How to Store Your Kayak

Storing your kayak on an elevated rack will protect it from elements on the ground like dirt and moisture.

Storing your kayak on an elevated rack will protect it from elements on the ground like dirt and moisture.

Kayaks are big and bulky, which can make storage a challenge. Don’t let that deter you from enjoying all the incredible paddling our state has to offer. Whether you live here all year or just seasonally, proper storage will keep your vessel in top condition and ready for your next paddle. Just be sure to consider a few key factors.

First, store your boat out of direct sunlight. Ultraviolet rays can degrade just about any kayak hull material, from fiberglass to plastic to coated fabric. Also consider moisture. Consistent exposure to moisture from rain and humidity can cause hull materials to break down over time.

Extreme heat is another factor that can lead to the warping of hull materials, so it’s important to keep your boat away from direct heat sources. Choose an area or room that is well shaded and does not get too hot. On the other hand, repetitive freezing and thawing can also potentially damage your boat. This is especially true if you have a fiberglass vessel that has been exposed to moisture during storage.

It is recommended that you do not store your boat directly on the ground, because warping may occur and it is more susceptible to dirt and moisture there. Most paddlers will use either a rack or suspension system to support their kayak. Just make sure the weight of your kayak is distributed evenly to prevent deformities. Your kayak should be free of any salt, dirt, or sand before you store it for long periods of time. Don’t forget to take care of your kayak accessories as well.

Ocean Tribe Outfitters is a branch of Sanibel Sea School that helps the SWFL paddling community better explore, enjoy, and understand the ocean. Visit oceantribeoutfitters.org or follow us on Facebook to learn more.