How to securely store plastic kayaks

By Doug Williams
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How to securely store plastic kayaks

Doug Williams
 
 
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Most kayak enthusiasts start off small, with just one favorite kayak. However, over time they tend to collect kayaks while experimenting with various types of kayaking. This presents a serious kayak storage problem since no one has unlimited spare space in their garage to securely keep these boats. Not only that, the most common method of kayak storage is also the most damaging for the boats.

People tend to stack up kayaks on one another, where they collect all sorts of dust and rust and leads to deformation which often renders these expensive boats useless. Following below are some important tips to securely store plastic kayaks to minimize the risk of damage and loss.

Multiple contoured padded supports

Stacked kayaks
Stacked kayaks

Although plastic kayaks are considered the most durable among all kayak types, these boats become deformed really fast if stacked together in a haphazard manner. The contact points of the kayaks get distorted first as constant pressure is applied to the boat. Often, if a plastic kayak is kept at one place for an extended period of time, it gets deformed from its own weight, over time developing flat spots and deep dents. The ideal storage for a kayak is to provide enough padded support underneath its hull.

Most experienced folks tend to hang their kayaks from the ceiling of their shed or garage. It’s better to use more than one strap, supporting the boat from at least two different points; wide straps tend to provide more support to the boat. Another option is to place them on a shelf or a rack, resting on specially designed kayak foam supports, providing a cushion to the contact points preventing any pressure dents. If you don’t have enough storage to hang your boats, you can always place your kayaks on the floor, but you will need some kind of soft support to place underneath the boat. You can even use towels for the support. However, make sure you keep a constant check on your kayaks and keep flipping them over at least once every fortnight.

Keeping out of elements

Kayaks on the beach
Kayaks on the beach

There are some misconceptions regarding the effect of temperature on plastic kayaks. Some beginners assume that cold temperatures will cause the plastic of the kayak to eventually develop cracks, hence a moderately warm temperature is necessary to keep kayaks in good condition. However, this cannot be further from the truth. If kept in a storage environment where the temperature remains high, kayaks usually develop a droop after some time.

Long exposures to sunlight can also damage the kayak, as the UV rays from the sun can fade the kayak, eventually causing significant damage to the plastic exterior. The best storing conditions for a plastic kayak would, therefore, be a moderate temperature away from the sun. However, it is not always possible to store kayaks indoors as not everyone has a dedicated shed with controlled climate for their boats. In this case, you can leave your kayaks outside but you will need to cover your boats with a UV protected tarp.

Beware of thieves

It is not unusual for kayaks to get stolen, and it’s highly likely that if you leave your kayaks outside without proper protection, someone will take the opportunity to steal your boat away. Regardless of the type of kayak, it is always advisable to buy some strong locks and keep them locked at all times. It is possible that someone might cut your locks off to steal the boats, but the aim of the locks is to make it harder to steal them. Chances are if you make it hard for the would-be thieves to deprive you of your boat, they will think twice if it’s in anyway challenging.

Concluding thoughts

Secure your kayak
Secure your kayak

Plastic kayaks are widely regarded as more reliable and durable when compared to their composite counterparts. It is, therefore, a wise move to keep them stored in secure locations, in order to prevent any damage to their structure. Following the simple yet highly effective methods outlined above will ensure that the damage to your kayak, if any, will always come from your kayaking and not from your storage facility.

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