This article was first posted on the kayak blog and is presented here for your reference. It was last updated on March 13th, 2009. Any links are affiliate links that support this site’s purpose.
So you want to know how to install outdoor kayak storage racks, huh? Well, it’s easy enough once you get past that first hurdle. It starts with getting the right dock for your boat, either a freestanding or an inside-the- Dock mounting style storage rack. Once you have that figured out, then comes the fun stuff…
For a good setup, you need the best outdoor kayak storage racks you can find. There are three basic types of kayak racks. The first two are built using pole, rack and frame construction and include a “storing” compartment under the seat for stowing gear. This type has a built-in “high-water” rack at the bottom of the storage rack for stowing anything that’s too large for the frame.
The second type is an open rack, where the entire kayak is completely exposed to the elements. A smaller storage rack for smaller boats is often built along the bow of the vessel. In most instances, this is a smaller rack for easy storage of smaller items and gear, rather than meant for long-term storage. Open racks provide the best flexibility in stowing gear and other small items that won’t take up much room, but can be hard to get to if the storage rack itself is overstuffed.
Vertical kayak racks are built with two long poles that connect to sturdy frames for support. They’re usually meant for longer vessels that will need more stability than the freestanding ones can provide, and they’re also more suitable for permanent storage in the garage. Depending on the manufacturer, they can come in either wood or plastic, with varying degrees of storage space. These outdoor kayak storage racks work great for garages because there’s little need for structural supports, and the vertical shaft is out of the way if it doesn’t interfere with working the vehicle. Again, though, these tend to be relatively small, and store items like fishing gear that aren’t really worth keeping inside the garage.
Wooden outdoor kayak storage racks can take a bit of extra care to keep clean, though. While the wood does naturally repel water and mildew, it may still be necessary to treat it and protect it from rain and snow. A spray treatment once a year will give it an extra protection from weather and debris. If you plan to store a lot of gear, though, buying a wooden rack may be worth it.
The best outdoor kayak storage racks aren’t just the ones that provide storage, however. They also include convenience features like built-in straps and hooks that make storing gear a snap. Whether you need a shoulder strap for easy access to your boat deck, or a retractable hook for hanging smaller items, most kayak manufacturers include at least one set of straps and one or two hooks designed to work with their specific kayaks. These often come in sets of two, and feature one strap on one end and a single hook on the other.
In addition to a single strap, there are also rack-mount racks that feature multiple paddles. Paddles are small, attached paddles that mount to the bottom of the rack, providing a number of points of attachment for a variety of kayak equipment. Paddles are great for short trips, as they allow you to bring along more supplies. For longer journeys, though, having several paddles makes life a bit more comfortable, as you’ll have access to multiple points of attachment. Having multiple mounting options also makes it easier to reach the gear that may be mounted in the wrong spot.
Of course, the most versatile storage rack is the one that comes with an adjustable feet so you can adjust the height and width of the unit to accommodate your personal canoes. This frees up valuable space in your house and allows you to use the space for other purposes. Some canoes come with feet that extend over the front of the canoe, and these feet can be adjusted to any level, allowing you to customize the angle to best fit your personal style. With a canoe storage hoist, you can easily move the canoes from room to room, ensuring you always have a perfectly-suited rack for them.
These are all good pros and cons to an outdoor kayak storage rack, and they serve their purpose in different ways. As you consider your storage needs, you may prefer the pros to the cons, or vice versa. Whatever your preference, do some research online so you can find the perfect set of storage containers. Whether you need a portable storage unit for day-to-day use or need a double storage rack that allows for safe storage of two canoes at once, these products make finding what you need simple.