how to store a kayak [Answered]


Kayaking is an exciting and rewarding outdoor activity. However, with great kayaking escapades come great responsibilities — such as proper kayak storage. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or just starting, it is essential to have reliable, safe, and effective storage solutions for your kayak or kayaks. Improper storage can lead to many issues such as damage, deformation or even the growth of mold. In this post, we will explore some tips and tricks for storing your kayak properly, outdoors, or indoors, and suggest alternative storage ideas that might work for you. We will also discuss some maintenance habits that can extend the life of your kayak.

Outdoor Kayak Storage

Storing a kayak outside can be practical and convenient, but it can also expose it to harsh weather elements, such as sun and rain, causing damage and deterioration over time. Here are some tips to avoid issues with outdoor storage:

  • Choose a sheltered area: if you’re keeping your kayak outside, try to find a spot that’s protected from the sun, rain, and wind. Consider placing it under a canopy, carport, or shed.
  • Use a Kayak Cover or Tarp: investing in a kayak cover or tarp can keep your boat from fading, cracking, or attracting unwanted animals or debris.
  • Place Kayak on its side: storing the kayak on its bottom can weaken the hull over time. Instead, place it on its side, and use a padded block or stand to prevent it from rolling over or getting damaged.
  • Secure the Kayak: Use cables, locks, or straps to secure the kayak and prevent theft, vandalism, or damage by the wind.

Indoor Kayak Storage

Storing your kayak indoors can provide shelter and protection from the elements, but it can also be a challenge if you don’t have enough space or the right setup. Here are some tips for indoor kayak storage:

  • Choose a stable and dry location: Look for a spot that’s cool and dry, away from direct sunlight and humidity. Basements, garages, or tool sheds can be good options.
  • Use a Rack or Hanger: A wall or ceiling-mounted rack or hanger can keep your kayak off the floor and out of the way. Make sure the rack is sturdy enough to support your kayak’s weight.
  • Pad your Storage Area: To prevent scratches, dents, or other damage, use padding or foam blocks on the rack or hanger arms. You can also use towels or blankets to add extra cushioning.
  • Stack your Kayaks Safely: If you have multiple kayaks, stack them carefully and securely, making sure the kayaks don’t rub against each other and cause scratches or deformations.

Alternative Kayak Storage

If you don’t have space for outdoor or indoor kayak storage or need a different storage solution, here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Sling Storage: A sling is a simple and affordable option that can suspend your kayak overhead from hooks in the ceiling or rafters. This can save floor space, and it’s easy to access and store your boat.
  • Hoist Storage: A pulley or hoist system can lift your kayak off the ground and onto the ceiling, enabling you to store it safely and securely. However, this method can be more complicated and require more installation work.
  • Folding/Inflatable Kayaks: If space is limited or you need to transport your kayak frequently, a folding or inflatable kayak may be a viable option. These kayaks can be folded or deflated and stored in a closet or small space between uses.

Maintenance before and after storage

Proper kayak maintenance is key to keeping your kayak in good shape and prolonging its life. Before and after storing your kayak, make sure to:

  • Clean and Dry the Kayak: Wash your kayak with fresh water and mild soap, and dry it thoroughly inside and out with a towel or sponge. This can prevent mold, mildew, and corrosion.
  • Remove all the accessories and extras: Remove accessories or equipment such as paddles, life jackets, and fishing gear. This can prevent wear, tear and corrosion that can rub off on your kayak.
  • Store it in vertical (not on its bottom) so water doesn’t pool or freeze and deform the hull.
  • Tighten any Loose Screws or Bolts: Before storing, tighten any loose screws or bolts, keep the hull shape intact, and prevent any further damage.

Related: Navionics App: Your Ultimate Nautical Companion


How often should I clean my kayak before storing it?

It’s best to clean your kayak after every use, but especially before storing it for a long period of time.

Are indoor or outdoor storage options better for kayaks?

Both indoor and outdoor storage options can work, as long as you choose a location that is stable, dry, and secure.

Do I need a kayak cover or tarp for outdoor storage?

Using a kayak cover or tarp can help protect your kayak from the elements and prevent damage.

What is the best way to store multiple kayaks at once?

Stacking your kayaks safely, using a rack or hanger, or choosing a stable location are all effective ways to store multiple kayaks at once.

Can I store my kayak vertically?

While it is possible to store some kayaks vertically, it is generally recommended to store them on their side to prevent warping or damage.

How do I prevent mold from growing on my kayak during storage?

Keeping your kayak dry and removing all accessories and extras can help prevent mold growth during storage.

Can I store my kayak outside during the winter?

If you live in a colder climate, it’s recommended to store your kayak indoors during the winter months to prevent freezing and cracking.

When should I inflate or deflate my inflatable kayak for storage?

Always fully inflate or deflate your inflatable kayak according to the manufacturer’s instructions before storing it.

What is sling storage and how does it work?

Sling storage involves suspending your kayak in a sling, which can be a space-saving alternative to racks or hangers.

What maintenance should I perform on my kayak before storing it for a long period of time?

It’s important to clean and dry your kayak thoroughly, remove all accessories and extras, and store it in a stable location to prevent damage during long-term storage.

Real experience

As a kayaking enthusiast, Jake spent most of his weekends out on the water, exploring new rivers and lakes with his trusty kayak. But as the winter months approached, he realized he would need to find a safe and secure way to store his kayak until spring.

At first, he considered storing it outside, covered with a tarp to protect it from the elements. But as the temperatures dropped and the snow began to fall, he worried about the potential damage his kayak could sustain.

He then looked into indoor storage options, but was hesitant to store his kayak in his cramped apartment. After a bit of research, he discovered that there were alternative storage options available, including sling storage and hoist storage.

After weighing his options, Jake decided to invest in a sturdy sling for his kayak. He suspended it from his garage ceiling, where it hung safely overhead, out of the way and protected from damage.

At the beginning of spring, Jake was thrilled to uncover his kayak and find it in pristine condition. He was grateful that he had taken the time to properly store it during the winter months, and was eager to get back on the water.

From that point on, Jake made sure to always properly store his kayak, using the knowledge he had gained from his experience. He even shared his insight with fellow kayakers, ensuring that their cherished boats would also stay safe and secure during their off-season.


Storing a kayak can be a challenge, but it’s essential to ensure its longevity and functionality. Whether you choose to store your kayak indoors, outdoors or try alternative storage methods, make sure to keep it clean, dry, and secured. Investing in a kayak cover, rack, or hoist can help protect your kayak from the elements and save floor space. Proper maintenance, such as cleaning and drying your kayak and removing all accessories and extra equipment, can extend its lifespan and minimize the risk of damage. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll enjoy many happy paddling adventures with your kayak for years to come.

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