Building a kayak carrier (for home)

-- Last Updated: Aug-16-06 9:28 AM EST --

Hi guys, I just cut a bunch of 2x4s and made about 5 "U" shapped members to hang below my outside deck. I am going to enclose it in some weatherproofed plywood and use 2" rigid castors so I can slide my 14' Impex Mystic in and out for storage. It's going to be about 18' so I have room for the future.

However, I am looking for input/suggestions for how far apart should I mount the 2" castors so I can slide my kayak in and out? What's the best distance. My Mystic is about 21.5" wide at the widest point and has a medium chine. I know not to make it too wide but just wondering if anybody has done this before, it will help with my building it. Thanks!

I'm thinking no more than 4" and perhaps I can put more on the first member since I'll have to put the bow/stern on it and then lift the other end and push. The castors are skinny, about 1" wide too.



Emulate hully rollers
I guess nobody uses rollers in their home setup? I see a lot of racks with side entry or perhaps foam bushings…

I guess i will emulate the roller width on the Thule/yakima rollers on roof racks and then put some padding in the middle for the bow/stern…


castor wheels…

Whatever you do don’t allow the boat to rest on the castor wheels during storage. You will likely find dents if you do. The castors you describe have a very small contact area and represent a significant point load. I would be concerned about even rolling the boat back and forth over them. The repeated localized flexure of the hull might produce gelcoat cracking over time.

Kayaks slide easily over any non-abrasive surface. I think the goal of a storage system should be to support the hull as evenly as possible. A pair of padded 2x4s running lengthwise and allowed to sag to conform to the hull contours might be something to consider.


Thanks, thought of that… I could use those pool noodle things, I find them in the trash a lot… In fact, I’m using one of those now on my kayak while it’s in my kitchen.


I have an idea of what I could also do… I can still mount the casters on my U-members but I can make a backboard with the pool noodles and then I’d simply place my 'yak on the backboard w/ noodles and then slide the whole thing onto my storage box.

It would solve my distance problem because the flat board will slide easier than the slightly curved hull of a kayak and the varying width too… Hmmmm…


kayak storage
We got 2 heavy duty seat belts from an old truck and mounted them on the wall of the garage. It is easy to then clip them around the 2 ends of the kayak and suspend it from the wall for storage.

No garage!
I have a basement but the way the door to the basement is situated, no way I can get a kayak in there, unless I knock out some of the concrete foundation.

Hence, the kayak holder will be under my outside deck…


Why end-loading?
Why did you decide on an end-loading model versus a side-loading model? It is so you could enclose it? We are building a 10’ wide deck across the entire width of the back of our house, and my 2 kayaks will be stored under there. I have to come up with a rack design too. Mine won’t be enclosed though - we are using a soffit/gutter system that will keep it dry. We have mild weather here in the PNW and it won’t get any sun. What did you end up doing for your rack?

Incidentally, I use pool noodles all the time with my yaks - right now they live in the family room downstairs. When I need to do something while sitting in the boat on the floor, I use pool noodles along each side to support the boat.