#TrailheadTips: Boat Storage

#TrailheadTips

The seasons are changing, and the cold wind will start to blow in thoughts of storing your canoe, kayak or SUP for the winter months. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about prepping for winter and storage for your canoe, kayak or SUP, (Stand Up Paddleboard) for winter, or a year-round storage solution.

General Storage Information:

Canoe Storage

Prep:

  1. In order to get your canoe ready for storage, you’ll need to wipe down your canoe completely with lukewarm water and soap.
  2. Wipe down the gunwales of any residue and then let the canoe dry completely.
  3. While cleaning your canoe, check all elements of the canoe from the hull, gunwales, seats, yoke and thwarts, to make sure they are in good working order. 
  4. The last step to prep your canoe is to tighten up all the bolts – they don’t need to be super tight, however they do need to be secure! We’ve got replacement bolts if you need them! Click Here.

Wood Gunnels: Before storing your wood gunwale canoe, it is best to oil them to protect them over the winter months, however make sure the gunwales are completely dry before oiling them. If you oil them while still they still contain moisture, you will trap the moisture in the wood and cause more harm than good. Shop the oil here!

Protect:

  • We suggest 303 Marine Protection: This spray can be directly applied onto the surface of the boat. This will protect the outside of the boat and vinyl gunwales. Wood Gunwales you will need to treat these with gunwale protection for the winter months as mentioned above:
  • Cover it with a tarp or canoe bag and if possible under shade.
  • When using a canoe bag or tarp to store your canoe, leave one end open to allow airflow. This will deter mould if any moisture becomes trapped in the bag.

Storage:

  • Store your canoe off the ground and upside down. If you need to store your canoe on its hull, make sure the weight is evenly distributed on the supports, using padded cradles or straps.
  • When storing inside, use a padded cradle, pulley system or strap system (just make sure the weight of the canoe is evenly distributed)
  • If you are storing your canoe outdoors for the winter, make sure it is covered by a tarp or canoe cover, and that the canoe is not located where snow may fall or build up significantly on top of the canoe.
  • If you are using a tarp, make sure air can circulate, this will reduce the risk of any mould or discolouration.

Kayak Storage

Prep:

  1. Wash your kayak down with lukewarm water and soap.
  2. Inspect your kayak for any damage to the hull, seats, straps etc. If any of these need repair, do it now before storing it for the winter. This way you are ready to go in the spring.

Protect:

  1. Use 303 Protectant Spray on the clean dry boat.,
  2. Get a Cockpit cover for your kayak to prevent any dust, dirt or rodents getting inside of your kayak.
  3. Leave the bulkhead caps loose allowing some air flow, preventing moisture build up.
  4. Invest in a kayak cover. If you are using a cover for the kayak, make sure one end is open. This  allows airflow through the bag, to prevent moisture being trapped, thus preventing discolouration or mould.

Storage:

  • Make sure when you are storing the boat, that the pressure on the areas where the bulkheads are,  these are the strong points of the boat. When storing composite kayaks it is especially important to make sure you are storing them upside down, or on their side, never on their hull.
  • Consider using a J-Cradle, or a strap/pulley system, which can also be used for Composite boats. We offer a great selection of kayak storage options, available here.

SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Storage

Prep:

  • Clean and dry your Paddle Board (Inflatable or Hard) thoroughly.
  • Removing the fins is highly recommended, especially if you are planning on storing your SUP for an extended period of time.

Protect:

  • To protect a hard board, application of a UV Protection spray is recommended. We suggest using a spray such as 303 Marine Protection
  • Consider investing in a board bag, these are great for not only storage, but for travel protection as well!
  • Be conscious of where you are storing your SUP. Reduce the amount of moisture it experiences as this can cause mould and mildew to develop on the board.
  • If using a board bag, leave it open on one end, or where your board grip is. This will allow air to circulate inside the bag, reducing the chance of moisture build up. Avoid putting your board in direct sunlight to reduce pressure of air expanding inside your board.
  • For an inflatable board, it is super important that you’ve let the board dry thoroughly, and the board is clean from any residue. You can store your inflatable, inflated or deflated, however if deflated be sure it deflated completely.

Storage:

  • Hardboards are best stored indoors, off the ground, using a solution such as racks, pulleys, or straps.
  • You can also store the board standing on its end, just keep in mind if you choose to store the board standing on end, keep the tail on the ground. Also consider strapping it to the wall, and placing a foam block under the end of the board.
  • For storing outdoors, just be sure that you are protecting the board from UV rays. Finding a shady spot, under a deck, cottage, or in the garage, is a good spot.
  • Make sure the board is covered by a board bag or tarp. However always make sure air can still circulate, and snow, rain etc cannot build up on the board.  
  • Inflatables: you can do one of two things, deflate or leave inflated. (We suggest that you leave the board inflated if you to have space.)
  • Make sure that the board is not up to max PSI. This is so that as temperatures change, the air inside the board may expand and contract without harming the board.
  • When you the board into the backpack, make sure that there is air circulating in the bag. Ensure that the board is folded not rolled, to reduce pressure on the seams and leave the valve open!