GARAGE KAYAK RACK: INTRO
We all love our fishing kayaks! They are more than just an expensive flotation device; they represent our passion for the outdoors and a ticket to freedom. That makes storing and protecting your kayak extremely important. There are several great places to store your expensive investment, and many products and methods available for each location. This post looks at one of the most common storage options, the Garage Kayak Rack!
Do you own a lake house with a dock? Check out my recent post explaining Dock Storage for Kayaks.
GARAGE KAYAK RACK: GUIDE
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When it comes to long term storage options, a majority of our members have chosen their garage as the best location. Unfortunately, many of us lack the available space to store our kayaks on the garage floor. This leads some to look at more harsh options, like storing them outside in the backyard. This is a big mistake! Exposure to humidity and wide temperature variations can cause damage including cracked seams and rubberized portions of your fishing kayak. Fortunately, you can avoid this mistake. I have created this Garage Kayak Rack Guide to give you several options for garage storage.
Garage Kayak Rack Overview
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Historically, it has been difficult to find suitable garage based storage racks for kayak storage. Many of us were forced to rely on products built for the storage of other products including ladders, bicycles and even lawn mowers. Recently, a number of kayak rack products have come onto the market. These are similar to the products available for docks and other storage locations. These products fall into three distinct categories.
Categories of Racks
There are three prevailing styles of garage kayak rack systems. The first style of kayak rack is the sling based style, followed by the shelf based, and hook based styles. This post highlights the similarities and differences among the three types, and makes recommendations for what we feel, after spending numerous hours researching the various product offerings, is the best in class for each particular type of garage kayak rack system.
I knew it was time to get my first garage kayak rack when I no longer was able to pull my car all the way into the garage due to my fishing kayak and other kayak fishing accessories. I needed something that could safely hoist my fishing kayak off of the ground, where it shouldn’t have been in the first place, and up onto the interior wall of my garage. I turned to the web to see if there was any particular way that other kayak fishing enthusiasts had solved this problem, and it turned out there were a number of kayak rack systems available. This KFC post attempts to convey what I learned in a search for my own kayak rack system, and I hope that it helps you in your own!
There are three prevailing styles of garage kayak rack systems (aside from racking your kayak on top of your SUV, of course!) The first style of garage kayak rack is the sling based style, followed by the shelf based, and hook based styles. This post highlights the similarities and differences among the three types, and makes recommendations for what we feel, after spending numerous hours researching the various product offerings, is the best in class for each particular type of garage kayak rack system.
Garage Kayak Rack – Sling
The sling style garage kayak rack is perfect for storing your fishing kayak up and out of the way of the other contents in your garage. Let’s face it, fishing kayaks can take up a lot of room due to their large size (not to mention their irregular shape!). The sling style kayak rack uses a pulley system to aid the kayak fisherman in lifting the fishing kayak to the desired height, then ensures the kayak fisherman can safely lock the mechanism, preventing the fishing kayak from reversing out of the sling and crashing to the floor. KayakFishingCorner is quick to recommend this type of sling style garage rack system for those fisherman who are without help from friends or neighbors relative to lifting and storing their fishing kayak.
Fishing kayaks are heavy, and sometimes awkwardly shaped, making the lifting of a fishing kayak a precarious task. The sling style garage rack provides that second “person” in the form of the dual straps (or “slings”) strewn around the hull of the fishing kayak, which are then connected via rubberized hooks to the main lifting line.
From this point, the fishing kayak can be hoisted safely to the rafters or ceiling of your garage with minimal effort, and more importantly, by the efforts of one person alone! Ready to lower your fishing kayak from the garage kayak rack for your upcoming kayak fishing endeavor? It is equally easy to slowly lower your fishing kayak to the floor (or even directly to the kayak rack located on top of your SUV).
Garage Kayak Rack – Shelf
The second style for storing your fishing kayak in your garage is the shelf style garage kayak rack. This type of kayak rack is most suitable for those kayak fishermen who have an abundance of room in their garage in which to store their fishing kayaks. This style is exactly as described, it is truly a shelf styled kayak rack upon which your fishing kayak, whether one or more, may be safely stored. Most of these systems are built from tubular steel, ensuring that the kayak rack maintains the strength to store three, and even up to six, fishing kayaks. Extended from the enlarged vertical posts, which are situated above a widely based frame, are the kayak rack’s arms, onto which the fishing kayaks are placed. Have no fear about damaging or scraping the hull of your fishing kayak.
The high quality shelf designs have been built with rubberized shielding at any points of contact with the fishing kayak. This ensures that the fishing kayak is unharmed, and also provides a “no slip” grip on the hull of the fishing kayak itself, securing the fishing kayak to the kayak rack, without the need for additional ropes or tie downs. Once assembled, the shelf based kayak rack can easily be moved to the location in which you desire to rack your fishing kayak. Also, the shelf based kayak rack can be easily moved should you change your mind about the location of your kayak rack, or even want to move it out to the fishing dock summer time storage!
Garage Kayak Rack – Hooks
The third type of garage kayak rack is the “hook” type system. This type of kayak rack is designed to be installed into the side of your garage’s interior wall, at a height of your choice. These type of garage kayak rack designs usually come with two, and sometimes three, hooks into which the hull of the fishing kayak is lowered. It is important to place the hooks of the kayak rack at a distance that supports the weight of the fishing kayak, ensuring that gravity doesn’t have a chance to pull upon the frame of the hull of the fishing kayak, potentially causing deformation to occur.
The fishing kayak is safely secured into the hook by leverage, and by high quality strapping, ensuring that the fishing kayak is only freed from the hook type garage kayak rack when the fisherman is prepared. KayakFishingCorner tends to suggest this type of rack for fishermen who have ample storage space along the side of their garage walls, and we suggest that one interested in purchasing this type of rack first measure the amount of space they have from the wall and measuring inward.
These type of products typically extend from between 15 to 36” from the wall, so you’ll want to be sure that you still have room to maneuver around the interior of the garage, once the kayak racks are installed into the kayak rack hook itself.
Garage Kayak Rack Benefits
No matter the quality of your fishing kayak, the life of it can be extended and preserved by storing the fishing kayak in a climate controlled, or at least protected, environment. Of utmost importance is storing your fishing kayak up and off of the floor, and ideally nestled into a kayak rack device specifically built to support the fishing kayak. Each of the kayak rack products showcased above is abundantly capable of allowing you to take advantage of the controlled environment offered by your garage!
Looking for other creative ways to store your kayak in your garage? Look for inspiration on this handy guide!
If you are here, you are looking for convenience and comfort. Learn how the Best Sit-In Kayak Seat Cushion can make your time on the water more enjoyable! Take a look at how a Kayak Paddle Holder Clip can free up space in your fishing kayak!
Regardless of your choice of kayak rack style, the important part is that you do decide upon one, as this will preserve the life of your fishing kayak for years to come. Not only is the fishing kayak better protected from the elements when safely stored inside and upon the kayak rack, it is housed in a device made specifically to handle the weight of the fishing kayak and will disallow any deformation of the fishing kayak hull.
Learn how to securely strap your fishing kayak to your garage wall here! Do you know of any other types of kayak rack systems? Be sure to write in to KFC, and maybe we’ll post your opinion for the benefit of all KFC readers! Don’t have the room for a garage rack for your kayak? See if a kayak trailer is right for you. Trying to make extra room in your garage? Here are some easy tips to get your garage organized in no time!
Do you have any questions regarding the garage kayak rack products described above or kayak fishing in general? Please share with the rest of the KayakFishingCorner community by posting in the Comments section below.