Storing the Kayak in a garage

Hi there,

Just wondering what the majority of the people here do for storing their boat in their garage (such that it’s not taking too much space and remain relatively easy to reach)

Hang it sideways on a wall ? Hang it close to the ceiling with a system that allows to lift/lower it?

Popularity questions are meaningless
It depends on the dimensions available in your garage and the height of the ceiling, the extra space on the side if any, any other seasonal storage requirements like snow removal equipment.

length of free wall space…etc.

So its not about our garage. Tell us about yours.

In season
I keep it on the floor on the cart, ready to be wheeled out of the garage. Yes, it takes up a lot of room but easy of getting it out of the garage takes precedence.

Winter: suspended from the ceiling because wall space is precious in a garage for tool storage. Who wants to give up 15 feet of wall space to a kayak?

Not meaningless to me…
Well the thing is, the wall would be more convenient for the kayak, but I would need to move other things around (like the next poster mentioned).

Attaching it to the ceiling looks simple/nice on pictures, but I would need to buy parts and figure out how to do a proper setup. And in the end, I wonder if I will have the patience to get it up/down every time.

So that’s why I want the opinion of actual user: is it worth the hassle to have it up on the ceiling or not

Ceiling mounts are as easy to use …

– Last Updated: Jul-10-14 3:03 PM EST –

... as you want them to be. Some are kind of cumbersome, and some are pretty slick. If you build a good one (one that's easy to use) , expect to spend half a day or more (it takes me a few hours to put one together because I take the time to make each part exactly the way I want it, rather than doing things the fastest possible way, and because I work a lot slower than someone with tons of experience). A good ceiling hoist will raise or lower the boat in a few seconds, and since for a kayak all you need are slings for hull support, the install/remove aspect won't take any time at all.

Ready-made hoists like the one by Harken are pretty nice too.

ceiling system
Do you have pics of your setup or a list of the parts you used ?

Garage storage

– Last Updated: Sep-29-14 9:15 PM EST –

My first boat was mounted on the wall, just above rack height. Putting in on the car was incredibly easy, just lift one end over at a time. The cradles are attached to a simple 2x3 frame free-standing in front of a brick wall (no attachment allowed on rental). The frame is attached to the underside of the wood ceiling joists above. The frame and load rest directly on the concrete floor, the ceiling attachment keeps it from tipping away from the wall.

As I got more boats, I added two hangers, one above each rack. The boats just go straight up and down, almost as easy. The parts are from HD or equivalent. Making an H-frame to hang straps from makes it easier. One trick - add steel rings to the lifting line at the target height of the boats. The ring hooks to a rigging point to make sure the boats are at the right height every time (good when you're tired).

thanks for the pics
Nice setup


– Last Updated: Jul-10-14 3:48 PM EST –

I have some pictures here:

What's illustrated is slightly different from my normal method, in which a single line gets taken up by the winch rather than two (a single line winding onto the winch spool works much better than two). The text that goes with the photos may make this more clear.

Flickr keeps changing the method by which full-size photos can be seen. Right now, with most browsers, you'll see a down-pointing arrow that you must click on, and from there, choose "view all sizes". For some reason, the computer I use at work still brings up an outdated version of Flickr, with a completely different menu. If you see no down-pointing arrow, see if you see three dots (". . .") to click.

All the hardware-mounting points must be tailored to your garage, and what's shown may not be applicable in your case. If you have open rafters, you may need to place pieces of wood to span the gap between two adjacent rafters or rafter stringers to position each lifting line at the exact location that you want.

You need two hangers, and for a kayak, each hanger could just be a piece of lumber (like the "top bracket" for the canoe holders shown) with a sling draped below, on which the hull would rest. Simplest of all would be a loop of webbing attached to each lifting line, but use of a spreader bar of some type would eliminate the "pinching" action of a simple loop (after getting this posted, now I see that the method shown in Carlelo's photos is a perfect example of this).

If you copy this method pretty closely, look around for the smallest hand winch you can find. The smallest ones cost $15 or less, but the average size costs about three times as much. The one shown in the photos was the smallest one I could find on short notice at the time, but it's larger than what I normally use.

al a carte
The three boats I use the most are on a cart that easily rolls out of the way for other operations that go on in my workshop. If need be, I can even roll them outside. Wow, I just had a thought–how many here can say they’ve rolled three kayaks at the same time?

Each has advantages
In my previous house, the garage was a bit tighter, and had windows in the wrong places for wall storage, so the kayaks hung from the ceiling. I rigged up a system with pulleys near each end (X2 of course since there were two boats). It worked great for that space.

At our new house, I am fortunate to have a lot more room, due to a couple large outbuildings. So now the short boats are on the wall, and the longer boats (we now have four kayaks) stay on the trailer.

Between the wall and the ceiling, I liked the ceiling for what felt like better, and more natural support, by keeping the boats flat in their normal orientation. I also like the current wall set up for speed and easier access, but not as wild about the boats resting on their sides.

So, each has advantages, and each has disadvantages.

It’s up to you to figure out your priorities and which is more important to you.

Garage is for kayaks, waveskis, bikes
Driveway is for cars. Not very difficult.

I do have a stacking rack in my garage for my kayaks.

Boats sit on foam blocks on the floor
But the garage was designed specifically to accommodate our “stuff.”

It would be more space-saving to put up a wall rack and get the 2 sea kayaks over one slot instead of 2. But, because we normally cart the kayaks out the garage door, it’s easier to leave both of them on the garage floor. So instead, we save footprint by putting smaller items on tall shelves.

The answer to your question is specific to your space and desires.

Rolling Rack
I have no wall space available in my garage, and floor space is limited due to my NG, four scooters, and seven bikes. I don’t even have 14’ of ceiling available for a hoist.

I ended up with a Talik rack that I can roll around. In the garage, I can keep it above the scooters, and when I need it, I roll the whole thing outside next to my car and transfer from the rack to the car roof. Easy Peasy!

That’s fabulous!
Would it be possible to make a rolling rack at the height of the roof rack, so the kayak could be transferred to the roof rack without lifting its full weight? Would Thule Glide and Set saddles present any impediment to that? My car is fairly low (Scion xA).

I’ve always dreamed of having a rack like that. I would kayak twice as much if I had a rolling rack like yours to facilitate at least two of the four load/unload steps for a single day trip.

I also like the rolling feature because you can move it to different places in the garage to access tools etc.


– Last Updated: Jul-12-14 11:20 PM EST –

2 2x4" rectangles on opposite walls will support 2 beams running across the car's roof. 2 2x4" beams (4 2x4) sandwiching a plywood center grain running up/down then glue nailed should support 2 kayaks.

Garage photos are uh of interest. I'll send mine up when shoveling permits.

Contest ?

Rolling Rack

– Last Updated: Jul-13-14 1:16 AM EST –

The kayak supports are adjustable on the Talik rack, so you could put it at any height needed. I was limited by the garage door opening. The top boat just clears, and I put the lower rack as high as possible while still easy to get in and out. That gives me maximum clearance underneath.

Talik is expensive, but very nice quality! More photos: (I don't know why my links don't show as links...)


try Google Url Shortener

2x4 beams with vertical grain ply centers are shaped into V’s one side for lateral support for kayak 1 while kayak 2 goes into the back beam while the front is down.

Extra height above a 4" surface gives extra strength.

Cost is under $100

Thanks, Datakoll
For reasons I prefer not to think about, my garage doesn’t actual accommodate my car. I have to park in the driveway. That’s why I like the idea of a rolling kayak rack.

Oh. I thought you made that yourself.
But one could. It doesn’t look too difficult.