A quality kayak is a considerable investment that can give you years of fun and enjoyment. But as with any investment, you need to take good care of your kayak to fully enjoy its benefits. Knowing how to store a kayak properly when not in use is a vital part of owning one and a great way to ensure that your precious boat stays in excellent shape, longer.
We have outlined below several tips for storing kayaks to help keep yours in tip-top condition and ready for your future adventures.
How To Store A Kayak: Inflatable Kayaks
Many paddlers prefer inflatable kayaks to hard-shell kayaks for several reasons, like the ease of transport and affordability. When it comes to storage, inflatable kayaks are easier to work with since all you have to do is deflate and fold or roll them. Plus, these kayaks don’t require much space, as they can even fit inside a closet or under the bed!
As straightforward as the process may seem, several problems may ensue as a result of improper storage (think mold and mildew). To address these problems, we have shared some useful tips on how to store kayaks that you can employ when putting away your inflatable.
1. Clean Your Kayak Thoroughly
- With the kayak still inflated, remove all detachable kayak accessories like the seats, footpeg kits, etc.
- Wash the kayak and kayak accessories with water and mild detergent. Be sure to get the crevices between the kayak floor and side bladders since this is where sand, dirt, and other debris often get stuck.
2. Dry Your Kayak Completely
- Grab some dry towels and wipe down the still inflated kayak until you’ve gotten most of the water out.
- Deflate the kayak and wipe any excess moisture you may have missed earlier.
- To ensure it is completely dry, hang the deflated kayak on a clothesline or drape it over a balustrade to air dry.
3. Fold or Roll Your Kayak Properly
- With some Kayak Pumps/kayak bilge pumps, you can use the deflation port to suck out any remaining air inside the kayak.
- Fold or roll the kayak according to the manufacturer’s instructions to minimize the stress on the seams and materials. Be mindful of the vales and D-rings so they don’t end up scratching the “skin” of the kayak.
4. Protect Your Kayak against Mold
- Clean the storage bag and make sure it is completely dry.
- You shouldn’t have to worry about mold if your kayak and the storage bag is completely dry. However, if you’re storing your kayak in a humid environment, there is still a huge chance of mold infestation. To keep this from happening, put silica gel together with your kayak inside the storage bag.
How To Store A Kayak Indoors: Hard-shell Kayaks
Unlike inflatable kayaks, hard-shell kayaks are big and bulky, which often makes storage a problem. If you have enough space in your garage or shed though, then you should have no trouble keeping your kayak safe from the elements and unscrupulous individuals. Here are some tips to show you the best way to store kayaks in the garage.
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1. Cleaning, Drying And Protecting Your Kayak
- Before storing your kayak, make sure that you clean it using mild detergent and water, especially if you have one of these yaks that are prone to salt corrosion like an ocean fishing kayak.
- Rinse the kayak and prop it outside to dry.
- Loosen the bungees, straps, and buckles; this will help retain their elasticity.
- Spray your kayak with a protective sealant to help reduce oxidization.
- It would be best if your storage area is well ventilated, as this will allow for proper air circulation and prevent moisture build-up. However, make sure to put your kayak away from the windows where sunlight and rain can get to it.
2. Using A Kayak Rack
- Don’t store kayak by leaving it on the floor of the garage, shed, or basement. This will damage the hull and leave it exposed to moisture and dirt from the ground.
- Buy a kayak rack and while at it, get one that will allow you to position your boat on its side or upside down. The best way to store a kayak on a rack would be on its side because that is the more durable part of the boat and is less susceptible to bending.
3. Hanging Your Kayak
- If you decide to hang a kayak in the garage, remember to never suspend it by the grab loops, as this will cause the boat to bend and sag over time. Instead, use strong nylon straps and wrap them around the yak with the hull facing the ceiling.
- When hanging the kayak from the ceiling, make sure the weight is distributed evenly and supported along with specific points. Most kayakers will space the nylon straps a third of the way from each end.
How To Store A Kayak Outside
Not all paddlers have a garage where they can store their precious yaks, in which case, outdoor kayak storage may be the only option available to them. Some kayak shops offer storage services, but if you prefer to keep your boat ‘where you can see it’ and avoid paying storage kayaks fee, we have highlighted below a few tips on how to store a kayak outside to help you do it right.
1. Protect Your Kayak against the Weather
- Spray your kayak with a protectant to keep it safe from the damaging UV rays. Not only will the sun fade your kayak’s color but will also crack its plastic over time.
- Store your yak in a shady spot like under the eaves of a roof or behind a wall of your home. This will keep it protected from the damaging effects of the sun and rain.
- Use a kayak cover to protect your kayak from the elements. Choose covers that are made from high-quality fabrics, preferably ones that have been treated and sealed to keep moisture out.
- Although you may already be using a kayak cover, you’ll want to hang a weather-resistant tarp over the kayak for added protection. However, don’t just drape the tarp over the kayak; direct contact between these two may result in fungal growth especially in wet environments.
2. Protect Your Kayak against Theft
- Apart from bad weather, when storing a kayak outside, you need to have it hidden from view to prevent would-be thieves from taking an interest in your boat.
- Invest in a high-quality cable locking system to make it more difficult for determined criminals to steal your boat. Some kayaks even come with built-in security cleats that allow you to tie the boat to a post
3. Protect Your Kayak against Critters
- Use a cockpit cover to prevent spiders, wasps, and other critters from entering and nesting inside your kayak. Cockpit covers are relatively inexpensive and will keep rainwater from entering the kayak.
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As part of being a responsible kayak owner, you ought to do some research on how to store a kayak properly. And it doesn’t matter what type you have; do your best to protect and take good care of it. Otherwise, you may find yourself fuming with frustration as you take your kayak out and find that it has been damaged due to poor storage practices.
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