How to hang my kayaks vertically?

Space is an issue, especially since we have four kayaks (11’-15’ long)—but we do have a large, closed-in porch with high ceilings so we are thinking of hanging them vertically, down the side wall. (Due to the placement of a beam, there’s not enough space to put them horizontally.) Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can rig a system to hang them and support them properly? Shouldn’t they be supported in some way besides just a hanger and pulley at the top?

Any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated! Thanks!

Hi Poddie — nice query
Podpaddler, I think that is a very interesting question. I have an enclosed porch too with high ceiling and never thought of mounting vertically. So, here is a thought, having never done it before: how about two pegs – like six inch dowels — perpendicular out from wall at about 4 feet from the floor with just enought room between them to hold the bow of the kayak. Maybe 8 inches between them so that one can get the kayak vertical and gently lift a few inches and settle into the pegs. If strong enough pegs, then only need a couple of bungie type wrap arounds to hold the kayak to the wall, but then the pegs would be taking full weight of yak. More possible would be a thin rope, tied to the stern end up closer to the ceiling, and a small pulley up there. Once the kayak is resting on the pegs (and the rope would need to be affixed to the kayak carrying toggle before you put it against the wall), then simply pull the rope enough that it takes some weight off the pegs (but not enough to lift the entire yak off the pegs), and then butterfly the open rope end in your hand around a simple cleat on the wall. Just a thought, but good balance is a must to get the boat up there. Doubtful that the peg and the rope will fail simultaneously and cause a “tiim-bbeer” situation.

You sure live in a nce part of the country for yakking, Mass. native here. Paddling Mystic CT, wow, that must be super fun.

storing vertical
I’ve seen at least three dealers stores their long sea kayaks vertically - they are all bubble wrapped and the nose or tails are protected as well, and just stacked up in a corner leaning against the well. At first it shocked me but they all insisted no harm. Obviously these will eventually be sold so not sure about long term storage.

Personally, Id ask the manufacturer and get their recommendation. I dont see it as a problem for glass boats but plastic may be a problem, particlarly if hot in there. My two-cents worth!!

I’m no physicist, but I would think…
…suspension would be far better than resting on a

surface, in terms of resisting compaction of the little molecules.

That’s how
most manufacturers store their inventory prior to shipping. It’s a great way to store kayaks.

I store
both my plastic and my wood kayak vertically in my shop. I just place a small scrap piece of carpet under the stern and lean them against the wall. I am good for up to 18 1/2 feet long boats!

Vertical Racks
I’ve seen kayaks stored vertically leaning against a center column/wall in racks that separate them in narrow stalls, about five to six feet from the floor. The bottom of the kayaks rest in dense foam, even styrofoam would work, as it would distribute forces better. The ones I viewed rested on minicell blocks and were quite neatly arrayed. My bicycles hang vertically from the ceiling in this fashion, but of course here I have the wheels to hang from; I’m not sure I’d trust the grab loop of the boats with the entire weight.

vertical storage
I’d put a substantial eye screw (or something similar)in the ceiling joist and tie a loop (bowline knot) slip the bow of the kayak thru the loop then thru the stern handle and hoist it up. If you make the loop too big, it will catch the sprayskirt coaming, but I’d recommend it match the front bulkhead location. Even if you want it to touch the ground for stability, you control the bulk of the weight by the rope/strap. Tie the other end down to whatever is convenient.

Do not hang your boats by their grab loops. they are really designed for safety-if you need to grab the boat while you are in the water. it is not even good to carry the boat with any weight in it by those handles. if you hang them by that then they will slowly rip the plastic area where the handles are.

lean them against a wall is the best. put something on the ground so that they cannot slip out.

i would never lean a long glass boat like that-if it fell it could easily snap in pieces.

Eastern Mountain Sports -140

yak storage
As a beginner, take this suggestion for what it is worth.

Would a garden hose holder,half curve metal type, covered with scrap carpet work.

Just hang the yaks on it and let the weight be distrubited over most of the front or rear coaming.

Many manufacturers recommend storing kayaks standing vertically on end.

I’ve stored my boats that way since I got them, no problems. I bungy a bucket to the bow to protect from scratches. Also the handle of the bucket is useful for getting the boat in position.

Originally I was going to rig a pulley to help get the boat vertical, but the bucket handle works so well that I never got around to it.

Standing kayaks

– Last Updated: Feb-01-06 8:59 PM EST –

I store my 14'6" plastic kayak standing on end. I use a rope and pulley to raise it up, and put a carpet scrap under the bottom end. I keep some tension on the rope, and bungie the lower end to the wall. Short of a storm taking down the whole building, it's not moving. I can put it up or take it down alone, altho it is easier having my bride help steer it. Not much work for either of us. This method takes up so much less space, and is how it was displayed in the store where I bought it.

No deformation of any type has been noticed in a year of storing this way.

Jim in WI

Thank You Everybody!
Thank you everyone for some GREAT ideas—I will definitely being using them!

Thanks again!!


I dropped my 17’ Wenonah canoe
on my driveway when I had it standing on end.Composite boats will not shatter. My canoe lost 2 small chunks of gelcoat. I almost had a heart attack.I have a couple of friends who have launched their kayaks from the roof of their cars onto pavement. A few dings; a few scratches.

Great Ideas!

stand it
Definately don’t hang it, just stand it on end on some carpet padding or something. Way easier than rigging up a pully system and less can go wrong.

Thanks Everyone!

since 92 or 94 I’ve been hanging my Aquaterra (perception) KEOWE by the grab handle and absolutely no cracks in the plastic.

303 and a shaded garage also help I’m sure.Besides the boat doesnt weigh much.