Kayaking can be an extremely fun sport, and when you own one, it’s important that you take care of it.
Tips for Proper Kayak Storage
Putting proper kayak storage in place will ensure it is ready to use the next time you’re ready to hit the waters.
1 – Protection from Elements
- Sunlight is extremely bad for practically all kayak hull materials – coated fabrics, plastic and fiberglass.
- If you can’t store your kayak in a garage or house, find a very shady spot.
- If you don’t have a lot of shade, purchase a weather-resistant tarp to cover the whole kayak. Make sure to suspend the tarp above it, as any contact with the kayak will cause a proliferation in fungi and mold growth when the conditions are wet.
- You can also purchase sun-protective sprays for hard-shell boats to boost the factory UV-protection. Place a generous amount of the spray at the start of every season and before you store the boat for any length of time to keep it protected from sunlight and oxidation.
- If you own an inflatable kayak, the boat will need to be disassembled inside when you’ll be storing for a long time.
- Be mindful of the fact that weather can cause the degradation and oxidation of hull materials.
- When storing the kayak outside, be sure the snow and rain doesn’t collect on the tarp and the tarp isn’t pressing onto the hull.
- Extended exposure to the cold can also lead to damage in fabric skins that are used in certain inflatable kayaks.
- If your boat is stored in a building that isn’t heated, you need to understand that constant freezing and thawing will lead to fiberglass damage, especially if the water has gotten into the hull’s cracks, joints and seams.
- Salt water will damage the hull materials, and lead to metal corrosion. If you kayak in salt water, make sure you thoroughly rinse the boat with fresh water before it’s stored.
2 – Even Weight Distribution
- If there is an uneven weight distribution, it can lead to bending or deformation over time. The materials most susceptible to the damage include fabric and plastic. That’s not to say though wood and fiberglass boats can’t have this happen to them.
- Be sure the boat is supported at multiple points along the length, using angled surfaces, padded cradles and/or wide nylon straps that are similar to the hull’s curve.
However, there are five things you need to avoid:
- Having the ends support the kayak
- Standing the kayak on its one end
- Hanging the boat up by the grab loops
- Laying the boat on its flat surface side for an extended period of time
- Storing the boat near a water heater or furnace
3 – Theft Protection
- If you’re not able to have kayak storage in a garage or house, you need to hide it as much as possible. Put it in a position that makes it hard for a thief to grab and go.
- For a little more protection, place a cable on the sturdiest part of the boat and around a building, fence or post, locking it up.