Building Canoe Storage

I have an Old Town Discovery 164 that is about 26 years old and stored outside. I have it stored on the side of my home that receives very little sun. I have it stored on the gunwalls on simple horses. It works.

I am currently in the market for a second canoe about the size of a 169 and will probably end up with a shorty solo canoe in the future. I would like to build a storage system for the 3 canoes. Looking for advice and images! Pics are so important.

The storage will be close to the home and of course off the ground and canoes resting on gunwalls. What I’m envisioning is basically an A frame consisting of 3 levels facing a symetrical A frame and coming up with a base and some framing to strengthen and keep it square. 2x Pressure treated should last the rest of my life!

Anyone have pics of something like this? I’m all open to any advice.

How about a pair of 6x6’s and some fold down brackets? Small footprint, it gets out of the way when you have the boats off and you could reuse the brackets later if your needs change.

One option (not cheap, but USA made and aluminum)
http://www.castlecraft.com/Wall%20Rack.htm

I have my two boats on simple brackets I made from PT 2x4 and have mounted to two trees that are spaced perfectly in my backyard

I needed to store a 32’ C6 cedar strip voyageur canoe, much too long for my garage, so I built a canoe house for it. I made it modular from 4 sections of 8’ shelters, so it could be moved to its final storage place in pieces. the canoe is stored upside down on its gunwales resting on crossbar 2x4s. With a little minor lifting off the supports, it can be wheeled out from the end of the shelter. (after I remove the scrap wood lumber stored underneath)

My overflow from the garage is on this rack outside. Its about 15 years old & is getting near a rebuild. These canoes have spent their lives outside. The bottom two came to us new - the Sawyer in 1990 and the Novacraft in 2005. The Rendezvous on top is a rescue boat with a '91 tag date. Its been with us since about 2007. Our dog really likes the dry dirt under the canoes.

Thanks for the ideas. Please keep them coming!


The primary support posts are 4x6 mounted in concrete against the house.
The bottom arm that you can’t see has a 90° support anchored in the ground. It has 3 boats on it now.
I left the upper arms supported only at the primary; easier to load and unload.

If you search YouTube you’ll find a bunch of ideas. Perhaps this one?

Deep sunk 4x4s seem to work.


Most paddleheads have built racks over the years. Be careful which site you chose. I have had snow come off a roof and do some light damage. Consider the north side of a building or under a tree for shade. anything that gets you off the ground and is sturdy will work. Lately I have been using old tipi poles sunk in the ground. Ground contact rots canoes. I keep a couple on a trailer in the shade.

Thanks for all the ideas. String posted a pretty simple one that would fit my space on the side of the house well. Thanks!

String, how far apart did you space the posts? Did you find that spacing ideal? Or would you do it differently? Basically what worked and what didn’t when you built yours?

The posts are 8’ apart. My boats are 12’, 14’, and 16’. I store them hull down and have no problem with deformation.
Hard to see but there are nylon straps holding the boats off the arms on the upper two. On the lowest boat supports I have them padded with strips of floor mat. Keeps the red paint off the boats.
I learned rack building by doing it. This is my 3rd. The first was a bit wobbly, the second was eaten by carpenter bees. The red paint is for concrete and carpenter bees don’t like it. This rack will outlast me.

Thanks for the info, string. Your rack is ideal for the location I have.

Glad to help.