Storing my sea kayak
Keeping you kayak outside and inside
If you store you kayak outside, keep it up-side-down. This keeps the kayak dry and in the long term is best for your kayak by slowing down water ingress into the laminate. Old kayaks often become heavy due to this water absorption. Remove hatch covers if you store long term. This ventilates the hatch compartments, prevents mould and musty smells. Removing the rubber hatches allows the rubber to relax and retain its original size and shape, this keeps the covers taught for when you use them next time.
Keep the kayak out of direct sunlight to best preserve the deck elastics and ropes, also over a period of time gelcoat pigment will fade due to the UV light. UV light will cause different pigment colours fade at varying rates, the colours to become dull and the surface to loose its shine (Note: this happens over a number of years).
If you cover the kayak with a tarp or similar, note that trapping moisture between the tarp and the kayak’s gelcoat may lead to osmosis of the gelcoat (little bubbles and blisters). Only use a tarp for short periods, remove and dry both kayak and tarp if condensation builds up under the cover. Ideally, hang the tarp so to prevent it touching the kayak, this allows for good ventilation.
The best solution to storing your kayak is to keep it inside a garage or shed. This generally reduces moisture in and around the kayak, and shades it from UV light.
If the kayak is kept on the floor, use sculpted pieces of medium density foam, e.g. Ethafoam, as cradles in which to sit the kayak. The cradles should be positioned directly under the front and back bulkheads to avoid any pressure distortion on the hull. If the kayak is hung from the roof in strops, position the strops onto the bulkheads, again to minimise pressure distortion. If a pair of padded trestles or a padded wall mounted rack is used to store the kayak, place the inverted kayak on the trestles/rack resting on its front and rear hatch rims (remove hatch covers first). Storing your kayak on the hatch rims prevents shape deformation.