Best way to store a Kayak in a garage?

What’s the best way to store a kayak in my garage? I don’t have a lot of room, so I don’t have the space for sawhorses, and if hooks on the wall, it has to be higher than my car… a hoisting system could work but I need one I can operate alone and all of them seem to be pretty expensive - was trying to find something under $50?


Ten-dollar solution
No need for anything fancy. Screw two large hooks into the ceiling. Hang a buckled strap from each one (cam buckle, not ratchet). Wrap the strap around the kayak and hoist it up.

Don’t put the straps too far out from the center if it’s a long kayak as it can deform. Support it closer to the cockpit.

This is very simple for one person to operate. To take the kayak down just ease it down to the floor gently, one end at a time.

You might not be able to walk under the kayak, depending on the height of the ceiling, but you will be able to put things like a lawn mower under it if you need the space.

And if carry it a car

– Last Updated: May-31-11 1:15 PM EST –

you can just raise it off the car when you put it in the garage and lower it back on when ready to use it again.

Swing arm rack
Here’s what I use. Think it under $50.

What they said

– Last Updated: May-31-11 3:41 PM EST –

Except I don't think one needs 2 hooks per webbing but just one (both ends of the look a hooked to it).

I have 4 kayaks hanging from the ceiling of a 2 car garage. I can load any of them on my car - just pull under and lower it on the car rack.

I have onlyl 2 eye-hooks per kayak, each screwed in the beams on the ceiling. On each hook I have a 1" webbing strap. One end of the strap is tied to the eye-hook. The other end of the strap is tied to an S-hook. The kayak just hangs in the loop that the strap makes. I hook and unhook the S-hook when I strap the kayak to the ceiling.

Of course, it helps if you can reach with your hand -;) I'm 6'4" and can strap and unstrap the kayaks without the need of a ladder or a step stool or any kind of lowering device. If I do have a car in it is very easy - just lower one end about 5", then lower the other end and the kayak is on the car. Strapping it up is the reverse.

Since in this scenario you only lift one end of the kayak, you have to only lift approximately less than 1/2 the kayak's weight (part of the kayak provides counter-weight while hanging on the remaining strap or resting on the car's rack. So I don't have to lift more than about 20lb on a 60lb kayak.

If I don't have a car in, I obviously need to lift the full weight of the kayak up so that say the bow slides into the front loop, then I hook-up the rear loop. But I try not to do that - with the car rack directly (or slightly off-center) under the kayak it is so much easier.

Total cost (per kayak) is quite low: 2 eye-hooks at about $2 each, 2 S-hooks at about $1 each, 2 straps of about 6 feet each at $0.50 per foot (or use rope or whatever leftover straps you got at home).

Instead of eye-hooks and s-hooks, you can use a fat open hook in the ceiling and just a loop-knot at the end of the strap. So you save a couple of $ for the s-hooks. But it is easier to use s-hooks and an eye-hook or a hanger and a metal loop - no fiddling to loop over a hook a piece of flexible webbing with one hand while supporting the kayak with the other -;)


– Last Updated: May-31-11 3:45 PM EST –

I have a couple of boats on wall-mounted Talic racks, above the level of the car with the carriers in place. You don't need to use Talic - padded steel brackets from a big-box store or even 2x3 wrapped in carpet would have worked fine. It's very easy to transfer a boat from the wall-mount racks onto the car one end at a time.

I also have two home-built slings, put together from rope, pulleys and etc. from the same big-box. These work OK, but you have to design well, as they are hanging over the car all the time. My installation was eased by the open-joist ceiling. These are not as easy to use.

If you only need to hang one boat, I suggest the wall rack, it really is the fastest and easiest to use. In my photos, note that the rack is attached to vertical 2x3, as the owner of the garage didn't want me to drill the bricks. This would work in a drywalled garage as well, if you didn't want to bother finding the studs behind.

PS even Kocho wouldn't be able to reach the joists here! The method you use will of course be guided by the size and construction of your garage.

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Install hooks or a rack on the ceiling?

pipes and j rack
I feel for you. I have a one car garage and have never had a car parked in it. My solution was to go to a home improvement store and use galvanized pipes. I bought 1 1/4 inch pipe and two floor flanges. I attached the flanges to studs in the wall and then screwed a 12 inch pipe onto the flange. I had some old J racks I could not use on my new car. I then attached the J racks to the pipe. I use a one step step stoll to left it up onto to the rack assembly. I have been using this set up for years and never had any problems.

2 car garage - no cars fit!

– Last Updated: Jun-02-11 7:35 PM EST –

We have some of our kayaks hung with eye hooks screwed into the ceiling and nylon straps (from sporting goods stores) with the ends folded over and sewn to form a loop. Carabiners from Home Depot hook into the loops and attach to the eye hooks. Simple/inexpensive. We hang them around the bulkheads and on their side on the straps. We also have Suspenz racks in the garage which are great but costly. 3 on top of each other.

Hang on wall
Place large 2 “I” hooks on the wall studs, one for bow and one for stern. use web straps with “S” hooks on each end. Hook on end of strap to wall I hook and let it hang down. Lift boat up to wall. Reach down get other end of strap and fasten it to the I hook. do the same with other end. (bow and stern) It will hang on the wall for years. No need for pulles or extra lifting lines.