How to hang a rotomolded polyethylene kayak?

My family just bought our first ever kayaks, two Riot Edge 14.5 models. We are trying to figure out how to best store them as we know that the material they are made out of can deform easily if stored incorrectly. We don’t have a wall where we can easily mount a rack so I was wondering if it would be okay to hang them under our deck either upside down or on their sides?

I have read a lot of conflicting advice about whether it is okay to hang rotomolded polyethylene kayaks and how to do it with some people saying they can only be hung lying sideways and others saying upside down is better. Some also say that hanging upside down should never be done.

Does anyone have experience with this type of boat and how to hang it so it will not be damaged? If anyone has links to photos or videos of this being done correctly it would also be much appreciated. Thank you!

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Nice choice. Congrats!

You want to support them at the bow and stern bulkheads. Keep them out of the sun and use wide webbing, at least 2". Hang them sideways. Here’s a photo of one of my kayaks in winter storage.

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And it doubles as wall art ^ :slight_smile:

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Thank you for the quick response, this is very helpful! Great looking kayak by the way :slight_smile:

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This is what I use. Hangs two kayaks nicely.

https://maloneautoracks.com/SlingTwo-TM-Double-Kayak-Storage-System.html

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I was looking at that exact product on Amazon earlier this day! It looks super convenient and I’m considering getting it. My one hang up is that the straps are only 1.5" wide, would that be too narrow for a rotomolded polyethylene touring kayak?

No, as long as it is hanging sideways and you space the straps close to the cockpit, like Rookie shows. Your Edge’s have bulkheads inside (the walls that isolate the bow and stern from the cockpit) and you want the straps to be near where those are since the cross section is strongest there.

One of my kayaking buddies nearby had a Riot Edge and it was a great boat when she bought it. But she doesn’t have a garage and her house is on a steep hill with steps going up to it so she left it strapped to her car roof rack all of the summer two years ago (and used ratchet straps because nobody told her they were too much pressure). The poor kayak got hot and warped terribly. The bottom of the hull is dented in several inches and the whole boat is twisted and warped to the left so she has to paddle like crazy on the right to straighten out her path when we are on the river. I feel really bad for her and have been looking for a reasonably priced used boat for her to replace it. She loves to paddle and we would often do 10 to 16 mile day trips on the nearby Monongahela River, but the last time we went she had to struggle so much with the damaged boat we cut the trip short.

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Thank you for letting me know! I’ll be sure to hang the boats sideways and put the straps close to the bulkheads. We are going to install a hanging system under our deck as soon as supplies arrive tomorrow.

The kayaks will have been resting on some wood on the ground under our deck for around 5 days by the time we get them hung up though, I hope this will not cause any deformities :frowning: We didn’t consider that kayaks would need special storage systems before buying and only realized the day after we’d need to hang them up. Luckily it does not get very hot where I live, maybe 25C (77F) at most these few days.

Oh no, I feel so bad for your friend and her kayak! I hope she can find a good replacement soon.Thank you for sharing the story though, it’s a useful lesson. I wish sellers would inform buyers of these kinds of things before they take their kayaks home. Is it okay to use ratchet straps and a J shaped rack to transport a rotomolded polyethylene kayak for a ~7hr trip?

EEEK!!
NO rachet straps! Cam straps only. Too easy to over-tighten rachet straps. They can deform your boats. You don’t want to kill your new kayaks.

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I used to use j-racks for my 14’ folding kayaks (only around 30 pounds each) , but I really don’t trust them for heavier boats or long distance highway trips. They tend to be buffetted by the wind badly being off center and they put some stress on the bow an stern lines that bothers me. I choose to carry my kayaks upside down directly on the roof rack. Especially plastic ones. A major cause of plastic boat deformation is setting the hull on the racks, the second most frequent cause might be using ratchet straps. Rookie is right, ratchet straps are an absolute no-no. Invest in a couple of sets of cam straps from NRS or Thule. These are heavy duty webbing, non-slip sturdy cast metal buckles and have a rubber protector to keep the buckles from scratching the boat. It is worth the $12 or $15 investment. I have one Thule pair that is over 15 years old. I do occasionally wash the straps in soapy water and I keep them stored in a dark fabric duffel bag in my car when not in use. Storing in a trunk or on the car floor is not great due to sunlight exposure and possible contamination with spilled petroleum products in a trunk with car maintenance stuff.

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Thank you both for the input! I checked the straps we bought from the kayak store to take our boats home and thankfully they are cam straps, I thought they were ratchet straps because that’s what I’ve been calling them for my whole life. Now I know the difference!

Good to know about the method of putting kayaks directly onto the root rack upside down. Is there a tutorial or video anywhere about how to do that? I’m also not sure our SUV’s roof is wide enough for both kayaks to lie flat upside down side by side.

I use a Hullavator so my kayak rides right side up. Whichever way you ultimately place them, just be certain you use bow and stern lines on each boat in addition to the cam straps holding the boats in place.

Your SUV should have a tow hitch in the rear and possibly in the front as well for the bow/stern tie-downs. If not, you can get a set of hood loops such as this:

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I have an Edge 13 (hi kayak-buddy!) and currently have them upside down on sawhorses in my garage. It looks like you’ve seen that that method may not be a good idea though. Can someone confirm that upside down isn’t a good idea? Or should I just make sure the sawhorses are at the bulkheads too? TIA!

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Upside down is fine for most boats, and often preferred for plastic hulled boats to reduce the chance of oil canning the hull. Again, near the bulkheads is preferred as that is where the hull and deck are strongest.

I would recommend padding the saw horses with carpet or closed cell foam split pipe insulation.

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Thank you so much!

Late response, but thank you Rookie for the tips! We’ll be sure to use bow and stern lines on our kayaks when we transport them. I checked our SUV and unfortunately it would be impossible to fit them side by side upside down on the roof unless there is a rack that allows them to hang off the sides partially or they were stacked on top of each other (which is probably not a good idea). Guess we’re stuck with J-racks for now until we can find a better solution.

I have an Edge 13 (hi kayak-buddy!) and currently have them upside down on sawhorses in my garage. It looks like you’ve seen that that method may not be a good idea though. Can someone confirm that upside down isn’t a good idea? Or should I just make sure the sawhorses are at the bulkheads too? TIA!

It’s cool that we have almost the same kind of kayak! :smile: Glad you found this thread helpful as well.

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It is fairly common for people carrying multiple boats to use crossbars that are wider than the car. All major rack manufacturers offer extended crossbars, some up to 79" Really doesn’t create any problems, but if you were likely to hit your had on the ends, many people put tennis balls on them to cushion them. Longer crossbars actually makes loading from the side easier.

I wrapped the end of my extension bar with foam and Gorilla tape after it removed a chunk of my scalp.

here are Thule 78" bars on a Jeep Liberty. Two sea kayaks and a MR Indy solo.

The bars live on top of a 2015 forester now.