Best Tips for Canoe and Kayak Storage

We were compelled to write these tips after seeing canoes and kayaks outside, on the ground, unprotected, and covered with snow. Storage is often the key to your boat’s longevity.

Storage Techniques
• Store Suspended – Use a pulley system in a garage with a high ceiling, or suspend your boat in a basement space. Both of these methods will get your boat up and out of the way.
• Store with L Hooks on a Wall – Make or buy L shaped brackets to store your canoe or kayak. Make sure the racks are positioned to provide the best support and distribute the weight of your vessel.
• Store Upside Down – Store your boat off the ground, with the weight evenly distributed. Additionally, make sure there is no bowing – saw horses work great for this. If storing outside, place in a shaded spot that is hidden and covered.

Canoe Storage Tips
• Winterize wooden gunwales by letting them dry and then applying a coat of gunwale guard oil.
• Wipe down vinyl gunwales with a household cleaner and apply a UV protectant.
• Make sure your thwart and seats are free from cracks and are not loose.
• Store canoes upside down.
• When storing, make sure you are evenly supporting the weight of your canoe.
• If you have float tank plugs in your canoe’s stern and bow, remove them.

Kayak Storage Tips
• Wash, clean, and check for any needed repairs.
• Remove neoprene and hatch covers and allow time for drying.
• Store off the ground.
• Store plastic kayaks on their side and store composite kayaks with their hull up or on their sides.
• For inflatable kayaks, deflate and store indoors when not in use for longer periods of time.

Tips for Both Canoes and Kayaks
• Clean before storing.
• If you use your boat in salt water, clean thoroughly to remove all salt before storing.
• Check for cracks and repair any problem areas.
• Protect with a sun protection UV spray.
• Cover and protect with a thick and durable tarp and tie the tarp down, protecting the boat yet allowing for some air flow.
• Deter theft by storing inside if possible. If you must store your boat outside, keep it hidden, covered, and secured with a sturdy cable lock.
• If storing outside in a snowy area, regularly remove snow during the winter to prevent damage from excessive pressure.