To keep your kayak in top shape and add years of life to your boat; proper storage is key.
Whether you’re putting your kayak away for the season or out of the way until the weekend, you’ll want to consider these tips for home, cabin, deck, dock or club to protect your kayak from hull distortion or damage and exposure to sun and weather, as these elements will affect your boat’s performance.
Over time most kayak hulls will deform or bend if the weight of the boat is not distributed evenly. Plastic and fabric hulls are the most susceptible to damage, but deformation can also occur with fiberglass and wood-hulled boats. Storing the kayak on its hull forces the hull to take the full weight of the kayak and this leads to distortion that may affect performance. Ideally, the best method for storing a kayak to avoid hull damage is to store the kayak on its side; the strongest part of the boat. It’s important to distribute the weight of the boat evenly and avoid hard surface supports that can dent the hull. Overtime, a boat stored improperly on a hard surface will result in a dented hull.
The ideal storage solution is to suspend your kayak on UV resistant webbing while distributing the weight of the boat evenly between two points. The webbing conforms to the curve of the hull and cradles the kayak preventing flat spots and damage. Adjustability to the length of your kayak is important here as well. Support the kayak so the weight of the boat is balanced equally on the webbing, aligned to the strongest part of the hull. The kayak will be over strained if supported too close to the center or ends resulting in a boat resembling a banana. To make this easy, Suspenz has designed a free 2-Point Spacing Guide that works for any adjustable storage system. See 2-Point Spacing Guide below.
Sunlight can degrade any kayak hull material, from fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber to plastic.
Prolonged exposure to weather may cause degradation. To provide the ultimate protection for your kayak, store it inside. When that is not an option, store your boat under a protective covering. If using a fabric covering, look for a water resistant cover made from UV & mildew resistant materials. When placing the cover over the kayak angle it so that rain water or snow will run off to the side.
Foremost, store your boat securely whether short or long term to prevent accidents.
By following a few simple guidelines, your boat will be safely secured while in storage, and you will use your boat more often.
• Use safety straps over the top of the kayak to secure the boat in place.
• With a free standing system; secure the racks to dock or floor.
• Install racks at a height that allows for you to easily access your boats.
• Avoid straining your back when loading or unloading kayaks from storage racks.
• Choose a storage system that is easy for you to use and easy to get to.
• Never support your kayak from its ends only or hang it from the grab loops or carrying toggles.
• Avoid storing poly boats on the floor or hard flat surface for long periods of time.
• These methods will result in eventually rendering your kayak useless.
• Think about the space you have, will side storage offer you more room?
• How easy or difficult is it to load and unload the boats from the system?
• Do you have space indoors or outdoors?
• Will storing your kayaks be a headache or a step towards the next paddling adventure?
Remember, the right storage system is paramount to keeping you and your kayak Action Ready!
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