How do you ensure your ability to enjoy the use of your kayak for a long time or to resell it as a used kayak for a good price? If you gave a thought to how you would store your kayak, then you are in the minority.
Effective storage of kayaks is affected by how you store the kayak in the off-season as well as until the next weekend use.
This is one little piece of detail that, if missed, can come back to bite you (in your pocket) unless you arm yourself with the right information and knowledge about the best ways to store your kayak.
The last thing you need is for your kayak to get damaged or worse get stolen from under your nose.
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Tips to Protect and Store A Kayak
Kayaks are made from thin plastic materials so they can have the right buoyancy and performance on the water. This thin plastic material is consequently prone to warping during storage if exposed to heat and stress over 24 hours or more.
Experience has shown that the following are the best ways to store a kayak and should be adopted to ensure the shape of the vessel is maintained for a long time. See best seller indoor kayak storage gear from Amazon.
1. Prepare Your Kayak for Storage
An often missed detail especially when one is tired from a long kayak trip. Try to form the habit of preparing your kayak for any storage by following these steps:
- Wash off any dirt or salt. Use a mild detergent soap and a soft sponge to wash off the inside and the outside of the kayak. Rinse with fresh water, then dry the boat
- Spray the kayak with an aerospace protectant. Unlike many protectants that leave greasy residues, aerospace protectant is a water-based solution that dries to a clear matte finish. It protects the plastic of the kayak against fading, discoloration, and cracking from harmful UV rays and also repels dust and stains. Apply on a light coating to the kayak after it is washed and dried.
- Check for loosening screws and bolts. Tighten them.
- Grease all metal parts of the kayak.
- Soft fabric materials such as cushions should be stored separately. Take the materials indoors or store in waterproof materials to protect them against the element and pests if the kayak is being stored outdoors.
2. Protect Your Kayak from Hard Surfaces
Plastic kayaks, unlike fiberglass kayaks, deform quite easily under the right circumstances. If you store a plastic kayak on a hard surface for an extended period of 24hrs or more, you might find some flat spots begin to form on the parts of the kayak in contact with the hard surface.
Hard surfaces include concrete floors, tarred roads, gravel, and stone floors among others.
3. Protect Your Kayak from Extended Sunlight and Moisture
Kayaks are designed for use in the water, but you should note that direct exposure to moisture and sunlight is not good for your kayak. Sunlight and moisture can cause your kayak to warp and dry-rot as a result of continuous and direct exposure. Neither is storing it in a wet condition any better for the boat.
The best location to store a kayak is indoors; however, the following general measures should be taken during storage:
- Keeping it away from sunlit windows if stored indoors
- Using a big enough waterproof kayak cover that is UV protected to cover the kayak so that it is completely shaded, protected and dry at all times (especially if stored outdoors)
- Positioning the cover in such a way that snow and rain do not fall on the kayak
- Ensuring that the cover is not in direct contact with the boat so that there are no conditions for mold and mildew to grow
- Avoiding exposure of the kayak to extreme temperatures including freezing and thawing. Remember your kayak is made from soft plastic
4. Avoid Continous Gravitational Pull on Your Kayak
Naturally, a kayak is designed to be supported by the buoyancy and pressure of water. This is not the case if it is stored on the ground or made to hang in the air.
Gravity can cause the kayak to warp and render it obsolete as a result of continuous gravitational pull acting on its weight when stored in the wrong position.
To stop this from happening, especially in inflatable kayaks that are stored in their inflatable state, I advise the following to prevent warping and other damages:
- Avoid storing your kayak on hard and flat surfaces
- Never store your kayak on its end so that a lot of pressure does not act on one point
- Avoid storing your kayak in an upside down position, and with uneven pressure on the hull. However, you can store it upside down in slings or on cradle type saw horses
- Support your kayak with racks, straps, and netting to keep it from the ground. See example of an easy kayak rack to make
- Avoid supporting the kayak by its carrying handles
- Store the kayak on its side, this happens to be the strongest section on its body
- Ensure that the method chosen to support the kayak distributes its weight evenly
5. Protect Your Kayak from being knocked Around in the night
Depending on where the kayak is stored, it may be exposed to thieves or mistakenly bumped into by people who may not see it in their way while walking indoors.
If kept inside, it should be in a place that will not cause any injuries from bumping into the stored kayak. Let me give these tips to help safeguard the craft from thieves and prevent possible injuries:
- Look for an outdoor storage space that is hidden from the public
- Secure it to a fence or building so that it can’t be easily moved
- Mount it on wall brackets or ceiling straps
The above will ensure that your kayak retains the initial shape and appearance it was acquired in. It will also ensure that your kayak is protected from any persons motivated to steal or vandalize it as well as ensure that it does not cause any injuries to passers-by.
I would advise anyone planning to acquire or already using a kayak to consider the above tips when it comes to storing it to prevent any damages and ensure its durability and your kayak looking new.