kayak hanging storage

I need some advice on kayak storage.

For a variety of reasons, we’ve decided that our kayaks will need to be stored in the garage when not being used and off-season. Problem is, there’s not enough wall space to do the hanging-on-their-sides-in-loops-thing. So, it’s going to be a hanging-from-the-ceiling thing.

In searching for options, I’m getting conflicting info. I know that the conventional wisdom is store them on their sides. But with them not being against a wall, it gets tricky. Besides, they will hang down further that way.

I have also seen the sling systems (my personal preference) where they have the kayak in the conventional “upright” (normal attitude) position.

I know not to hang them from the grab loops, but my main question is… can I hang them in a “normal” attitude with web slings approximately a third of the way in from each end, to more or less evenly distribute the weight? Yes? No? Why?

If it matters, we are dealing with recreational/touring type kayaks. My wife has a Perception Sonoma 13.5 in Airalite, and I have a Wilderness Systems Sealution 17 foot in fiberglass (BTW, my kayak has no bulkheads, so my first thought of putting the straps near the bulkheads obviously won’t work on mine…).

I need to do something with them soon.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

Re: kayak hanging storage
Hang 'em high!

We have three kayaks hanging from the ceiling joists in our garage. And have had this or a similar set-up for the past 20 years on a variety of kayaks, both glass, kevlar and plastic. Never had an issue with deformed boats. I use 2" webbing tied to a carabiner and that attached with line to a screw eye for the bow, and a pully and line for the stern portion. Guide the boat into the hoops and then pull up on the rear pully and tie it off to a cleat on the nearest wall.

Send me an email and I’ll pass on a photograph of the set-up if you like.

I have plastic, but hang I hang it
from the garage ceiling. I fashioned a pair of trapeez from pieces of unistrut covered with carpet. The trapeez hang on nylon rope so that loading and unloading is easy.

I have used this system for 3 years and have not noticed any deformation of the hull but then again, as I said, I have a plastic boat.

It did not take long to fabricate and install and keeps the boat out of the weather at all times that it is not in the water.

If you want a photo, I could take one and send it to you.

Good luck

Hanging from the ceiling
If you’re paranoid (like me) you could use pieces of scrap carpet to make a couple of slings maybe 6" - 8" wide, which would spread the load even further than 2" webbing.

One company that sells kayak hangers said that 3" webbing is the mininum (scraps of carpet over thinner webbing do the same thing). Or you can hang it from the ceiling on its side rather than on its bottom–that will be less likely to deform. To be honest, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I hang my kayaks from the ceiling in the winter, using bike pulley systems (with 2" webbing–oops), and it never occured to me to worry about it.

I went a step farther
When hanging my 18’ sea touring boat. It was kinda heavy to get up there, so I had pulleys from the joists, and pulleys at the bottom with snap rings. I made lift straps with d-rings on both ends and put small reference dots on the boat marking the bulkheads, (without bulkheads I would say you want to go a few feet behind the cockpit, and a few feet in front of the cockpit, depending on length) then the ropes from the pulleys ran to a boat trailer crank/rachet thingee mounted on the wall. I could then crank the boat up to the stow position against the joists, and crank it slowly down to rest on a folding work table when I was ready to kayak.

It didn’t weigh but 52 pounds, but try manipulating 18’ over your head and clipping it in position… this made it very easy. Lay it upside down on the worktable. Hook the straps to the pulleys, and crank the thing into the stow position in the ceiling. Done.


two inch webbing works for me
and if you want to put the boat mostly on it’s side just do it, gravity friction and inertia will do the rest