How to Store a Fishing Kayak: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to store a fishing kayak

If you finally decided to get your kayak for your fishing adventures, you should know how to store it properly. Fishing kayaks are not exactly cheap, so your storage capacity should be one of your considerations before purchasing one. Not being able to keep it safe and in good condition, while you are not using it may cause damage to your kayak and may even put you in danger when you are already using it in the water.

To store a kayak, you will need to thoroughly clean it after use, find the ideal location in your house to keep it and position it correctly. You also need to secure it in place to avoid accidents and keep it safe from the elements, like rain, sunlight, and snow. 

However, there is more to storing your fishing kayak than just knowing how and where to leave it. Read on to know the several storage solutions you can choose from and the different factors you need to consider for each one. You will also understand how you can make sure your kayak stays in good working condition even when not in use for some time, as well as the things that could happen to your kayak when you don’t store it properly.

Clean Your Kayak Thoroughly After Use.

A fishing kayak will have lots of dirt, residues, water stains, and even bugs, after use. Not to mention, it could smell fishy. So, make sure to clean your boat before you put it into storage. You will need a long scrub brush, mild detergent, a soft rug, and a hose. 

Here’s how to thoroughly clean your kayak:

  • Remove parts of your fishing kayak that are made of fabric, such as seat cushions and storage compartments, and wash them separately. You can use your washing machine and set it on a gentle cycle. Dry these fabric components and store them separately.
  • Prepare a solution of mild detergent and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the soap and water mixture on your kayak and buff the bubbles with a long scrub brush.
  • Rinse off the soap using a hose. Make sure to hose down every nook and cranny.
  • Empty all the water by opening the drainage plug. Wipe down any excess water that does not drain out. 
  • Dry your kayak. Take your boat to a sunny spot so it can dry completely. If your kayak has storage spaces, be sure to open them so they can dry, too.
  • Wipe the entire surface using a soft rag to erase water spots.

Pick a Spot at Home to Store Your Fishing Kayak

Ideally, it would be best if you store your kayak indoors, where it doesn’t get exposed to direct sunlight, rain, and snow, and where you can make sure pests couldn’t get to it. However, not everyone has space in their garage or any part of the house, and carrying it down to the basement or up to the attic might be difficult because of its weight. So some people will have to make outdoor storage work.

Indoor Storage

Look around your house and see if there is a space you can convert into a storage spot for your fishing kayak. It could be an unused portion of your garage, an open section of your ceiling, or a huge space on your wall. 

Another good option is to rent a unit in a storage facility. Renting a self-storage unit has many benefits. This way, your kayak doesn’t have to occupy much-needed space in your house and does not get in your way. There will be fewer chances of it getting hit and getting scratched.

There are even climate-controlled storage units, wherein the temperature and humidity levels are consistent. This type of storage space would help avoid plastic material used in the kayak from cracking, which happens when the air gets too hot and dry. It would also keep moisture problems such as mold and mildew at bay.

Outdoor Storage

Outdoor storage may be your only choice if you have no available space inside your garage and if self-storage units are out of the question. As such, you should look for an area outside of your house that is shaded consistently. This would ensure that your kayak does not get exposed to direct sunlight, rain, and frost.

But because you also need to ensure that your kayak is safe from moisture, you will need to build a little shack or shelter for it.

You may also want to keep your kayak out of sight and store it behind your garage or at the back of your house. Doing this would make it less likely to become a target for thieves. But to further ensure that your kayak never gets stolen, lock it securely to its rack or shed. 

Pick a Storage Solution for Your Kayak

You need a storage solution that can distribute your kayak’s weight evenly. It should support the weight at points along its length. Ensuring an even weight distribution can keep your kayak’s hull from getting deformed.

And if you are keeping your kayak outdoors, your storage solution should protect your boat from the elements and the accumulation of moisture.

Indoor Storage Solutions

You will need to pick storage solutions that are perfect for when you are keeping your fishing kayak inside the house. These storage solutions include:

Overhead Pulley System

This system allows you to store your kayak up and out of the way. This system promotes even weight distribution, so you get to keep your boat’s hull from warping or deforming. 

An overhead pulley system is readily available and comes with all the hardware you need to support and safely hang your kayak fully. 

Web Sling

A web sling uses a mesh nylon webbing that conforms to your kayak’s shape. This ensures that the weight of the kayak is distributed evenly. It is also a great space-saving solution because you can position your boat on the wall or overhead, where it doesn’t get in the way.

Wall Straps

You can strap your kayak to a wall by making sure the straps wrap around the entire width of the boat. Position your kayak in an upright manner, making sure that the cockpit is facing outwards, then place its stern on a cushion on the ground, wrap some straps around it, and anchor these straps to studs in the wall. You should also make sure that the straps are not wrapped too tightly.

Wooden or PVC Racks

You make racks out of wood or PVC pipes for your kayaks. There are also kayak racks that you can just buy and assemble. These racks can accommodate one or more kayak, depending on the design. They do a good job of supporting your boat’s weight. 

What makes racks an excellent storage option is that they provide easy access to your kayaks. This is an advantage if you go out fishing or kayaking regularly. These racks are not exactly a space-saving solution, so they are ideal if you have plenty of indoor space. They are also perfect for outdoor kayak sheds.

Car Racks

You use the roof rack of your vehicle to transport your kayak during fishing and kayaking trips. But you can also use it to store your boat when it’s offseason. A car rack can be placed on the ground or can be mounted on the wall of your garage.


The Seahorse storage solution is a weather-resistant covered case that will protect your kayak. This option is also great for outdoor storage, whether under a wooden enclosure or a tarp, as it will keep your kayak safe from heat, the damaging rays of the sun, and other climate-related elements.

Outdoor Storage Solutions

When storing your kayak outdoors, do not make the mistake of just throwing a tarp or a waterproof cover over it. Moisture can still get under the tarp, and your kayak could get musty. As a general rule, tarps should not even touch your kayak at all because it can cause molds and fungus.

Instead, build a shack or a tent-like structure where you can keep your kayak. You can use wood or PVC pipes and a heavy-duty tarp for this, so you don’t have to spend a lot. 

This makeshift shelter will protect your boat from direct sunlight, rain, frost, and snow, but at the same time, there is breathing space, and air can still flow. You should also make sure that your kayak is not resting on the ground. As such, you would need a designated rack for it.

Here’s a video that shows you how to build a rack:

Additionally, keep rodents or pests like rats, squirrels, and raccoons from getting into your kayak. The last thing you would want is for your boat to serve as a nesting place for them. Make sure to secure the cockpit area by getting a specially made cover that would wrap tightly around it. Just remember to put some moisture-absorbing packs in there before you cover it up.  

Position Your Kayak Properly and Secure It in Place

After deciding on a storage location for your kayak, whether indoors or outdoors, and after picking the most practical and convenient storage solution, you should know how to position your kayak correctly. You should also know how to secure it so it doesn’t fall off and so it doesn’t get stolen. 

How Not to Position Your Kayak

It is not a good idea to just leave your kayak on the ground or any flat and hard surface for more than two days. It might start to cave in under its weight and pressure. You should also not store it right side up because, over time, the bottom of the boat could get smooshed due to the excess weight of its body or, if it is hanging on the ceiling, the bottom could sag due to gravity. 

Moreover, a kayak should not sit directly on its hull nor its side for a long time because it could cause a dent on its plastic exterior. It should also not hang from its handles as they are not designed to bear the boat’s weight long term. Hulls can also bend or deform over time if you subject your kayak to uneven weight distribution. 

How to Secure Your Fishing Kayak in Place

While fishing kayaks weigh differently, depending on their material and their size, they are typically heavier than regular recreational ones. The lightest weighs 50 pounds (22.68 kilograms) while the heavyweight fishing kayaks weigh over 100 pounds (45.36 kilograms). This means that if they are not stored correctly, they can easily fall and cause injury. 

For example, if left-leaning up against your wall, your kayak can fall on and injure your kids with just the slightest bump. And if you store your kayak overhead using methods that are not very secure, it can drop on you and knock you down.

This is why it is very important to get durable straps if you are hanging your kayak on the ceiling or the wall. And if you are not very confident about your handyman skills, you should get help from a professional or somebody with experience in installing kayak storage solutions. Meanwhile, if your boat is on a rack, you should still tie it to the structure to keep it from sliding off or to keep it from getting toppled over. You might also want to make sure your rack is stable and tied to your wall.

Secure from Theft

Aside from keeping your fishing kayak secure in place, you should also ensure that it’s not easy to take down and steal. You can use locking cables, such as those used to secure boats to the docks. This type of cable is almost impenetrable, especially to everyday thieves. You should also secure the cable to another permanent yet solid structure, such as a steel post or a heavy workbench.

Protect Your Kayak From the Elements

Whether it is made of fiberglass, plastic, wood, or some other composite material, your kayak can fall victim to damage caused by all sorts of natural elements. These elements include sunlight, rain, heat, wind, cold, snow, frost, and saltwater. 


Sunlight can gradually degrade your kayak’s material, so it is important to store your boat in a spot not exposed to direct sunlight. Naturally, your best bet is to store your kayak inside the house, like in your garage. And if your only option is to store it outdoors, you can build a shack and use a tarp.

There are also sun-protective sprays that you can use to protect your kayak from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. You use this spray on the entire boat, including the hull and its inside portion. You should spray every time you take your kayak out of storage and when you are going to put it back to storage. 

Cold and Frost

Protect your kayak from extremely cold or freezing temperatures and frost, even if it is stored inside. To do this, store your kayak at room temperature. 

Kayaks have nooks and crannies and crevices where water can go in and settle. This is not a problem under normal circumstances, but when it is freezing temperatures, this water could freeze, and this could lead to expansion and contraction. This can damage your kayak over time. 

Rain and Snow

If you are storing your kayak outdoors, take extra precautions during the rainy season and winter. As explained earlier, water collects in the creases and crevices of your kayak, and under most circumstances, it creates the ideal breeding ground for molds. This, in turn, can quickly damage your kayak. 

Use tarps to protect your kayak from rain and snow. You should also check your kayak from time to time to make sure that water has not leaked from the tarp and made its way onto the boat.


Even if your kayak is made for the water, saltwater is still an enemy and can gradually degrade its exterior regardless of its material, as well as the metal parts inside. As such, if you use your kayak in the ocean, be sure to thoroughly clean it with clean fresh water after every use and before putting it back to storage. Additionally, spray both of the kayak’s inside and bottom portions. 

Now, if you live near the sea where you get salty air, regularly spray your kayak with fresh water to avoid corrosion and damage.

Final Thoughts

Storing your fishing kayak properly lessens the risk of damage, degradation, and deformity to your boat, and it also prevents theft. It also helps make sure you and your family do not encounter any kayak-related accident at home and are safe from any physical injury that could result from it. 

Proper storage is one way of protecting your investment and ensuring that you have more years to enjoy kayak fishing as a sport or hobby. Hopefully, this article will help you accomplish that!

Have fun and be safe out there!

Mike Rodman

Mike enjoys fishing all year round, from fly fishing small streams in Wyoming's higher mountains to kayak fishing the lower altitude lakes and reservoirs. Mike also has a passion for ice fishing. When he has spare time, he'll be found at his rod bench building custom fishing rods.

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