DIY shelter for canoe ?

Has anyone built their own shelter/cover for your canoe? If so, how did you do it, and what materials did you use? Pics would be great.

I’m thinking of buying a poly canoe, and if I do, I want to store it outside, on a trailer, under a shaded shelter of some sort. Thanks.

fabric ?
Seattle Fabrics online sells an open weave outdoor shade fabric. And flag cloth.

Local thrifts sell used bed sheets.

Very simple

It’s not “very simple”. From what I’ve read, the tarp cannot touch the poly canoe because it will cause mold.


– Last Updated: May-29-14 3:32 PM EST –

You can use a tarp as suggested, it just needs to breathe.

You could make a simple triangular lean-to, or you could put a couple 2x2's on the top so it is lifted up an inch or 2.

Basically a tarp is going to be the cheapest and easiest option. Come up with whatever method suits your available materials and space to keep it slightly off the canoe.

Edit: could you just lay a sheet of something like honeycomb plastic on the canoe then the tarp on top of that? as long as air can get under the tarp, even a little, you're ok.

Any fabric resting against a boat may
lead to mold. But I’ve stored poly kayaks under bushes, under tarps, and the mold that may form is very easily cleaned off.

If it’s a major difficulty
Throw the tarp on the boat and don’t worry about. Once a year spend an hour sponging the boat down with some Krud Kutter.

Is there a product of that name?
Or are you just being “you” again? (that is, usually pretty funny)

Great name right?

Thanks guys. If a poly canoe was stored in the sun, with a tarp on it, could the heat under the tarp distort the canoe’s shape?

Is there a certain type of cover that’s best for poly canoes?


– Last Updated: May-30-14 10:41 AM EST –

Warping of a poly canoe is a concern no matter what. My guess is that it WILL warp no matter what, because I've never seen a poly boat that was more than a year old that wasn't warped (that doesn't mean the boat won't still do what you want it to do). But you are quite correct in wanting to keep the temperature to a minimum, as the hotter the boat gets, the greater the risk of warping. That probably means providing lots of space for air to flow through the shelter, and/or having more than just a little clearance between the boat and the tarp (think about how warm it gets inside a tent on a sunny day unless the doors are completely open). Choosing a tarp having a lighter color might be good too, like maybe one of those silver ones instead of the usual green, brown or blue.

Speaking of warping, it has occurred to me that providing some support for the floor of a poly boat as it sits upside-down on the racks might be a good thing, to help keep the floor from sagging. Maybe place a 2x4 along the centerline with some padding on it to allow for any warpage of the wood or natural curvature of the boat along the keel line, and lightly press it into place with supports from below. If I were to make such supports, they would use threaded height adjusters similar to the principle of a screw jack. You'd need that fine-adjustment capability because any attempt to cut the vertical supports to be exactly the right height will likely fail, since the slightest change in where the supports are placed, how soft the soil is, how much dead grass might be laying there, will cause the required height of the supports to be a little different every time you put the boat in storage. And if the frame of the rack is simply resting on the ground, that too will tend to settle slightly, changing the required height of the secondary supports as time goes by.

no it won’t
from personal experience.

and if it does, just scrub it off.

Thanks guys. If I buy a poly canoe, it will be a large, heavy square stern, so it will be kept on a trailer.

If I wanted to use a cover while it’s on the trailer, what type of cover(material) would be best? Canvas?

Green/silver tarp
will last about 4 years. I have 3 boats under tarps all year round.

My brown tarps to match the
House last 2 years.

dog house
I made a long modular lean-to shaped “dog house” from pressure treated 2x4s with a slanted plywood roof. Four 8-foot sections tied together are sized to protect a 32 foot woodstrip voyageur canoe. Each section can easily be transported on a pickup truck if needed. It was sized to make the most efficient use of 8-foot lumber. It is sided with lightweight plywood sheets, allowing plenty of airflow while protecting from sun and weather. The canoe is wheeled in from one end, and 2x4 crossbars support the canoe upside down.