Is it harmful to a canoe to hang it?

Because of space constraints, I hang three of my canoes–a Tufweave Sundowner, a Penobscot 16, and a Bell Wildfire in Royalex. I hang them from rope pulleys attached to the carry thwarts. Am I causing the hulls to sag, i.e. develop more rocker, or cause any other damage by hanging them this way?

hanging canoes
You should probably hang them on their sides with slings around the hull, not hang them from their handles or thwarts. This way the full weight of the boat is not being taken by a single or couple points. If your storage area gets extremely hot you may want to take down them during the hottest periods to prevent any possible sagging, though this is unlikely with Royalex boats.

hang em high
I have two kayaks and one canoe and I hang them all. On kayak is poly, the other is glass, the canoe is kevlar. No problems with any of them, even the poly kayak. I hang them by the carry handles on the bow and stern.

Don’t hang by the handles
I’ve seen quite a few kayaks that have had the handles pull through the plastic by hanging them. I agree with the strap system that cradles the boat rather than by the thwarts or handles. It’s better than all of the weight being supported by a few screws or 1/2’ of plastic.

Try to find the widest slings you can…you’ll be ok…although as said…letting it hand on its side is the going thought, but if you get some wide slings…seems as though that should be just as good if the rightside up position is the only method to fit…


You could go…

– Last Updated: Sep-19-09 10:45 PM EST –

really cheap. Someone here sent me pics of how they did it. I have limited space in my garage, so I screwed in large eyebolts into the ceiling joists, threaded NRS straps through them and hung the canoes upside down.

I used ropes and 2 x 4s awhile back.
I had very limited space in the garage, and had to hang

the canoe over where the car was parked. I put 2 eye bolts into the ceiling

about 40" apart about 18" back from where the bow of the canoe was to hang. I hung ropes

down and put each rope into the end of a 3’ piece of 2 x 4. The length of each rope was just enough so the 2 x 4

would be about 6’ high to allow plenty of room for the car. Another set of ropes

was attached about 18" in front of where the stern would rest suspended.

With the car out of the garage, I would walk the canoe

in by carrying it on a center thwart yoke. I would place

the bow into the front ropes and move it into the ropes about 3’. At that time, the stern is in front of the rear ropes, and I would then back up about a foot or so to place the stern into the rear ropes and on the rear 2 x 4. This system worked for me for several years.

The only glitch is that you must have the car out of the garage when getting the canoe out, and when putting it back into its suspended parking space.

Good luck!

The dealer did…
The dealer who I bought my Yellowstone Solo from had a bunch of boats hanging from the ceiling - including mine. Don’t know how long it was up there, but it didn’t have any effect on my boat.

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And if you have enough garage height…
You can hang the canoe from the ceiling and back a car under it. Hook up a cheap winch and some eyebolts and all you need do is lower the canoe onto the roof rack. Dead easy, one-person job.

Resting on gunwales is best

– Last Updated: Sep-19-09 5:00 PM EST –

At least two of my boats (not sure about the third) had storage instructions included with the owner's manual which said to store them resting upside-down on the gunwales. That seems to be what most people agree is best for long-term storage. The racks in a canoe-dealer's showroom have the boats resting on the hull, but boats not on display will be gunwales-down on racks. I don't think anyone "knows" what the potential for damage is when boats are stored in other ways, but I have seen Royalex that was permanently warped from being stressed by tie-downs, and hot storage conditions "might" mean such damage could occur over an extended time from smaller amounts of stress.

Your storage system is probably fine, as the gunwales are ultimately supporting the hull (no concentrated stress anywhere on the hull), with the thwarts acting the same as the support points on a rack if the boat were upside-down. Still, if you want to take it one step farther, you already have all the hardware in place to do so except the support bars you would need for gunwales-down storage. If you replace your connections to the thwarts with gunwale-support bars like these...

..., the boat will take up exactly the same amount of space as it does now, but it will be upside-down, resting on the gunwales.

el cheapo
I’ve used old sections of garden hose screwed into rafters to support & conform to hull shape of my stored canoes. Worked well enough for me

Triple support straps w/winches
We have one set of the straps that will hold three boats. My husband set up eye bolts and the attached cable, one on the left and right, and hooked them up to boat winches. Easy up and easy down. Been in the garage for the last six years.

Used for 3 poly 11-13’ kayaks.

We have a similar system in the other garage for a 16’ aluminum Grummen canoe but no webbing straps are used. Been like this for a lot of years.

Works for us. Now I just need 3 other walls for the rest of the boats. :slight_smile: