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Owning your own kayak, especially a certified Perception kayak, can unlock the joy of being on the water, but it begs the question – where the heck am I going to store it? Here are a few tips for taking care of your kayak when not on the water.
One of the easiest ways to store your kayak is to find a retailer, rental operation or paddling club that offers waterside storage – that way your kayak is there and at the ready whenever you are. Some locations also offer longer-term winter storage options.
If you’re using your kayak frequently and/or don’t have inside storage room, go ahead and lean it on its side, ideally under the eaves of a roof, with the cockpit facing in against the house, garage or shed. The object is to keep it out of the harmful rays of the sun, and to protect it from water and wind. Try not to store it flat for a prolonged time, as it can stress the hull of the kayak. If storing for a longer period (like over the winter), cover it with a water/UV-resistant tarp, being sure to eliminate depression areas that might collect snow or rainwater.
Storing a kayak inside is great protection for the boat, but can be challenging depending on your space constraints. Luckily, several options exist for minimising space, such as hanging the kayak from the ceiling or wall, or buying or building bracket racks for it to rest on.
Some do-it-yourselfers like to screw eyebolts into their ceilings, or build a loft/rack out of two-by-fours, and hoist the boats up and out of the way. If you go this route, make sure you’re hitting a stud with your mounting screws, and try to wrap the hull with your slings.
These usually take the form of large brackets to hold the kayaks horizontally against a wall. With enough space, you can often store three kayaks above one another on the same wall. As with ceiling storage, make sure the brackets are anchored into wall studs, and try to put the brackets on each side of the cockpit, the kayak’s strongest point, for the most support, and avoid hanging by the kayak’s handles.
Many companies sell kayak storage systems for inside and outside storage, from custom-sized brackets to storage slings. A sling system works by attaching the ropes or slings to your wall and wrapping the ropes around your kayak. A bracket system works by supporting the kayak on top of the brackets, which are installed into the wall or ceiling. They are both good, safe ways to hang a kayak and save space.
Golden Rule #1
Regardless of your storage choice, always follow the three Golden Rules. First - dry the kayak out first by draining water from the drain plug (if provided), as well wiping it down with a towel or sponge, especially around the cockpit and storage hatches to prevent any unwanted mould or mildew.
Golden Rule #2
Try not to subject your kayak to extreme heat or cold by keeping it away from direct heat sources and avoiding temperatures below freezing.
Golden Rule #3
If possible, don’t hang your kayak from its grab loops or handles, which can cause unnecessary stress and warping. Instead, try to wrap the whole hull with your straps.