How to Build a Wooden Kayak Storage Rack

How to Build a Wooden Kayak Storage Rack
A simple wooden kayak rack can be constructed with a few basic tools and materials. You can build one free-standing, attached to a garage, or like the one in this example, cemented to your yard or lake's shore. Designed for the easiest access and most flexibility, this rack works well for folks who have a collection of boats and canoes of different sizes and lengths.


Difficulty: Easy

Constructing the Base

Things You’ll Need:
  • Telephone pole or heavy post
  • Chain saw
  • Post hole digger
  • Two 12-foot-long pressure-treated 2 x 12s
  • Drill
  • Four 6-inch lag bolts and washers
  • Box of 2½-inch galvanized screws and washers
  • 40 feet of old fire hose
  • Wheelbarrow and shovel
  • Six bags pre-mixed concrete
  • Twelve screw-in eyebolts
Step 1
Cut the telephone pole or post into 4-foot lengths.
Step 2
Select a flat, convenient site for the rack in your yard. Dig four holes, 2 feet deep each, to form a rectangle with outside measurements of 12 feet wide and 8 feet long. The boats will lie across the narrower span.
Step 3
Set the posts in the holes, mix the concrete, and put about a bag and a half around the base of each post in the hole.
Step 4
Place the 2 x 12s as shown along the long side of the rectangle. Mark the centerpoint where the boards strike the posts and drill a hole in each end slightly smaller than the thickness of your lag bolts. Lag-bolt the 2 x 12 cross members into place.


Step 1
Cut the fire hose in two. Each piece should fully cover the length of a cross member.
Step 2
Screw one end of the fire hose to the top of the cross member as shown. Use galvanized screws and small washers so the fire hose bumper won't pull up once attached.
Step 3
Arch the hose and screw 4- to 6-inch accordion pleats in the hose down the length of the cross member. The hose will protect the hulls of the boats and keep them from sliding off the rack. Repeat the process with other cross member.
Step 4
Lay the kayaks across the cross members. If you have more than will comfortably fit side by side, you can nest them as shown below.
Step 5
If you wish to tie down your boats, predrill pilot holes every 2 feet or so along the outside faces of the cross members. Screw in a series of small eyebolts to create handy attachment points for bungee cords.

Tips & Warnings

Check your local fire stations for used canvas fire hose. You may have to pay a little, but it helps the fire station, especially the volunteer ones.
If you don't use pressure treated (Wolmanized) lumber, paint the rack with enamel paint to prevent rot.
Place the rack near where you'll be unloading.
Tie down your canoes, especially in stormy weather, to keep them from blowing away.
Make sure there is a clear pathway to the rack for carrying the kayaks.

Article Written By Tom King

Tom King published his first paid story in 1976. His book, "Going for the Green: An Insider's Guide to Raising Money With Charity Golf," was published in 2008. He received gold awards for screenwriting at the 1994 Worldfest Charleston and 1995 Worldfest Houston International Film Festivals. King holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Southwestern Adventist College.

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