Storing a Royalex Canoe - NO garage!

I live in the Northeast (NJ) and do NOT have a garage. What’s the best way to store a 17’ canoe (with vinyl or aluminum gunwales) in all seasons? Upside down on sawhorses, I suppose, but I hear that you’re NOT supposed to drape a tarp in direct contact with the Royalex. Suggestions? Thanks!

Many ways to build a tent

– Last Updated: Jan-27-08 1:36 PM EST –

If you have a deck or a clear side of the house, you can build a shelf off the deck posts or wall studs to store your canoe (take a look at the outfitter's showroom for designs). Then you hang a tarp from above to minimize contact with your canoe. If you want a free standing rack, you can build one with pressure treated lumber following those ideas:
Take the "Single Tree Rack for 4 canoes" for example, build two shelves and drape your tarp from the top empty shelf so that it is not in direct contact of your boat.

Alright, a’nutter Joisey canooist…

– Last Updated: Jan-27-08 2:21 PM EST –

Welcome. As be already said de main thing is ta keep de canoo out from long term exposure ta direct sunlight. Upside down on sawhorses wit a "tent" coverin' it, or a rack built out from a shaded wall or a freestandin' rack covered wit a tarp will work. Yer be right, yer don't want ta put a tarp directly on de hull. Since yer be from N.E. Joisey yer might want ta git in touch wit de Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club ( which is in your area. We'll give yer some good advice too.

Here's a picture of de way ah' built mine under me deck. Maybe a little bigger than wat yer need but de same principle. Just stick a peaked tarp over it. Also while yer buildin' yer might consider makin' it fer more than one boat - cuz.... boats have dis here tendency ta be fruitful an' multiply. :>)

Fat Elmo

PVC Frame
I saw someone build a quick green house frame from 3/4 PVC pipe. They used one 8ft piece bent in curve running from a T fitting on the ground to another T fitting to make a hoop about 3 ft high. Straight sections of PVC ran along the ground between the various T’s to make up a base. Fittings on each end to make a crossbar across the bottom to hold the sides together. 2 8ft sections along each side on the ground with a hoop at each end and one hoop in the middle should make up a frame large enough to drape a tarp and cover a 17ft canoe. If you wanted to get fancy you could cut sections and put in extra T’s for crossbars on the bottom and for extra hoops.


Dupont Tyvek Home Wrap
Harrisburg Canoe Club, January 2008, Streamlines Newsletter, has a complete how-to-make a Tyvek cover for a canoe, complete with a drawstring hem to cinch the cover tight.

The claim is: “Fortunately, there is a readily available material that sheds rain, breathes and provides excellent UV protection. Dupont’s Tyvek Home Wrap material is available at most home stores. It works very much like Gore-Tex. Water can’t get through it, but water vapor can.”

Aren’t royalex boats ok in sunlight?
I thought that recent threads pointed out that royalex canoes are very UV resistant and not to worry about treating them with 303 and such items.

This would suggest to me that there’s no significant need to go out of one’s way to shade them during storage.

Based on those earlier discussions, I have been considering moving my royalex canoes to outside storage to free up some space in my rental garage.

Did I misinterpret those earlier discussions?

Royalex has more UV
resistance than other materials. Its a comparative, not an absolute.

Royalex will get harder with UV exposure …perhaps more brittle.

I wish it were possible to buy Tyvek in reasonable quantities. 60 dollars at Home Depot gets you quite a bunch too much. Fine if you are building a house…

When we had to do outside storage we just made a tent over the boat on sawhorses and used a blue plastic tarp. Its nice if you can avoid contact but sometimes under a snow load that is tough. We had to constantly watch that we always cleared the snow.

Sawhorses and tarp tent
You might consider making a short sawhorse about a foot or two high for the boat and make a tent with a tarp just over it. The steeper the tent, the better it should shed the snow.


The vinyl surface on Royalex will
"chalk," but the underlying ABS that provides the structural strength will be unaffected… Unless the vinyl is scraped away.

ABS tends to get gradually more brittle over a coupla-three decades. Eric Nyre sez the real problem is that the foam layer between the ABS layers gets stiff over time due to slight amounts of infiltration of water vapor from exposed edges and screw holes. I hope for more information on this.

I don’t know of a reason to keep a tarp
from resting on the surface of Royalex. Maybe the concern comes from the case of polyester boats, where a tarp resting over the hull may contribute to entrapment of tiny amounts of water vapor in the gelcoat (if any).

I stored a glass/polyester Mad River outdoors with a tarp resting against the hull. Later, hydrolysis blisters appeared all over the gelcoat. West/Gougeon Brothers website indicated this was due to chemical interaction between tiny amounts of trapped water, and polyester resin, producing gasses that raised the blisters.

This does not apply to Royalex. The only thing I would expect from letting a tarp rest against the hull might be a tendency for stains to develop, for example from mold feeding on water and dirt under the tarp. Still, raising the tarp away from the hull has its attractions.

I’m in northern NJ as well with no garage. I do have a deck though and the canoe is under the deck on saw horses.

I’ve eventually going to make a rack to hang it from under the deck using rope and PVC pipe. I saw a drawing somewhere and it looks easy enough.

Without a deck or garage to shield the boat, perhaps there is a side of your house that is in the shade most of the time?