New Canoe Storage

About to buy a Roylex Old Town Penobscot 16’ canoe and need to figure out how to store it in my garage. It is a pretty small garage and I am not sure I can get a hoist system to work. I was thinking about making a couple of “floating sawhorses” off of the exposed studs along the wall… just two arms coming out (supported of course) about eight to ten feet apart to rest the canoe gunwales on. Is this an adequate way to store the canoe or are there better methods out there without suspending it?

Canoe storage…

– Last Updated: Apr-06-12 11:37 AM EST –

Send me private message with your email address.

I'll send photos of some of the canoes I own, stored in my garage. I use the method you described, and suspend others overhead. I use an inexpensive suspension system I basically made up.

In a normal sized 2 car garage I have room for my pickup, the wife's suv, 2 motorcycles, 12 canoes, and beaucoup camping gear.


I keep three canoes hanging from rafters in the basement…they’re high enough that I can easily walk under them without bending and I’m 6 feet tall. I take a board, drill holes in both ends and pass some rope through and knot it. Hang these boards by screw eyes spaced to accomodate the length of the boat, and slide it in and out off the boards as needed.

It’s Spring!
You only have the one canoe. Keep it stored on the roof of your car and you’ll use it much more. You’ll also get treated nicer everywhere you go.

Everyone loves a canoe man!

The only way to get more approving looks is to drive around with a Cedar Strip canoe.

I also don’t have room for overhead storage. I have my canoe resting on its gunwales on two 6x6s that sit on my garage floor. They were in the garage when I moved in, but my temporary solution became permanent. I can have them as close to the wall as the arms you mention. But have moved them several times over the years as I have reconfigured the storage area to accommodate different things.

Your idea will work fine…done it

Are you sure you can’t suspend it?

– Last Updated: Apr-06-12 4:46 PM EST –

If the space above your car's roof is greater than the height of your canoe, you can suspend it. Many people employ ropes threaded through short lengths of 2x4s, and the canoe rests gunwales-down on those 2x4s. With this method, they can very slowly "walk" the boat up or down by alternately adjusting the length of the rope through each 2x4. I have a hosting method that is quite elaborate to build, but I consider it to be well worth the effort on account of the fact that once it's built, the canoe is instantly available for use and there's no need for horsing the boat around in any way (same is true when putting it away afterward). If you have room to store the canoe on wall brackets, that would certainly do the trick, but if there's enough space above your car's roof, you can save the wall space and elimnate any heavy lifting if you'd like.

Here are a few shots showing how the lifting ropes are routed in my own garage, and several shots showing a variation of this hoist that I built for a friend.

I recently built a second hoist for that same friend, but the new hoist uses my preferred method, with which no attention need be given to leveling the boat once it's fully raised.

Change the name
from garage to boat house. Park in the yard. If the wife complains buy her a kayak.

The answer is Yes
that is a perfectly good way to store your canoe - best if there is not a window putting heavy direct sunlight onto the hull.

That should work but …
That should work but garages are for canoes. Just put a tank heater in each car for cold morning starts in winter time and leave the cars outside where they belong.

Sounds like this strategy will work. The garage is in the bottom floor of a condo building so although it is huge (2.5 cars deep), it is barely wide enough and high enough to slide anything bigger than a small SUV in. If I suspend it from the ceiling, the bow would hit me in the chest.

8’ apart (or slightly less) , not 10’
… yeah , fasten a short piece of 2x4 right to a stud so that it sticks out perpendicular , this is the carrier arm that your canoe will rest on .

Put a 45 degree under brace from the stud to the bottom side of the carrier arm . It would be a good idea to add another 45 degree brace horizontally from the side of the carrier arm back to the wall sheathing & next stud … this could be on the inside or the outside face of the carrier arm .

The under braces carry the the weight of course , but the side braces will stop lateral movement of the arms .

Good idea to use a gusset (plywood’s good for this) , to lap the joint where the under brace connects to the bottom side of the carrier arm .

Don’t use nails , “pre-drill” and use screws instead where everything connects together . I’d use 3" screws to join two 1-1/2" together , and at the gusset plates the screws should penetrate the min. of an inch .

Ceiling height less than 7 feet?
Hard to believe that would pass code.

Cantilevered brackets are simple as pie if you’ve got exposed studs. I’ve got them on the inside and outside of my garage. Try to space the spread close to the thwarts. If your gunwales are aluminum, there’s no need to pad the bars. Just make sure the wood is clean and smooth.

You city cats with your codes.

I’ve been a country boy for about 25 years. Out here in rural America we don’t need no steenking codes.

That’s also why we have absentee owned hog factories (excuse me that’s CAFOs - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) polluting our drinking water and canoeing rivers.