Storing your kayak properly will not only help keep your garage or storage shed organised; it will help protect your kayak from damage. A good kayak stand will support the body of the kayak and resist water damage and mould. Commercial stands are available, but building your own folding kayak stand takes only a few simple tools. These X-shaped stands are lightweight and fold up easily for storage, so they are also handy to bring along when on an overnight kayaking trip.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 24 feet of schedule 40 PVC pipe, 1 1/4" diameter
- Tape measure
- PVC pipe cutter or hacksaw and mitre box
- Coarse sandpaper
- 1/4-inch drill bit
- 4 bolts, 2.5" long
- 8 washers
- 4 locknuts
- 16 PVC 90 degree elbows, 1 1/4" diameter
- PVC cement
- 6 feet of water-resistant rope, 3/8" to 1/2" diameter
Measure and mark eight lengths of PVC, each 24 inches long. Cut the pipe using the pipe cutter or hacksaw and mitre box. You will use these piecesfor the vertical cross braces. Sand the ends to remove large burrs.
Measure and mark each 24-inch piece of PVC at the halfway point. Drill straight through each pipe at the mark. You will use these holes for the pivot points.
Measure, mark and cut four lengths of PVC, each 12 inches long. You will use these pieces for the feet. Sand the ends to remove large burrs.
Fit one elbow onto each of the 24-inch pieces. Fit a 12-inch piece between each elbow, creating four U-shaped pieces.
Line up the pivot point holes on two of the U-shaped assemblies. Feed one bolt through a washer and through the pivot point holes on two 24-inch pipes. Add a washer on the other side of the bolt and secure it with a locknut.
Draw a light line down the centre of each fitting and onto the pipe. You will use these alignment marks later to confirm that you are cementing the pieces correctly.
Measure and mark the remaining four 12-inch lengths of PVC three inches from each end. Drill straight through each pipe at the mark. You will use these holes for the support ropes.
Fit one elbow onto the other sides of the 24-inch pieces. Fit a 12-inch piece between each elbow. You may need to loosen the feet so you can fit the upper pieces in place.
Tie a knot in one end of the rope. Feed the rope through one set of support holes and across the frame to the corresponding set of holes on the other side. Pull the rope tight while supporting the stand until the stand is at the desired height. Tie another knot and leave a six-inch tail before cutting off the excess rope. Repeat for the remaining three sets of support rope holes.
Confirm that all fittings are tight. Carefully test the stands while supporting the kayak. Adjust the ropes until you are satisfied with the height of the stands. Remove the kayak.
Disassemble each stand one joint at a time. Swab PVC cement into each fitting. Secure each fitting, aligning the fittings and pipes using the alignment marks.
Allow the stands to cure for 15 minutes before placing the kayak on them.
Tips and warnings
- PVC cement dries quickly, so line up the alignment marks before fitting each joint.
- Swab only the inside of the elbow fitting with the cement and not the pipe itself. When you fit the pieces together, this will force the glue into the fitting and not out onto the pipe, minimising the mess.
- Drill a small pilot hole to help drill straight through the pipe.
- Don't tighten the pivot bolts too much. The pipes should be able to pivot easily.
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