for your seat cushions if you add a little hatch to make a storage bench.

5: Canoe Chandelier

A canoe chandelier can bring a touch of the great outdoors to your interior decor. While you might be thinking it’ll work for a rustic cabin in the woods, a canoe chandelier can work for various styles of home decor, even more modern themes.

This involves hanging your canoe upside down from your ceiling. So you would need to make sure you have sufficient strength in the ceiling joists.

6: Desk

After the past couple of years, we all have a new appreciation for working from home. And if you still prefer to work from home and have an old kayak you want to upcycle, you can make a unique desk.

This may take some extra DIY skills to repurpose a kayak into a desk but it can be an interesting piece of furniture and add fun to your home office.

This involves cutting away the center cockpit area and installing a flat surface to become your desktop. Then you would need to add legs to the bottom in a suitable length that’s a comfortable height for home-working.

7: Canoe cabana

This can be one way of repurposing a canoe without having to cut chunks out of it. A canoe cabana can be an ideal shelter for a barbecue area or a log store.

To make a canoe cabana you would need to build a frame that can support the weight of your canoe (and secure the frame to the ground). The canoe can then be secured upside down to the frame, creating a shelter for your barbecue or anything else you want to keep out of the rain or sun.

Canoe storage tips

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