NDK kayak storage and transportation

I was just reading the recommended storage and transportation of Nigel Dennis kayaks on their webpage. It suggested to remove the hatch covers during storage and transportation. Does anyone know why that is? I store my kayaks in an outdoor shed and need to prevent critters from entering the boat during the winter.

The page also suggested to store the kayak upside down. I always thought that storing the kayak hanging on its side was the best method. Any thoughts on this?


I think the theory is
that by leaving them open, over time NDK hatches may slightly expand.

At least that’s what NDK owners hope and pray for.

How we store ours

– Last Updated: Feb-17-08 9:06 AM EST –

We have two NDK boats, an Elite layup Romany and a kinda proto-Elite Explorer. The latter is heftier than the Elite layup but had some changes to take a few pounds off of their standard without sacrificing strength for the rocky coasts of Maine.

One gets stored inside, hanging, on its hull. The other gets stored outside, hanging upside down. Both are on ropes slings with swimming noodles around where the boat actually contacts. Hatches are off outside usually and loosened a bit inside.

One thing to note is that we have a small drilled hole in our bulkheads to release pressure. So the hatch covers wouldn't be under enough pressure to make like a marshmallow even if they are on. (and no it doesn't cause water to enter in rolls - a number of manufacturers do the same thing)

We used to carry the long boats mostly on saddles, but went back to old-fashioned stackers (with YakPads on the rails) after trying it to carry more than two boats and finding that it feels a lot more secure.

We haven't had any issues with handling or storing these boats as above.

Storing the boat upside down with the hatches off may be the best combo to avoid a lot of fuss with the boat and critters moving in.

The NDK hatches have a great seal, and as temperatures change there can be a pressure difference between inside the hatch and the outside air, so we keep the hatch covers off the boat when not in use to prevent excessive pressure build-up. For me, it’s a good thing – means the hatches are air and water tight.

As Celia indicated, others drill small holes in the bulkheads to help equalize the pressure & it’s generally not enough to let any meaningful amount of water pass through.

For winter storage, I’ve heard of people using shower caps over the hatch openings to keep the critters out. Interesting image :-).


Pressure… I get it now. I didn’t think of the air expanding inside when it gets hot! Thanks guys! Showercaps, that sounds like a good idea that would take care of the problem with critters, big and small, when the hatch covers are off.

RM boats on sides
Plastic boats tend to be strongest at the seam where the deck meets the hull. It is therefore usually best to transport and store them on their sides.

To the best of my knowledge, most composite sea kayaks are sturdy enough to be carried and stored on their hulls, decks, or sides.

We transport our boats with hatch covers on (to reduce noise, etc) and store them with the hatch covers removed or loose. As Celia noted, we have vented bulkheads in all our composite boats. The Vela and the newest Nordkapp LV came with the bulkheads drilled. I drilled the bulkheads on the Aquanaut, Romany, and Explorer.

Where do you
drill the hole in the bulkhead. I would imagine that ot woudl be best to have it close to the deck. What size hole is drilled?

Thanks, Art

Midway and small
Jim used the smallest drill bit in the set - probably 1/16". The Nordkapp LV we picked up yesterday was also pre-drilled to what also looked like the smallest bit they had around, as was the Vela when we got it. P&H has apparently lately gone to putting in some kind of rubber gasket, which I really don’t get since it’s more to fuss with and the basic hole works fine.

The location is between center and 2/3 of the way up vertically, not way close to the deck. Centered horizontally of course.

If you know of anyone who has a glass Valley or P&H boat you can see where they put it. Some of the NA manufactureres may pre-drill as well but I don’t know which ones.


– Last Updated: Feb-17-08 1:02 PM EST –

Thanks for clarifying the side storage remark. I had heard that boats should be stored on the side. I just didn't know it only applied to poly boats (what we had a the time). It makes sense that composite are stronger and can be stored differently.

Eddylines thermoform boats
Been storing ours in a garage hanging right side up with the straps going under the bulkhead portion of the hull. Seems to work fine.

A bunch of my paddling buds paddle Explorers and Romanys, and one in particular had a problem with the hatches while in transit. She was driving up to Nova Scotia to meet up with a bunch of us for an expedition-style trip, and in the hot sun, her rear hatch blew off, and ended up beside the road somewhere.

Needless to say, she was a bit upset when she got to the launch, and we had to fabricate a hatch cover out of a garbage bag, bailing wire, and duct tape. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked great.

Best thing to do is to tether your hatch covers to the decklines, and store them inside the hatches during transport or storage. You won’t have any bad surprises that way.

Cover the cockpit, too
My husband found mouse droppings in his cockpit once.

I store my kayaks with either a dedicated cockpit cover (Seals and Snapdragon sell them, about $25 to $30) or a heavy plastic tarp over the opening.

Hatch covers are left lying on top of the hatches but not pressed on.

If you’re going to leave it outside during winter, you might want to store the rubber hatches inside to reduce wear.

Midway or slightly above the midpoint
If you drill it close to the deck, the hole is on the bottom when you are upside down. More prone to water dripping through then.