How to Store Your Kayak or Canoe

Gemini | November 30, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

If you’re looking for canoe or kayak storage when the season is over or if you just need a place to store your boat in between paddles, a storage unit may be the perfect solution. Especially for those who live in apartments, paddle sports can be a logistical challenge. Storelocal has a safe, easy to access storage facility near you where you can keep your kayaks or canoes all year.

A dedicated storage space means the elements can’t harm your kayak or canoe. You also won’t need to take up extra garage space or worry about backyard thieves. We’ll tell you how to store a canoe or a kayak, so you’ll always be ready to catch that glassy lake at sunset or those Class III river rapids.

Why Indoor Kayak Storage?Two people enjoy the water after kayak storage with Storelocal

Storing your kayak inside protects it from harmful weather and damaging sun. Whether your kayak is wood, carbon fiber, fiberglass or plastic, it will last longer when properly stored in a safe indoor location. You’ll avoid risk of:

  • UV rays can cause fading and weaken your kayak’s integrity.
  • Heat. Hot weather can warp kayaks and ruin their body shape.
  • Rain, snow and humidity can also cause warping as well as mold.
  • While not as detrimental, temperature changes over time can lead to deterioration, especially in fiberglass kayaks. 

An indoor storage unit, especially one that is climate controlled is ideal for keeping your kayak in great shape when it’s not on the water. It’s also a great place to keep all your accessories like paddles, dry bags, bilge pumps, spray skirts and PFDs. If you have multiple kayaks or have a friend who needs a place for theirs, doubling up is a great economical solution.

How to Prep Your Kayak for Storage

To keep your kayak in peak condition, follow a few basic maintenance tips before you stow it away.

  • Inspect it. Look for cracks or broken parts. Make sure nothing was damaged during your last paddle and that all plugs are in place and all parts are working properly.


  • Vacuum it. A vacuum is an easy way to remove sand and debris that accumulates inside your boat.


  • Wash it. A quick scrub with mild soap and warm water removes the grime and grit that could cause your kayak premature wear and tear. This is crucial if you paddle in saltwater. Rinse well, inside and out.


  • Dry it. Leave your kayak out to fully dry before storing. Excess moisture can lead to mildew.


  • Apply 303 protectant. Once a year, apply a coat of 303 protectant to fortify your kayak against harmful UV deterioration. 

Kayak Storage Ideas

Choose the right storage space for your kayak(s). Obviously, the length of your kayak will dictate the size of the storage unit you’ll need. Don’t neglect to factor in the vertical space - many units have high ceilings. While purists will argue that your kayak should only be stored horizontally, if you do it properly, storing your kayak upright won’t harm it.

To store your kayak vertically, make sure the end supporting the weight is on a foam block or padded surface instead of the hard floor. Lean your kayak against the wall to take some of the pressure off and rotate it periodically. You can also purchase a vertical rack to hold your kayak securely. 

If you’re storing multiple kayaks or using your storage unit for items other than your kayak, a kayak rack may be a good solution. Racks keep your kayak safely stored above the ground and free up space for other items.

You can purchase a prefab rack or build one yourself – there are plenty of how to videos available. When storing your kayak horizontally, store it with the deck down. This preserves the hull shape and limits warping. Use padding to cushion the bottom and, if using a rack, have the supports about 30% in from either end.

Why Indoor Canoe Storage

Canoe storage keeps your boat in good shape until your next paddleCanoes are a significant investment. Today’s carbon fiber or Kevlar models don’t come cheap and, despite their durability, require a certain level of care to extend their lifespan. They’re also a sitting target in your backyard.

Safely storing your canoe in a secure facility ensures that it’s not only safe from thieves but also UV rays, harmful weather and premature deterioration.

How to Properly Store a Canoe

Before you store your canoe away, follow the same simple steps as with a kayak. In addition to cleaning your boat, check the hardware on the seats and thwarts and handles to make sure everything is secure. If you have wooden gunwales, treat them periodically with a preservative.

Canoes should ideally be laid flat with their hull up. Sawhorses work well. If you’re storing multiple canoes or a canoe and a kayak, a storage rack is a great way to maximize your space and keep your boats off the ground.

When using self-storage keep in mind the vertical and diagonal space as you choose the right sized unit. Avoid setting your boat directly on the ground. Propping it up on padded supports will prevent warping or cracks. The extra space in your unit can be used for items like PFDs and paddles or other seasonal outdoor gear.

Keep Your Kayaks and Canoes Safe and Secure

A storage unit is the perfect way to ensure your canoe or kayak is always ready for your next adventure out on the open water. Keeping your prized boats dry, secure and easy to access is easy with Storelocal. Contact us today for a facility near your favorite body of water.

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