Need Help Storing a Custom Kayak Built by my Grandfather

Hi Everyone! My grandfather built me a 17’ wooden kayak which is AMAZING. But I’m new to the world of boat owning and have no idea how to store it. Right now, I live with my parents while looking for a house, and this is how the boat is being stored

I’ve Googled a million articles, but am confused and not the handiest. I don’t know whether it’s ok to leave it in the position it is or to lean it against the wall, where to push cushions or towels to support the hull, and how to cover it. Should I get a tarp? How can I suspend it, or can I just lay it on top? I live in the woods and have never experienced crime, but because it’s so valuable to me, should I invest in locking it up?

I’m a bit overwhelmed and could really use some help protecting this boat. Thank you so much in advance.

It can easily be hung upside down under the deck with a couple of straps. Or set on a couple of sawhorses. I would not leave it that close to the ground.
A friend built one and it hangs on the wall of their den.

I would not use any waterproof covering for it because that would just trap moisture against the wood and could degrade the finish. With a wood boat you don’t have to worry about the problems that have to be considered with plastic boats – it won’t soften with heat and warp like they do.

I would get an elasticized cockpit cover for it , which will keep critters out better than the plastic you have over it now.

When I store my boats outside I cover them with a lightweight canvas painters tarp. You can get these that are 20’ x 6’, just the right size to drape over a kayak to keep debris and sunlight off of it. I get mine at a Sherwin-WIlliams paint store whenever they have their 30% off sales. The canvas will eventually get discolored and mildewed but can be machine washed.

Since you have that deck space, it would not be hard to hang it. Use large screw hooks spaced about 5 feet apart and make trapezes out of rope with 3’ lengths of hollow foam pool noodle slipped over to cushion the boat and keep the trapezes open so you can slip the boat easily through. Be sure to use pool noodle and not pipe insulation. Pool noodle foam does not absorb water. You can get the noodles almost anywhere this time of year in the toy department. I’ve gotten them for a couple bucks each at big drug stores like CVS and Rite Aid.

Here is a photo of that suspension method in my basement – the red boat is suspended with those trapezes. I have several loops tied in the yellow rope so that I can gradually lower or raise the kayak by standing on a step stool and moving each rope down one loop at a time so it is easier to take down or store.

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Send the boat to me and I’ll store it in my shop for you.

That…is a beautiful boat! It deserves to spend a lot of time on the water. Like String said I would use straps and hang it under the deck. I store a 17’ wood boat on the wall of my garage with “Suspenz EZ boat rack”. If you have wall space they would work for you as well. Suspenz also makes some other options you might consider. I got mine from REI.

Magooch, that is a really nice offer. :smiley:

Willowleaf: How do you get the boats in/out of a basement? I’m assuming is sort of bi level with a window? I haven’t had a basement for > 22 years, sometimes I really miss the house I grew up in.

Seadart: My house is on a such a steep downhill lot that the basement door in the rear opens out on grade despite the ceiling being 9’ high, AKA “walk-out basement”. It’s very easy to carry a kayak straight out, but the problem once out there, below the 8’ x 16’ second floor back porch, is that I have to thread the 15’ to 18’ kayaks back and forth around large pillars which is a pain. Then I have to carry the boat up the side yard and then up a 6-step concrete stairs to the sidewalk and across the street to load on my car. Or drag the boats down the 120’ back yard slope to the alley where I can load them on the trailer.

These headaches are one reason why I bought a second property a few blocks away last year, also with a large walk-out basement, but one I could drive up to via the driveway to the back yard and can bring the boats straight out. I may eventually move into that house and sell the one I am in, but the newer place needs some updates first, mostly aesthetic (it was built in 1890 but has had a complete exterior, interior and mechanical update in the past decade.) It also has a large flat back yard where I am planning to build a 2 car garage and boat house this Summer and Fall. I rent out the 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on the lot but reserve access to the back yard for myself and am now storing my trailers over there. The garage will be built to also serve as a workshop – I would like to build a skin on frame myself before I get too decrepit. That rental house also has a massive two level deck and the lower level in the back yard is tucked under the upper deck and offers a good location to suspend kayaks. Seems odd to buy a house just to store kayaks, but there is literally no place on my primary residence site to place a driveway, let alone a garage. Besides, the rental pays the mortgage and then some. And I have enough equity in the first house that I could sell it, pay off both loans and live in the other house for just the cost of taxes.

My present “armada” only has two rigid boats – the two green ones seen on the floor in the photo (which are both now hanging in the rafters). The red boat and 4 others are all folding kayaks which spend the winter in their duffel bags. I am probably going to sell 2 or 3 of the folders in the near future.

I would have trouble living anywhere without a basement. For one thing, I like having a couple of friendly cats around and having the litter boxes tucked away on another level is a must. I also have too many large toys and hundreds of tools (and projects). I also would never own a house without one or more large covered front porches. This house has three of them, two of which function as my Summer living room and Summer kitchen/dining room (see pics, the barbecue grill is on the rear second floor screen porch. out of the frame to the left) Sometimes I just stash the kayaks on the front porch temporarily.


Very cool photos!

Thanks, my house is pretty photogenic on the rare occasions that it is clean…