How to Design an Exterior Kayak Rack

How to Design an Exterior Kayak Rack
Kayakers tend to collect boats and eventually you will need to get them off the ground to work on them. You can design your own kayak rack that will serve your needs.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Count the number of boats you'll be racking. Be sure to plan for boats you will acquire over the next five years so you don't have to add on the next time you buy a boat. Make sure your your rack will accommodate the different lengths and widths of boats you have.
Step 2
Choose a site that allows clear access for someone carrying a kayak or canoe. Make sure the area is open where you plan to build. Get measurements of the space so you'll be able to decide on the type of rack you need to build to accommodate the size of your boats and the space available. The rack may need to be horizontal, vertical or some compromise of those dimensions.
Step 3
Measure your boats to determine the size requirements for the rack with regard to length and width of your boats. Boats should be supported at about a third of the way from either end. You may have to alter some boat supports to meet the support needs of smaller or larger boats.
Step 4
Examine designs posted at websites, that your friends have built, or that outfitter or canoe seller use to obtain design ideas. Compare these designs to your available space and access routes. Consider your building skills to select a design that works for you or that you can adapt to your needs.
Step 5
Draw a rough sketch and take it to a hardware store or lumber yard. The employees there will be able to give you advice on how to construct your design and what materials to use. Follow their advice when you build.

Tips & Warnings

Trust the advice given by the lumber yard or hardware stores employees with regard to fasteners, weights of materials and construction techniques.
Keep access pathways clear
Make sure you create a solidly built rack. It's safer to overbuild than underbuild.
Waterproof or paint your rack if you use unpressure treated wood.
Make sure the rack's supports strike your boats at about a third of the distance from either end. Heat can soften plastic boats or warp metal ones and cause them to sag in the middle.

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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