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KAYAK RACK FOR DOCK: INTRO
Transporting your fishing kayak is a cumbersome chore, but it doesn’t have to be! There are many ways to improve or even eliminate this tiring task, and we have already discussed several in our previous posts. We have continued to receive messages from many of our KFC members, and you’ve asked us to provide more specific information regarding properly racking fishing kayaks on their docks (kayak rack for dock systems).
This practice all but eliminates the need to carry your kayak before enjoying your next kayak fishing trip. This obviously requires access to a fishing dock with room to store a kayak. If you don’t own one, then it is time to make some new friends! Learn all about this subject on this Kayak Rack for Dock Guide.
KAYAK RACK FOR DOCK: GUIDE
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As stated above, utilizing a Kayak Rack for Dock system can reduce the time spent on strenuous transportation tasks, and increase the time spent on the water. I have included all of the basic information about this wonderful method of storage on this Kayak Rack for Dock Guide.
New Kayak Rack Choices
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Luckily, due to a surge in popularity in kayak fishing over the last several years, a number of new products have entered the market to solve the problem of racking your fishing kayak on your dock.
This was clearly a necessary development, as the three alternatives to racking your fishing kayak (leaving the fishing kayak on the floorboards of the dock, hauling your fishing kayak off the dock and to dry storage, and leaving your fishing kayak tethered to the dock and floating in the water) were each undesirable and downright dangerous to you and your fishing kayak. While you’re here, check out these cool ideas for making your dock perfect for fishing!
3 Different Styles of Kayak Rack
A fishing kayak rack for dock will typically take one of three general styles:
- Fixed Mounting Hooks – Large hooks operating as a cradle to hold the kayak
- Sling/Pulley System – Lifting mechanism to store kayak high inside the dock
- Shelf Based – Flat piece of wood or rigid material attached to dock wall that allows kayaks to be stored side-by-side or on top of one another.
I will be taking a detailed look at some of the differences among the three basic styles, and suggests some of the makes and models of these kayak rack for dock systems for fishing docks.
I knew it was time to buy a kayak rack for dock system when I bought my second fishing kayak. There simply wasn’t enough room on the dock for me to store my fishing kayak and all of the related gear.
I knew I needed to find something that could efficiently store my kayaks and protect them from the elements. Luckily for me, there are a number of kayak rack for dock products and designs, all built specifically for fishing docks.
The post below summarizes my knowledge from the research I completed when making my own kayak rack for dock decision. I hope it helps you when making a decision of your own.
My Favorite Kayak Rack for Dock
This particular kayak storage system is quite literally the PERFECT Kayak Rack for Dock product. While there are many other models that compete in this space, each having a little “twist” in terms of design and each of which we thoroughly review below, the above model above takes the cake! Let’s find out why:
This kayak rack for dock storage system is wisely designed to ensure season after season of use. How so?
Unlike many other frames, the frame on this model is 100% metal, giving it high strength and rigidity. To top it off, the manufacturer has powder coated the entirety of the frame, giving it a heightened level of durability (especially when exposed to wet conditions of on again off again nature).
Its “sleeves” are not only UV protected (due to the wrapping used), but are cushioned so as to prevent unnecessary “scraping” damage that is so often associated with lesser quality kayak racks. Simply put, this kayak rack is going to do EXACTLY what you want it to do, WITHOUT harming your fishing kayak!
Believe it or not, many kayak racks, even those advertised as a kayak rack for dock system, are meant for INTERIOR use only. Meaning inside the garage or, presumably, inside an enclosed fishing dock! I don’t know about you, but my dock is open-air, and I need something that can withstand a little exposure to the elements!
That’s where this particular model comes in so handy. This kayak rack for dock is specifically built to be just as comfortable outside as it is inside! This is due, in part, to the all metal, powder coated frame and UV protected and cushioned arms. Finally, I can store my kayaks on my open air dock without worrying about whether my kayak rack will fail on me!
With the recent boom in popularity of kayak fishing, it is becoming more and more common place for a kayak fisherman to have AT LEAST two fishing kayaks. One may be a competition level kayak and the other a tandem kayak. The combinations are infinite!
Luckily, this kayak rack for dock system allows you to safely store not one, but TWO fishing kayaks in its quality padded arms. Yes, this system can safely support a whopping 175 pounds of fishing kayaks, a weight capacity that is more than enough to safely hold two standard size (or even larger) fishing kayaks with ease!
Ok, this is my favorite part. The whole point of a kayak rack for dock system is so that the kayak fisherman can keep his or her kayak stored safely on the dock and avoid having to take the kayak to and from the water, right? Yes!
Well, what good is a kayak rack for dock system if the rack’s footprint takes up too much of the already limited square footage on a dock? Not very good! The wisely designed and high quality components on this particular model solve that problem:
The manufacturers of this rack have wisely engineered it so that it takes up only the bare minimum amount of square footage. In fact, once installed, it takes up only 52″H x 94″W x 26″D in space. That leaves a TON of room for all your other dock toys!
Ok. Now that we have evaluated my favorite kayak rack for dock system, let’s look at some of the very popular and differing styles of these awesome kayak fishing accessories. Frankly, its hard for me to pick any one style over the next, as they all have tremendous benefit to a kayak fisherman’s convenience and game!
The first of the three types of fishing rack systems is the fixed mounting system. These rack systems attach to the vertical or wooden posts on your fishing dock, and can support up to 150 pounds. This is more than enough strength capacity for the average fishing kayak and even some ancillary kayak fishing gear.
Each rack system comes with two “hooks”, which should be placed far enough from one another to appropriately cradle the fishing kayak hull, without being too far apart and allowing the weight of the fishing kayak hull to pull on, and potentially deform, the frame of the fishing kayak. KayakFishingCorner suggests actually facing the rack towards the interior of the fishing dock.
While this makes for a slightly more difficult time in terms of re-racking the fishing kayak, you do gain the advantage of an easier time dismounting the fishing kayak (because you don’t have to lean out over the water) and, more importantly, the fishing kayak would garner more protection from the roof overlying your fishing dock, and thus be better protected from the elements.
Often times these types of rack systems are even strong enough to allow you to hang an additional fishing kayak below the mounting hooks, allowing you to essentially rack two fishing kayaks in the space normally occupied by one. No room on the dock? Leave your fishing kayak safely stored in your SUV Kayak Rack.
The second type of fishing kayak rack for dock system is the sling based or pulley-type system.
This type of rack system works via old fashioned “simple machinery” and, when operated appropriately, accomplishes the proper docking and racking of your fishing kayak, in addition to nearly wholly mitigating the weight of the fishing kayak by allowing the fisherman to gain the leverage provided by the pulley-type system.
This type of rack system comes with two pulleys, an appropriate amount of rope for raising and lowering, 4 hooks (coated in rubberized material to prevent damage to the fishing kayak), and two straps to cradle the hull of the fishing kayak.
To operate the kayak rack, place the straps (referred to as the “slings”) around and underneath the fishing kayak, allowing the free ends to meet somewhere above the middle of the kayak. Once each sling is in place, you’ll connect the rubberized hooks into the holes contained on the slings.
At this point, the kayak rack is ready to be engaged, and you will simply pull on the main line to lift and elevate your fishing kayak into the kayak rack position. We’ve found that this can be accomplished from the floorboards of your dock, and even from the water itself.
While one can operate this kayak rack by oneself, it is made somewhat easier if operated with a second person, as this second person will be able to steady the fishing kayak from rotating while you are lifting into place.
Once you’ve reached the desired height of the fishing kayak in the kayak rack position, you’ll tie down the main line to the included T bar. Have no fear, this sling style kayak rack for dock comes with pulleys that preclude the lifting line from “flowing out” when such result is not desired.
This allows the kayak rack to hold the fishing kayak safely suspended, even when the main line is not tied off at the T bar. No room on your dock? What about storing your fishing kayak in the garage?
The third type of fishing kayak rack for dock system is the shelf based system. This type of fishing rack system comes in a couple of different forms.
The difference between the two is whether the kayak rack has been designed to be situated off the side of the dock, or closer to the rafters of the dock.
The styles that have been created for off the dock storage are crafted with a powder coated aluminum construction, which provides obvious benefits in terms of strength and durability relative to exposure to the elements.
As with the fixed mounted kayak rack systems described above, these come with a “J Mount” into which the fishing kayak can be inserted, and the specialized plastic ensures that your fishing kayak isn’t damaged during the process.
We’ve found that the shelf based system by Dock Sides is the best in the market, namely because it provides products with both horizontal and vertical kayak rack capacities.
This “off the dock” kayak rack for dock storage allows you to expand your fishing dock’s square footage, as the Dock Sides are specifically built to be placed on the exterior of the dock, saving valuable square footage for other of your fishing dock gear, accessories and furniture.
If your fishing dock already has plenty of space, and you aren’t concerned about saving square footage with the “off the dock” kayak rack for dock models described above, you might be interested in another of the shelf based kayak rack for dock systems.
This rack doesn’t require much in the way of nuts and bolts, it is merely as the name implies, a shelf based rack system.
Again featuring J Style holders, the arms are padded to protect your fishing kayak, and the product is smartly designed with enough space in between the individual racks to allow for the efficient, yet compact, storage of multiple fishing kayaks.
KayakFishingCorner found this type of rack system to be the “easiest” because of its relatively simple design and the manageable height of the kayak rack itself.
What this kayak rack for dock system saves in terms of ease of use, it loses in terms of keeping the fishing kayak “out of the way”.
Overall, however, if you feel that you have enough square footage for this type of kayak rack, you’d be remiss not to give it a go. Don’t have room on the doc? See if Inflatable Kayak Fishing could be right for you!
I hope that this post has helped inform you about kayak storage options for dock owners. As you can see above, there are a number of different styles of kayak rack for dock systems that will work for your dock.
More important than the particular style is that you purchase a kayak rack of some sort, because this will prevent you from having to resort to either storing your kayak flat on the dock.
This terrible practice can potentially distort its frame, or leave the kayak free floating in the water where its hull will accumulate moss and grime. If you need any further guidance about which product to purchase, please use our contact page to send us a message.
Once your fishing kayak is safely racked, learn how to keep your kayak paddle nearby with a Kayak Paddle Leash!
No room at the dock? See if a kayak trailer could be the answer to your kayak storage problem!
Interested in customizing your dock for kayak fishing? Look for some inspiration, here!
Do you have any questions regarding these kayak rack for dock products? Do you own a dock and have alternative options? Please share with the rest of the KayakFishingCorner community by posting in the Comments section below.