homemade wooden kayak rack outdoor use

I am going to build an outdoor rack and don’t really want to reinvent the wheel if I don’t need to.

Needs to hold six kayaks:

2 scupper pros on the bottom

tempest 165 and ocean kayak kea on second rack

2 skin on frames on top.

As we are presently renting until our house in built, I need to have something I can bolt together and be able to disassemble and put up in the new house.

Ideally it woudl have a small roof that i could attach tarps to to make it semi enclosed?

Longest boat 19 and a half feet (sofs)

I have seen a couple out there but looking for more suggestions and ideas…


This one…
…doesn’t hold 6 but it might inspire you.


Nice design.
Look farther down the thread. One poster recommended J-hooks on the outside, which would allow the storage of six more boats. That exceeds your requirements, at least six boats (and expandable) simple design without re-inventing the wheel and should be pretty low cost.

Good luck . . . .

that makes sense

Careful . . .
This may not be B&B, but agreeing with me on anything at all is going to ruin your rep, LeeG . . .



– Last Updated: May-27-07 4:59 PM EST –

unless someone has a link already, wait til I find the link to Redmonds rack...it holds the number of boats, has sun shade and lift capabilities etc...gimme a minute and I'll try to find it....

okay here is the basic idea.....


Since built, he has added hoists and a sunshade to his...you can talk to him on tuesday when he gets back from the Nant.....

here is what I made…

Kayak rack for six boats… Put wheels on it and a roof and you are in good shape. However this one will not come apart, but will fit in a pickup.

Kayak Stack
I have a stack of six kayaks. It isn’t fancy but it works. I have 2 side by side on the garage floor. I built 2 saw horses with the cross arm just above the decks of the first 2 and wide enough to span both boats. I put 2 more on the saw horses. I have another pair of horses that span the top 2 boats. This holds the last pair. It is simple, moveable and didn’t cost much.

Do you think extending the arms to hold 2 boats instead of one would put too much pressure/torque on the arms? The arms could get reenforced at the joint to the main upright piece.

I need to store more than six boats, of course I could just build two racks.

I’m refering to the rack at http://home.comcast.net/~bernieswanson/Kayak-Rack-for-six-web.jpg


– Last Updated: May-29-07 1:41 PM EST –

...ff you want one-sided stowage, and to have the boat rack flush against a wall.

If you want 2-sided storage, instead of an asymmetric L-shape, follow the same steps to make a symmetric T-shape and stow boats on both sides. If you recall, it's REAL simple -and sturdy as all get-out. It's done fine already having been through 4 hurricanes!

Use a pair of 2X12s as the base, and bolt them perpendicularly to a pair of 2X6s in an L (or across it in an upside-down T), with the 2X12s on the ground, and the 2X6s the vertical risers. Determine how wide the boats are (I assume you're storing them on edge) and how high you want your boats vertically spaced, add a few inches clearance, and mark. Bolt 2X3s perpendicularly to the 2x6s, parallel to the 2X12 base, & voila, you've got a strong, simple yak rack. The 2X3s will each individually hold me and my 200#, so they'll do just fine for any boat you care to throw on 2 of them.

Space the 2x6s apart whatever you think is best for your mixed fleet, and use 2X4s across the back of the 2X12s (or just above them in the T configuration), and at the top of the 2x6 risers. Put 1X2(s) across the front of the 2X12s to stabilize the base spacing. Run a 1X4 from top corner to opposite bottom corner to stabilize the structure and prevent the box from becoming a parallelogram, or worse (for the boats) a closed accordion; you may want to do this in an X for even great rigidity.

Use PT pine, bolt it all together with good galvanized (or if you're feeling expansive, SS) hardware (and not nails) for ease of disassembly & moving, and put the whole thing on 4 or 6 leveled bricks, cobblestones, or cement pavers to keep the wood off the ground. If you're putting it together as an L, with 2 boats each "rung", you might want to screw in a 1X2 at he end of the rung and between boats to keep them in place.

Put carpet or slit pool noodles on the rungs to reduce/eliminate scratches; if they're noodles, they'll provide a bit of fiction and 'bite' and reduce boats slip-sliding around.

You may want to strap or bungee the boats in. And you can cable your boats to the rack if security is or becomes an issue.

You can throw a tarp over the boats to keep the UV down, and the relatively little snow y'all get in winter off the boats.

Finally, check to see if there is anything in your homeowners policy that this arrangement might upset.

Here's a couple shots of the rack:


It's a really easy rig to build, it's strong and it'll last. It's a good way -for us, at least -to keep the boats racked, and easily accessible, in between the times we


-Frank in Miami

no horizontal arms
the one i made is somewhat similar to the one doubledipper made, tho nowhere near as nice, but without the horizontal arms to rest the kayaks on. instead, the kayaks are held up by straps attached to little pegs where the arms should be. the straps are the same ones i used to tie down the kayaks during transport.

so when looking at doubledipper’s picture, keep the base, diagonal supports and the top. in place of his horizontal arms, i used short stubs to hang the straps from. for outside use, just build the base on top so it looks like an I for the roof.

i used 2x4s for the base, diagonal supports and vertical pieces, 1x4 for the top, and 2x2s for the stubs.

btw, the kayaks are stored on their sides. also, my rack is in my garage so i don’t have to worry about wind, which can make my rack unsuitable for outdoor use.

It might work
If you used 2x6’s for the cross bars and made them 50 inches wide. I used a half-lap joint but it is likly not needed. You should brace it extra strong by using plywood gussets or plates at attachment point with carriage bolts or something. If you have more than 6 boats, my wife would say you need a license as a marina.

There are pics of my rack at:

It’s simple to build and very sturdy. The only change I’ve made since the photos were taken was to stake it into the ground with 2’ rebar through each leg. It survived this winter’s storms without budging.

I’m Back
By the way, the French Broad river was awesome! Long drive though. Plus, trying to explain to folks that I was paddling a French Broad and it just goes downhill from there! I did find some solar screening that I put up instead of a tarp. Not as affected by the wind either. I also put an upright on the ends of the crossbars to hang the solar screening. At the top of the new uprights I attached an extremely heavy duty shelf support and hung a block and tackle from it to lift the boats up if I need to.