Cold Weather Kayak Storage

My wife and I have rented Kayaks several times. Would consider ourselves just past rookies. We are purchasing two new kayaks for use next year. We live in Pennsylvania where the Winters get fairly cold. My question pertains to storage. I do not have a heated garage. My options are in the garage or in an outside storage shed. Is it ok to store in cold temperatures? My third option would be to try to lug them down the basement. I appreciate any advice.

Doesn’t really matter. I’ve stored all of mine in northern IL winters for years in an unheated garage without any problems at all. I’ve got all the different materials too, poly, fiberglass, wood, Royalex and none of it matters. Keeping them out of the weather is good, temperature doesn’t matter.

Bill H.

Protect from heat and UV, but not cold
Rotomold plastic isn’t affected by the cold (at least not the temperatures we get here in PA.) So winter storage is easy.

But you do need to be conscious of not leaving the boats exposed to sunlight more than need be because UV will eventually damage the plastic. Coating them with Scotch 303 UV protectant every year is a good idea. But cover them with a tarp or something if stored outdoors.

Also heat will soften the plastic and cause it to deform which often leads to flattened areas (called “oil-canning”) in the hull. So don’t leave them sitting flat on concrete in hot weather or resting on a roofrack or sawhorses except when transporting them or working on them. In fact, transporting them upside down (deck on the rack) is usually preferable and easier (and more aerodynamic) depending on the models. Storing them propped on their sides is the preferred method in a garage or storage rack – the sides are the strongest and little apt to warp. If I have to leave mine outdoors (I don’t have a garage and usually store in the walkout basement) I lean them on their sides and cover against sunlight with a long canvas painter’s tarp (you can get them in 4’ wide x 15 to 20’ length).

A cockpit cover is the best way to keep critters from nesting or building webs in stored boats. If you don’t have a fabric and bungee cover, just lay a garbage bag over the cockpit and stretch a bungee cord around the coaming lip to secure it. Nothing worse than realizing shortly after launching your kayak that something is crawling up your leg under your spray skirt. And I neglected to cover one boat in my basement one Winter and in the Spring discovered that a mouse had chewed into the bottom of a 25 pound bag of sunflower bird seed down there and stashed about 2 pounds of it in the kayak!

Stop worrying
we store a total of 15 boats of all construction…glass, royalex, kevlar, carbon fiber in an unheated barn

And have for fifteen years. We are in Maine… We have heard of this elusive this year thing called 40 below

Only possible issue is hatch covers
If you have boats with Valley hatch covers or any with a similarly poor response to being wintered outside, put the boats somewhere that you will remember to pull off the hatch covers periodically and treat them with something like 303. They disintegrate otherwise. Get them right back on if plastic boats, because critters find minicell foam to be lovely nesting material.

But I most of our boats stay outside year round in a northeast winter. The hatch cover issue is the only problem we ever had.

To be picky, cold is a good thing.
All sorts of things that are made of synthetic materials that slowly degrade over time will last much longer in cold storage than at normal temperatures. Think of winter storage as extending the life of your kayaks (not that it matters, but it’s true)!

Actually Celia’s message reminds me
that our lovely Valley Hatch covers dried out and disintegrated. They had not lovingly been 303ed in a long time.

So its time to retrieve them, bring them in the house for their 303 spa treatment and place the D con in the kayak hatches for the critters spa treatment.

I’m told dcon has been discontinued. There are replacements. Not sure the new stuff works as well. Any idea?

in the house we have a dog
She will taste almost everything.

So we have a sonic repellent. But the barn lacks electricity.

Rat zapper.
The electric chair for mice and rats. Bought one at Amazon a few years ago. It’s battery operated and simple to operate. Just add peanuts or some similar bait, turn it on, and be patient. When the rodent enters to get the bait, it’s electrocuted. There’s a light on top that flashes red when there’s a corpse waiting to be removed.

Used to use bait (which is available at any hardware/farm supply) but because we have raptors here who might be attracted by a slow-moving mouse, didn’t want to jeopardize them.

I have one RM kayak hanging on an outdoor wall under the eaves. My two EDYs are stored at the pool where it’s heated and no mice.

Would a mouse be able to chew through the cockpit cover?

Summarize for me please
I am super novice. First yak and first ride today.

So I can store my be Pungo 120 in my backyard covered by a tarp in the New Jersey winter. And I should take a garbage bag an cover the cockpit and seal it with a bungee. And I should prop it up on the side of the hull. And it should be ok until the spring. I just cleaned it a sprayed 303 so I should be good, if what I’ve read is true.

Thanks for the help.

On the side is OK
Standing on end propped in a corner is OK if it doesn’t fall and lay there for a week.

Can be stored upside down also like on sawhorses with the crossbars padded with pool noodles on the cockpit rim. If you had bulkheads, which I don’t think the 120 does, you would put supports where the bulkhead is instead of the cockpit rim

Pretty much anything but with the bottom of the boat supporting the weight, that will make a flat spot.

You can use the cheapest 6x6 blue tarps from harbor freight or big lots instead of a trash bag. I don’t know that a trash bag would cover a pungo cockpit. I use a piece of paracord wtih a loop in each end and a bungee cord to hold it on my pungo 140, again, a pungo cockpit is pretty big and the line is easier than messing with 3 or 4 bungee cords.

303 is a once a year thing. You don’t need to use it every time.

Nice can chew right through that. But that need not mean they will

Enter trap into equation on the cover or near it

Thanks a lot
Appreciate the help. In my mind I am wondering how I can store it standing up in garage and realize I have way too much JUNK to make even that happen. So outside it is. Thanks, again for your help

If you have exposed beams or rafters

– Last Updated: Dec-27-15 8:17 PM EST –

Screw in 4 eye hooks , or even just pound nails half way in. Sling two cam straps between them and make a cradle, lay the boat on it's side in there, some people use pool noodles but I don't. Pull alternately on the straps to raise the boat up.

Set the hooks far enough apart so your not pinching the boat but not so far that the boat sets hull down in the cradle.

There are also options for hanging it on a wall.

But outside is fine. I have a Pungo and some other rec boats on their sides on an old bunk bed frame and they've been fine for a couple years.

Thanks, Kayamedic
The electrocution chamber isn’t weatherproof - will figure a way to keep the snow/rain off. Or bait the cockpit.