So this will be our first winter with our kayaks. We have a few possible storage places, likely our shed will be their home. We have: two 8’ Potomac (Pelican) Vortexes, one 10’ Sun Dolphin Aruba, one older 13’(ish) fiberglass downriver that may be a HIPP. We can hang two on their sides, but I’m not sure we can fit all 4. We definitely have the space to stand them upright (maybe not the downriver but that doesn’t seem like a good way to store that one to me). I seem to find people doing both. We want to keep them in good shape (literally). Thoughts, opinions, ideas?
The owner manuals give specific instructions on storage, which you should find helpful.
Started out out with a Potomac
Hung it on it’s side from straps religiously the first year.
As I moved on to bigger boats all the rec kayaks got moved to secondary storage.
I have an old bunk bed frame with the metal bars going across. I took out every other bar and covered the remaining bars in pool noodles. I stored the kayaks on their sides on the noodles under a tarp.
As the years have gone buy, I’ll go to get a boat and find the pool noodles have fallen off. The boat will be wedged between bars or just laying upside down across the bed frame.
5 yrs of that hasn’t hurt them one bit.
Just don’t set the boat on the ground right side up for storage, you will dent the hull.
Invest in a cockpit cover or get a cheap tarp and strap it on with bungee cords. Birds, wasps and mud daubers will nest in there and you will have a mess next summer. All my yaks have covers.
Thank you both. I see the pelicans should be laid flat, although that seems contrary to everything I’ve read about oil-canning. I’ll go with it though. We definitely can find room to hang the sun dolphin.
What about the downriver fiberglass? Hang sideways? I’m not 100% sure it is a HIPP and even if it was, I know I won’t be finding an owners manual for that one. That boat is the one I’m most worried about to be honest. I know it is probably already 30-40 years old if I am correct about what it is. It’s in pretty good shape and I’d really like to keep it that way.
fiberglass does not deform from heat and pressure like poly will. The problem with aging that occurs is that the resin eventually breaks down and it can get soft spots that have to be reinforced. Storing it indoors slows the process. But they last a long time when kept out of the elements. A few years ago I sold an old school WW boat that was homemade by a friend back in 1978 and it was still in great shape despite having languished in her sister’s garage for 20 years.
As to your plastic rec boats, I disagree with what the manufacturer says. Storing them directly on the ground is never good. lean them on their sides or, if you must leave them flat, put pool noodles or old tires under them. I am always going to look at used kayaks because friends and family rely on me to search for boats for them. I would say 2 out of 3 poly boats that I look at have some level of oilcanning due to the all too common habit of leaving them on their hulls in yards and garages. If you have overhead space, hang trapezes made of loops of rope or webbing with 3’ chunks of pool noodle to slide the boats into. You can use pulleys or carabiners to makes them able to raise or lower.
My downriver was bought from someone that owned it many years and it was stored in their garage. I’m not sure how, we bought it from the husband and it was his wife’s boat. About all he knew about it was that it was a kayak and she didn’t want to bring it with them on their move! It was repainted at some point (red on top, white on the bottom) and had a few scratches but it seems quite straight. Once you get the hang of it, it paddles fine even in wind/current if you know how to work with it so I imagine it probably is. aside from making or buying some sort of reasonably comfortable seat for it (with back support!!) and repainting it to fix the scratches, I have no plans for it-including ever replacing it because it’s perfectly sized for me. So, I want to keep it around as long as I can.
Currently they are all in one of our sheds but laying flat. At least there is no sun or other elements getting to them. This fall we are clearing a different shed space that will be their permanent home. I want to be sure it’s set up to be a) the best way to store them possible and b) keep them accessible so we will continue to put them back the right way when we use them.