Storing an old town poly canoe outside

Hi all, so I am looking at getting my first canoe (a used old town poly), although during the summer months when i would be using it i would have no way to store it outside, so it would have to sit on my trucks backrack. During the off season i do have a place i can store it inside, although it is about 6 hours away so I am not able to store it there for when i would want to use it.

So, my question is, i know UV exposure is bad for canoes, but how bad is it for these polyethylne canoes (will i have color fading which is no big deal, major hull damage, melting of the plastic, etc) and is there anything i can do to minimize the damage besides putting a tarp over it, although i Probally will end up doing that when my truck is going to be parked for days on end.

I had one for several years and stored it uncovered outdoors, and the only thing that happened was that the decals began to degrade. It was in a spot that got some shade from trees, but it got plenty of sun on it too.

Throw a tarp over it if you like, but it will be fine in without one.

The problem with storing a poly boat on the truck backrack is the support will be at the ends and nothing in the middle. If you can jury rig a cross bar do it.

Poly boats tend to sag when unsupported and especially in the middle. If you are near Kezar Lake look at the boats at Saco Bound. You will see.

Ok, so i should be good with the UV then, but i should make sure to support the middle of the canoe. Thats fairly easy, i should be able to build something out of sawhorses for ground storage to do so if needed.

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Use a tarp and get it off the ground. Look for a shady spot or north side of the house.

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We store some poly boats on an exposed rack for quick use all year long in Florida sun. So far the poly boats are doing fine. The big difference though is they are over grass and not shinched down on top of a vehicle in a hot parking lot. Heat and too much strap pressure can deform the boat.

Florida sun eats up boats. You should cover them.

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Store it upside down if possible. The gunnels are stronger and less prone to oil canning or deformation then the bottom of the boat and will not affect performance like a deformed hull. It keeps rain and leaves out as well. A center support is also a good idea. Straps should just be snug,do not over tighten. Always use bow and stern lines as well.

If exposed to intense sunlight for extended periods of time, a tarp in a cheap and easy way to protect the boat from UV .

Well just how far apart would your truck back rack be? Mine is 6 ft between bars. My canoes are 14 to 17 ft. My rack in the back yard is 7.5ft.

Seems that I heard if you cover a poly canoe with a tarp, it should be suspended over the canoe and not resting/laid on it. Is this true?

A tarp directly over the kayak will protect it from UV but not from heat. Tarps in direct sunlight can get hot, like 140+ degrees hot. You want some space in between the kayak and the tarp so it is not directly in contact with the plastic.

Im not in florida, im in Maine, alot cooler and with a less intense sun.

So from what i gather backracks (5’ offset) if not tightened down and using bow/stern lines should be ok, even more-so of using a tarp (can the tarp touch the canoe or not, whats the verdict there?).

In regards to storage, it would stay at my folks on sawhorse racks (with center support) between early/mid october to about april/may. Then it would sit on my backracks for the months of september and april/may (cant store it on sawhorse racks on the ground in college), then during the summer it would be on the sawhorse racks outside company provided housing, located either on grass or on a gravel driveway.

Another option is to visit a local fabric store (or go online) and buy outdoor awning type fabric in a length long enough to cover your boat. It’s similar to Sunbrella. Provides UV protection and you can refresh that protection. 303 makes a UV protectant spray.

I’ve kept one kayak on a sunny dock for the past few summers using that type fabric, with bungee cords to keep it from blowing off. You don’t have to be concerned about heat since the fabric breathes.