Struggling with storage space for your cherished kayak, or simply looking for a more efficient way to store it? Fret not! We’ve got your back. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of storing your kayak vertically, which can save you space while keeping your kayak dry and secure. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s explore the world of vertical kayak storage!
Why Go Vertical with Your Kayak Storage?
Opting for vertical storage for your kayak comes down to three significant reasons:
- Space: Maximize your limited storage area by making use of the often-overlooked vertical space. This frees up valuable floor space for other items and activities.
- Number of Kayaks: Are you a proud owner of multiple kayaks? Vertical storage will help you manage your collection more efficiently, making it easier to maintain and access them all.
- Security: A kayak stored vertically is less prone to tipping over or getting bumped accidentally. It’s also easier to secure and monitor, ensuring the safety of your investment.
Choosing the Perfect Spot for Your Vertical Kayak Storage
Before you begin setting up your vertical storage, there are several factors you should consider:
- Location: Find a spot that’s away from direct sunlight, heat, and critters. These factors can cause damage to your kayak over time, so it’s crucial to store it in a safe environment.
- Accessibility: Make sure your chosen storage location is convenient to access, especially if you frequently use your kayak. This will save you time and effort when you’re eager to hit the water.
- Indoors vs. Outdoors: Storing your kayak indoors (garage, shed, or workshop) offers added protection from the elements, but may require more space. Storing it outdoors is an alternative if you take the necessary precautions.
Getting Your Kayak Positioned Just Right
To store your kayak vertically without damaging the hull or causing undue stress on the material, there are two methods you can employ:
- Standing on stern: This popular method involves having your kayak stand on the stern (with the cockpit facing outward). Make sure the stern is padded and tilted slightly, so it rests against the wall. It’s essential to secure the kayak properly to prevent it from sliding sideways or tipping over.
- Leaning against the wall or rack: This method involves leaning the kayak on its side on the ground against the wall or using one of the many kayak wall racks available. Wall racks are a great way to maximize storage space, especially if you don’t have high ceilings to accommodate a tall kayak. Using a wall rack with secure straps on either side of the cockpit will ensure there’s no stress pulling on the kayak hull.
Temperature Control: A Key Aspect of Kayak Storage
Regardless of your storage method, it’s essential to maintain a consistent temperature in your storage environment. Temperature extremes can degrade a kayak quickly, causing cracks, warping, or other damage. If you store your kayak in an attached garage or an outdoor shed, make sure to provide adequate insulation or ventilation to regulate the temperature.
Protecting Your Kayak While Vertical
Proper protection is crucial when storing your kayak vertically. To ensure your kayak remains stable and damage-free, follow these steps:
- Pad the stern: Place a thick cushion, towel, or blanket underneath the stern to protect it from direct contact with the floor. This can be done by placing the padding inside a crate or wedging it between a small pallet.
- Secure the kayak: Use straps, pegs, or another securing method to keep your kayak in place, preventing it from moving or tipping over.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Vertical Storage: Pros and Cons
Indoor Vertical Storage:
- Offers the best security and protection from animals and weather elements.
- Allows for better temperature control, ensuring the kayak remains in good condition for longer.
- Keeps your kayak handy and within sight.
- Requires ample space within your home or garage, which may not be available for everyone.
- Maintenance: You should always make sure to properly dry and clean your kayak after each use if you store it indoors.
Outdoor Vertical Storage:
- Ideal for those who lack indoor space for storage.
- Can be set up in a dry, clean, and hidden area outdoors, away from prying eyes.
- Exposes your kayak to weather elements and potential animal damage.
- May require additional protective measures such as a weatherproof cover or tarp.
Building Your Own Vertical Kayak Rack
While there are numerous commercial kayak racks available, you can also build a simple and affordable DIY kayak rack using the following supplies:
- 1-inch PVC pipe (10 feet)
- 4x PVC joints
- 3 mounting clamps
Using these materials, you can create a 1×4 ft frame to accommodate a 12-18 ft kayak. Mount the frame on the wall, ensuring it’s secure and properly adjusted to fit your kayak’s length. Place your kayak inside the frame with the cockpit facing outward and the stern pointing down. Make sure the pressure is evenly distributed to avoid warping or damage.
If storing your kayak outdoors, consider adding a tarp or weatherproof storage cover to protect it from the elements.
Avoid These Mistakes When Storing Your Kayak Vertically
To ensure your kayak remains in optimal condition, avoid the following mistakes when storing it vertically:
- Allowing the stern to come in direct contact with the floor.
- Using inadequate securing methods or materials (opt for wide nylon straps or padded cradles).
- Storing your kayak when it’s dirty, moist, or grimy – always clean and dry it before storage.
- Leaving accessories or equipment inside the cockpit, as these can retain moisture and promote mold or bacterial growth.
Negatives of Vertical Kayak Storage
While vertical storage has several benefits, it’s essential to consider the potential downsides:
- Requires sufficient ceiling height, which may not be available in all homes or storage spaces.
- Outdoor vertical storage may attract more attention and be more challenging to secure, increasing the risk of theft.
Is It Okay to Store a Kayak on Its End?
Storing a kayak vertically on its stern is generally considered safe, as long as you ensure that there’s no pressure on the hull. Use padding to create a soft resting place for the stern and ensure the kayak is tilted slightly to distribute the weight evenly. This approach is suitable for those who use their kayak regularly, but for long-term storage, you may want to explore other options.
Storing your kayak vertically is a practical, space-saving solution that can keep your kayak secure, dry, and ready for your next adventure. By carefully considering the location, positioning, temperature control, and protection measures, you can ensure your kayak remains in top condition for years to come.
Remember that proper maintenance and care are crucial, regardless of whether you store your kayak indoors or outdoors. So, take the time to clean, dry, and inspect your kayak regularly, and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for storage and care.