Outdoor storage of plastic kayak

I just bought a used kayak. It doesn’t fit in my townhouse and I have no garage, so I’m storing it outside on my patio. I’ve got it inside a nylon canoe cover and lashed up to the fence with a Lasso cable lock.

The boat is keel up to keep rain out of the cockpit and I have a cockpit cover on to keep out any critters that get through the main boat cover.

Am I overlooking anything or does anyone have a better idea aside from buying a new house or storing it somewhere else?

OK a couple of things:

  1. If sunlight on your patio hits that canoe cover, get yourself a cheap mylar emergency blanket or two (about $3 at hardware stores) and cover the boat under the canoe cover. That will certainly take care of any UV issue.
  2. Take a look at DIY or commercial cradles for kayaks. You’ll note that plastic will deform with pressure and that’s not good. Storing it on its keel or on its deck is not the recommended way for that reason. Suspending it with flexible straps at the strongest points (front/behind the cockpit coaming) on its side seems to be prefered to prevent denting the plastic. A couple of bike innertubes with hooks on your wall would probably work OK if you secure them to the wall or studs correctly.

Cradles are easy to make and preferred. I worry less about the sun the farther I get from south Florida. Here in North Carolina I’ve had boats about 16 years with no cover and very little if any sun damage. In Florida sun damage is quite visible in year two if stored outside. I think you have it well covered.

Sunlight degrades plastic

– Last Updated: May-26-12 3:12 PM EST –

Get the boat in the shade or darkness

Ultra-violet radiation from the sun is just
plain harsh on your kayak. It's the shorter,
more energetic wavelengths you can't actually
see with your eyes that cause the greatest damage
to the exterior finish of your boat.

Kayaks and canoes usually have UV absorbing additives mixed into them.
Pigments also help but can fade
with time. A bright red could turn pink for example.
There is quite a bit of chemistry involved with
various kayak/canoe materials, along with a fair
amount of specialized equipment for manufacturing.

All this "industrial knowledge" become part of
the purchase cost of a kayak or canoe.
There are dozens of ways to cut costs using cheap materials
and techniques, - but there are most definitely tradeoffs in durability and quality.

Feel free to to do your own research, but I doubt
you'll find a better product than 303 protectant
for use as a "sunscreen" coating the topside.
They found a way to "block" solar radiation
between between 290 and 400 nanometers.

Waxing a kayak or canoe is a waste of time.

Not a rep, don't work in the industry,
feel free to do your research, double check, etc.


Supporting your boat
If you have bulkheads that’s where you want the support to be. If not then around the cockpit coaming. Never support it from the ends. Store it upside down or on it’s side. If you have the room you can also store it standing up on end against the house. I use cam straps attached to a hook, the strap goes around the yak at the bulkheads then back to the hook, two per boat. The straps are loose, they are just a hangar. You can also use 2x4 or anything curved from the hardware store, wrapped in pool noodles or pipe insulation. Or buy kayak cradles from anyone who advertises on p-net.

In past visits to the 303 website,
I have NOT seen specifics about how often it must be re-applied, or about how long a single application is when just sitting in sunlight.

Of course it is in their interest that we become OCD about repeatedly applying 303.

Visual evidence from patches of 303 applied to my canoe hulls suggests that 303 might still be there and working to some unknown extent after two paddle trips, but not more. Who knows?

Once a Royalex boat is scarred through the vinyl, and the ABS is beginning to show, there is a distinct advantage to spray painting over 303. One can see by quick inspection where spray paint is, and isn’t, and one can apply only enough spray paint to protect re-exposed ABS. With 303, one is working on untested assumptions.

I use 303, and I would use it more if I knew its persistence from company data.

what about me?
I don’t want to hijack the thread. but I am in the same situation. Just got my dagger axis 12. I paddle about 2-3 times a week. The rest of the time the boat is on top of my car. I bought 303 to protect it. I have a cover for the cockpit for when it rains. Boat should be ok right?

Same advice
Why risk it? If you can store your boat away from UV altogether that’s better. If you’re keeping a plastic boat on a car top rack, you’re risking deforming it.

Errrrr Ahhhhhh Not exactly

– Last Updated: May-27-12 5:17 PM EST –

- I kept my kayak on my car 24/7 and 365 for 2 years
when I lived in an apartment in southeast Michigan.
My kayak went grocery shopping, to the movies, to BBQ's
- anywhere and everywhere I did, all the time.

Dagger Crossover - Subaru Station Wagon
Michigan summers hit 90 - 95 degrees F regularly
and the winter air hits around 10 - 20 degrees F.
Still paddled in the winter, if water was moving.

It's easy to paddle if you're always ready !
I still have this boat 10 years later, no issues.

Thanks everyone, very helpful. The guy I bought from sprayed the hull good with 303 or something like it just before I hauled the boat away, so between that and the cover I should be ok with the UV issue.

I’ve got a very logical place to mount a cradle for the boat, so that will be my next project so I can stop sitting it on the patio.