Winter Storage

-- Last Updated: Nov-15-16 6:59 PM EST --

Hello - Got my first kayak this summer (Perception Prodigy II 14.5') and am getting ready to store it for the winter here in Minnesota. Temps will definitely be below freezing and we can sometimes have cold snaps with several days of -20F temps and below.

During the paddling season, I have been storing it under my deck, suspended upside-down by rubber straps. I have it located near the house where it is completely covered by the deck, protected from precipitation (except what drips through the decking), and fully shaded. It's also unlikely any furry critters would be able to find their way into the boat.

I am debating on keeping it where it is and replacing the rubber straps with wide nylon straps (tie-downs), or moving it into my unheated garage and hanging it from the ceiling, also using nylon straps, though probably situated on its side rather than upside-down.

Obviously inside the garage would be a slight improvement with regards to the elements but I'm not sure if it's enough to be worth it. I should have the space to get it in the garage, but it's one more thing I have to get crammed in there.

Can anyone fill me in on the risks/benefits with either of those solutions?


not sure where you are at…
You don’t have your profile filled in, so not sure where you are at (and things like if you get below freezing temps). But it should be just fine under your deck if you keep water out of it (water expands if it freezes, and that could cause trouble) and keep the animals out of it.

Sorry! I am in Minnesota. I had that in my message originally, but then edited it and must have forgot to put it back in.

hang it hang it

any amelioration of harsh conditions improves the hull’s performance for next summer.

Tho you may not see feel or hear this, science …from abt the 1750’s …supports this conclusion across the uh board.

I can’t imagine that it matters
If it’s well supported and out of the sun, and protected from crushing snowfalls or ice-covered tree branches that come crashing to the ground, all should be fine. Cold itself has no ill-effects on any normal hull material. In fact, in terms of “shelf life”, your boat would probably last longer if it were always kept cold, but unless you are worried about passing it on to your great grandchildren or beyond, that’s not really a factor either.

That’s the response I was hoping to hear. My only real concern was the cold making the plastic brittle or some other problem I may not have considered. If it gets damaged from snow or a falling tree, I’ll have bigger problems than a smashed kayak.


Brittle Plastic
You are right that the plastic will be more brittle during periods of extreme cold, but that won’t matter while it’s just hanging there in storage.

Since my new Eddyline kayak is due to arrive soon, it will take over the space inside my garage. I moved my poly kayak under my deck. 90% of it will be under the deck and covered, but 10% does extend out. That portion will at least have a little protection by the lower eaves of the house, but it will be more exposed to the elements. I bought a light weight painters canvas tarp to cover the entire kayak. 15 ft. X 4 ft. tucked around the kayak with the ends wrapped lightly with a bungee to prevent it from blowing off. Mostly for sun protection, but it should keep it a little cleaner under the deck and keep a little snow off it.

you can
lead a horse to water …

quality controls, spot areas of weakness thru defective processes… ?

plastic may, or may not, degrade lowering temps past 45 degrees.

Not in theory but reality, the possible situation probabilities increase for next summer’s damage when bashing hull against a rock…from prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures.

so what ? I dunno yawl answer no what.

On Ford’s Vinyl grille, yes the grille was designed/tested ( we hope) for the truck’s lifespan plus but treating it well with a UV/wind protectorate film is a no brainer unless you choo$e to not protect it. For the better flex/life/uh coefficient of restitution factor.

The choice is distinct from the hull’s properties. You may chose this choice or not. I usually choose a reality based action adjusted to cost of replacement, affection, and availability.

All I know is that …

– Last Updated: Nov-16-16 3:10 PM EST –

... all chemical reactions go slower with colder temperatures, and that any kind of degradation is a chemical process. Further, we have a very large cold-storage facility in my town, and besides storing food products, they have a long history of storing all sorts of plastic and rubber products that one doesn't ordinarily think of as being prone to deterioration within their normal useful life. I think it's safe to assume they know what they are doing in that case.

I also know that I've never heard of a credible reason for thinking that a plastic boat might be in worse shape after being stored in a cold environment, so I can't imagine why one would go the effort of speculating to the contrary while simultaneously admitting that they have no clue.

6 of one…
I appreciate all the info from everyone. I should mention this is a used boat bought to introduce the family to kayaking. If all goes well, we will be expanding/upgrading the fleet in years to come and I’m not expecting this to be an heirloom.

Since the air temp will be pretty similar in the unheated garage and under the deck, and that seems to be the only factor that could have a significant impact, I’ll opt for the more convenient location outside.

Good idea

– Last Updated: Nov-17-16 10:28 AM EST –

I debated on a cover, but figured that where it is it isn't likely to get a lot of moisture or sun so it wouldn't make much difference.

I do plan to take out the seat pads and hatch cover and bring them in. Then I might rig up some bungee cord and landscape fabric to cover the openings. That ought to ensure nothing alive can find its way in but air can still flow to keep things dry.

For what it’s worth,
I stored a RM kayak outdoors last winter. Under my garage eves, supported by a couple of heavy duty wall hangers I picked up at Lowes. Applied 303 on the hull before I set it up there, as it did get some sun - but the rays up here are quite weak in the winter. Cockpit cover on.

Average snowfall is close to 200" and temps can dip to -30F, although they only went down to maybe -20 last winter a couple of nights. Kayak made it through the winter just fine.

Critters are the bigger problem.
Cold won’t hurt an unused boat, but do keep the critters from nesting in it.