Safe and correct kayak storage will ensure that you get years of use from your boat. Proper storage of the kayak will prevent hull damage and distortion and protect the boat from the sun and elements. Even if you kayak for two hours everyday, your boat will still be in storage 90 per cent of the time, so it is important to care for it correctly. There are various ways to store your boat; choose which is best for your available space and materials.
Preventing hull damage
A proper homemade storage rack will distribute the boat's weight evenly. This will prevent the hull from deforming or bending. Ideally, the boat should always be stored on its side; the strongest part and the supports should be positioned at two points that are slightly less than half the length of the boat. This will ensure that the length and weight of the boat is balanced equally.
Preventing sun and weather damage
Sunlight and prolonged weather exposure will cause most kayak materials to oxidise or degrade. Inside storage is ideal, but if that is not possible, tarps can be used. Tarps made with UV resistant materials are best. Suspend the tarp so air can flow, but rig it at a tight angle so rain and snow cannot collect on top and press down on the hull. The key is to cover the boat entirely, but avoid moisture and warmth that will lead to mildew growth.
Homemade storage ideas
Store your kayak in the garage. Attach L-brackets to the walls and attach 2-by-4s to them. Wrap the supports in padding and lean the boat horizontally on its side across the supports and against the wall. If there is no room in the garage, create this same arrangement on an available wall outside, and cover your boat with a protective tarp. An alternative arrangement for the garage could be to create a sling arrangement by installing two ceiling hooks and threaded chain. Cover the chains with foam padding. For multiple boat storage outside, build a freestanding A-frame rack out of wood. Build the frame on a single post with several T-shaped cross braces along its height. Set the post in cement for an extra sturdy structure.