Cheap canoe/kayak stand option

In looking for a canoe stand for my backyard, I came across several of the folding stands that appear to be fairly new to the market. These are the cheapest I found at $60:

I thought I could build something cheaper. I then found these online for $8 each and they work great for my 16’ Mad River. I couldn’t build a rack for less than $16 total.

Here they are:

I put my seat on top of them and they are stable. I also use a 33" piece of 2x4 if I want to prop on gunwale.

I hope this helps someone.


Thanks, Dan. They look sufficient as
basic stands, and the price can’t be beat. My problem is floor space, so that I have to stack boats on one another or install rack bars.

The difference is
The first link, the kayak rack, has a bar between the legs to maintain position of the legs and the strap is slack to cradle the kayak. Take the kayak on or off and the legs won’t move. The kayak is set parallel in between the top bars of the frame.

The last link is for the folding luggage stand in a hotel room. The straps keep the legs from opening too far and the load must be large enough to rest the weight on the frame.

I have experiance with these in a hotel room, set a small bag on those straps and the whole contraption folds up and falls over, unerringly skipping off your kneecap on the way down.

You would have to set the kayak perpendicular to the top bar of the frame, then the kayak is resting across 2 sets of metal bars instead of being cradles by soft straps.

Not that they couldn’t be modified fairly easy. Add a brace between the legs, take out half the straps and splice them into the ones that remain.

Can’t beat the price but,
I used this idea for work stands. I zip tied a kayak roof foam block to each set of legs. Now I have a good (non damaging) work area.

other options
Those el cheapo nylon and aluminum folding chairs can be converted to sling supports by cutting off the back uprights (grind or file the cut to remove sharp edges). Every discount store seems to have them for around $5 to $10 each. A low profile kayak can be laid on its side between the arms – a wider boat can rest on the arms themselves or on pool noodle sliced and wedged over the arm rail for padding.

Trashed wooden directors chairs work too. Just take off the back canvas sling and the arms drop down to the side – boat can rest on seat. The locking metal brace under the frame keeps it rigid. I’ve used these to store lengths of wooden molding and lumber in my basement to get them off the potentially damp floor. Also have used to raise up my folding kayaks during assembly so I can reach inside to adjust the frame and skin attachments without having to be on my knees.

I was just thinking the director’s chairs or benches. You can usually take the backrest off the two posts and then fold them down. Or just remove the hinges that attach them to the chair sides.

Something to check for at the resale shops.

Splendid idea, SP!
I need another stand and happen to have two old wood director’s chairs in a storage shed I hadn’t gotten around to dragging out and selling.

Sounds like a good weekend project in between rainstorms.

it was willowleaf
…but she reminded me that I have one old one in storage. Now to find a second!

Well, then
a big thanks to Willowleaf for her creative thinking!

PVC and old straps

What would these be used for? Maintenance? I store my canoes on my garage ceiling using pulleys. Not sure why one would put a boat on a stand.

Lots of things
I have three kayaks on my beach. They’re stored hull up on portable stands. That keeps them off the sand and easily accessible to prep.

I also find it much easier to hose out, clean, 303 the hull and polish the deck while it’s on a stand versus sitting on pool noodles on the grass.

Yes, maintenance

Way easier to scrub mud and gunk off a boat at waist height, than on the ground. Also, easier to wax and do whatever else needs to be done.

The PVC design linked above is silly. Far better to make two stands than one huge one, for many reasons.

I’ve built and sold/gifted a few sets out of stainless steel, largely because I had it, but the additional mass adds a ton of stability.

cheap stands
I use a pair of cheap foldable camp chairs, $7 each. I found a pair of armless ones, sliced the back off but left the backrest uprights. They help with holding the kayak on its sides, hull or deck for cleaning and a 303 treatment. So much better then when I used to do that with the kayak sitting on the ground.

DIY stands

– Last Updated: Jun-08-15 9:03 PM EST –

Made o' few sets o' these stands out o' PT lumber. Yer kin hold de boats hull up or hull down jus' by poppin' off de top rail.


I made a few that are along the design that FE is using and they have served me well. I used 1X4 instead of 2Xs (green treated and painted wouldn’t hurt if they are to be stored outside) and don’t see that the extra strength of 2X stock really justifies the extra weight, but to each his own. There are drawings and measurements that can be used as a starting point in Chris Cunningham’s excellent book “Building the Greenland Kayak”. Using 2X lumber for the base and relieved to accept the 1X4 uprights makes for a little more stable stand. Gorilla Glue and deck screws used to secure everything has worked for me.

Necessity is the mother of invention… I’ve discovered that if two such stands (sans the cross braces)are connected fore and aft at the bases with 2X4s and a Harbor Freight furniture dolly is placed (secured with deck screws is a nice addition) in the center (or I suppose two - one at either end - would be even better…) a canoe (or kayak, of course) can be set on both the base and cross pieces allowing two canoes to be stored and moved on rollers for easy shuffling around a garage floor or other smooth surface.


– Last Updated: Jun-09-15 9:03 AM EST –

Not everyone wants to hang their boats.

Want to build me a garage?
I don’t have a garage, and as such no garage ceiling either. I have an asphalt driveway and a backyard. I can either lay it on the ground and kill the grass and possibly warp it, or I can put stands under it.

I store it upside down in the shade with the stands on the seats. It also lets me work on it without backpain.

Pic of the stands

Tray Stands
Hey Dan thanks. I use these too. They are great while cleaning or rigging a boat. I also have permanent pipe stands for the fleet so that they can be locked up in storage. Made my own set of "Lasso Locks"A out of steel cable and end clamps and a “paddle” lock. Get it a PADDLE lock!!! :slight_smile: