Although it feels like summer outside, winter will shortly start to creep in and so it will be time to retire the paddling gear for a few months. While the snow and ice are blustering outside it’s important to store you canoe, kayak and / or SUP properly to ensure your gear is good as new come the spring melt. Keeping your gear safe over the off season can make the difference of paddling as soon as the weather permits or having to wait to have your boat repaired. Follow the simple tips below and you’ll be out paddling before you know it!
First thing to do is check your boat over for any scratches or cracks and be sure to get those fixed as soon as possible moisture can collect in those areas and expand in freeing temperatures causing further damage. Then clean the boat inside and out, dirt and salt water can wear away at the boat over time and cause scratching. Once the boat is clean and fully dried apply a UV protectant coating even in the winter the suns rays can damage your boat. For canoes with wood gunwales you can apply a gunwale protection oil for optimal winterizing.
Inside is the ideal location to store your boat, here it will be sheltered most from the UV, colder temperatures and the unexpected (downed trees or heavy snowfalls). It is still important to keep your boat off the ground when storing it inside and for this we have several options available from slings to hoists there is certainly an option to suit your needs. Canoes are best stored upside down with the weight evenly distributed, if you have float tank plugs should be opened. Kayaks are best stored on their side with either a full kayak cover or a cockpit cover on to keep things like dust and dirt out. Finally SUPS should ideally be store in a SUP Bag, and anything inflatable should be deflated and store inside.
If space wont permit you to store your boat inside all winter long there are steps you can take to ensure safer outside storage. Keep your boats off the ground, a simple system like storage racks works well, cover with a tarp keeping the ends open for airflow. If snowfall collects on your boat be sure to clear it off regularly throughout the winter to prevent weight damage.
Canoes, kayaks, and SUPs are investments following the steps to store them proper over the winter will ensure you can continue to paddle for years to come.