Kayak Storage Plan

Kayak Storage Plan
If you're thinking of purchasing a kayak, or have already purchased one, you've probably learned that kayaks aren't cheap. They range on average from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on size, quality, and function. While most kayaks, made either of molded plastic or fiberglass, may appear indestructible, they're vulnerable to deterioration from the elements, like anything else. By storing your kayak properly, you can help ensure a lifetime of enjoyment and performance from your investment.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Waterproof tarp
  • Bungee chord
  • Soap and water
  • Kayak and boat UV protectant
Step 1
Rinse your kayak thoroughly with a mild soap and fresh water before storing. Kayaks used in salt water are especially susceptible to degradation. Metal hinges, like those used to adjust your cockpit seat, require special attention, as salt can cause them to rust. Aim your hose into the interior of the kayak, where crevices and compartments can hide caked-on mud and dead insects.
Step 2
Spray your boat with a UV protectant, such as 303 UV Kayak and Boat UV Protectant, three or four times a year after washings. This will protect the kayak from the sun and keep the finish looking fresh. While you're at it, apply a lubricant, such as Tri-flow, to moving parts. Your rudder, pedals, and hinges will continues to operate smoothly and reliably.
Step 3
Store your kayak upright, by leaning it against a wall or hanging it from a rigging device. Turn the hull, or planing surface, toward the wall. This will ensure minimal impact upon this surface, which is thin and can become warped over time. If lacking proper vertical space, rest the kayak upside-down, with the cockpit facing down. Elevate the kayak. Rest both the bow and stern on a pair of chairs.
Step 4
Cover your kayak. A large piece of tarp is ideal, and can be purchased cheaply at a hardware store. A tarp, or other weatherproof covering, will help protect your kayak from the elements. Water can create mold inside the kayak, while direct sunlight, or too much heat, can lead to warping and discoloration. Use bungee cord to secure the tarp around both the bow and stern, ensuring a protective fit.

Tips & Warnings

 
Before purchasing your kayak, consider the need for space. As kayaks generally range from 6 to 14 feet long, you're going to need a good deal of it. Consider your spatial options before making the purchase.
 
Don't store your kayak on its hull. Again, this section of the vessel is especially vulnerable to damage. A process known as "oil-canning," in which the hull begins to cave in toward the cockpit, occurs when pressure is applied to this area for any extended period. This can occur if something is resting upon the hull, as well.
 
Avoid using wax/polish on your kayak. While this will not harm it, the wax/polish can make for a slippery, and potentially hazardous, surface. Stick with the UV protectant.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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