Storing your kayak properly is one of the most important aspects of caring for your boat. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. What really matters is that you take the proper steps to protect it from the elements and from water damage. Here are some tips on how to store a kayak safely.
First of all, to avoid hull failure, you must ideally store your kayak inside of a storage facility with adequate structural integrity and a way to allow excess moisture to escape. That’s not all though. Even if the kayak is housed indoors or out, you still must take measures to prevent an animal or rodent infestation in the event that the storage facility is prone to such incidences. Insects can wreak havoc on metal and wood and can leave you without kayak storage options for quite some time. A quick glance at the interior of storage facilities may provide all the confirmation you need as to whether or not it is mold-friendly.
Storing your kayaks during off peak times is a wise idea. Off peak times are the times when the storage facility receives the most rain, and is therefore the most susceptible to mold build up. Kayaks that are not stored during these times are also at a greater risk of damage. If you’re storing your kayaks during the off season, be sure to check the inside of the boat more often for signs of moisture. This is an excellent way to detect mold growth.
Storing your boat in a basement offers a number of benefits that are not available when storing them indoors. Lower ceilings mean less of the boat will be exposed to the sun’s harmful rays, which can actually crack the boat material. In addition, a basement offers a waterproofing benefit, which can extend the life of your kayak. This is especially beneficial for boats that may regularly go out into salt water or have other forms of water damage. Even if you live in a dry climate, a basement may be ideal for the protection of your vessel against rainfall.
How to store a kayak indoors depends on the type of kayak you own. A small inflatable kayak can be stored in a small closet. Larger, hard plastic kayaks require different storage methods. For example, a sailcloth-style cover for a small boat can be tied over the top of the boat, while a larger, flat cover is adequate for a tall kayak. If you have a flatwater kayak, however, it is better to leave the cover folded down so that it won’t blow away in high winds.
One of the main problems with storing a kayak indoors is that there are several ways to get at it. In the garage, where there is enough space, placing a wooden dowel inside the kayak’s hull area will keep most of it out of sight. However, this won’t solve the problem of rusting. A metal hook would work best. The worst thing that can happen is that someone will steal the kayak and paddle away. Although most people keep their kayaks indoors, in a garage or basement, they still need to know where their kayaks are at all times.
Although keeping a kayak indoors is possible, there are drawbacks. The biggest issue is the danger of direct sunlight shining in on the vulnerable wood. Kayaks are designed to be watertight, but even a small amount of sunlight can cause serious damage. If the inside of the garage is directly exposed to direct sunlight, the wood can warp, split, or both. In extreme cases, the paint can start to blister and peel off.
Kayak storage has taken some big steps forward in recent years. With new construction techniques and innovative products, many of the challenges associated with storing boats have been addressed. While storing a kayak for long periods of time remains a challenge, the right combination of safety and durable boat storage options are making the process easier than ever.