One of the biggest problems many kayakers face at the end of the season is how to store a kayak. Unless you use inflatable kayaks that can easily deflate, having to properly store your kayak (or kayaks) once the chill hits the air is inevitable. Here are some of the best tips for storing your kayaks until it’s time to paddle again.
Just like a sailboat that needs to be winterized, kayaks should go through an end of season care ritual. There are three main steps in preparing your kayak for storage.
- Empty/Disassemble the kayak
- Clean your kayak thoroughly
- Store your kayak
Disassembling Your Kayak
First you’ll want to disassemble any elements on your kayak that need to be stored separate from the kayaks. If you have electronic equipment for fishing this should also be removed and stored. Items such as a kayak sail or fabric seat cover or cushion should be removed. If storing outside, or even in a garage, fabric items are susceptible to weather and outdoor animals that could ruin these items.
Cleaning Your Kayak
Next you’ll want to clean your kayak properly. Warm soapy water should get most of the grime off your kayak but if you find yourself in muddier waters or fishing you may need to put in a little more elbow grease.
Experts recommend not storing your kayak in the sun, however if you cannot avoid this you should try to protect your kayak as best you can. Apply a protectant on your kayak to ensure the UV rays don’t damage the kayak during the off season. It’s also a good idea to cover the kayak to further protect it from UV rays or any bumps it could receive while in non-use.
As you clean your kayak you’ll also want to survey it for any necessary repairs. It’s a great time to fix these little things to ensure once the weather gets warmer they’ll be no delay in getting your kayak back in the water.
Store Your Kayak
Last it’s time to put your kayak away until your next use. When picking your storage solution you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.
- Will you be storing it vertically or horizontally? Kayaks made of plastic can experience distortions in the hull if stored directly on the tip of the hull. This is because the weight of the entire kayak will be pushing down on that plastic. Your best storage option is keeping the kayak upside down or on its side. This will minimize warping.
- Is the storage space easy to access and can you easily take the kayak down? Depending on how long you are storing the kayak you may want an easy to access location. Garage walls can be better spots for temporary storage in season while a ceiling may be better for off season.
- Is the solution safe? When putting together your storage solutions you’ll want to assess who could potentially be near the kayak. If you are storing it in a place used by small children you’ll want to make sure your storage solution is as secure as possible.
While putting your kayak away for the winter can be a time consuming process, following these steps will ensure you’ll be back in the water as soon as the weather warms up.