How to Store a Kayak in an Apartment?

With just a quick search, you can find a wealth of information on kayak storage options indoors. However, you won’t find many answers when it comes to keeping it in your apartment, and trust me, not having a garage can make it frustrating.  

So, here are some tips on how to store a kayak in an apartment and free up wall space too.

The easiest way is to find a room with enough space, place a rubber mat on the floor, and lay the kayak on its side. Do not place the kayak on its hull as this can create pressure dings. 

You could also mount racks, but that might be a problem if you are renting. So, in the rest of this article, we will tell you some ingenious ways to store a kayak. 

Tips to Prepare Your Kayak Properly Before Storing

Preparing your kayak before storing it in your apartment not only increases its life span but also helps to keep the apartment clean. You don’t want a dirty kayak to get sand on your walls and carpets.  

It’s especially important to clean your boat before you pack it away for a long period of time.

So, here are a few ideas for storing any types of hard-shell boats and kayaks indoors, including your favorite sit-on-top kayak:

  • Remove all your equipment. If you live in a small apartment, you might want to keep your equipment in the kayak, and as long as they don’t protrude, that is fine. However, you’ll have to remove your equipment before you move on to the next step anyway.
  • Rinse it with fresh water. Keep your kayak clean by rinsing it after each use. It’s especially important if you kayak in the ocean and your boat is full of sand. That said, even if your favorite spot is a lake, it is essential to rinse the kayak thoroughly.
  • Dry the kayak. This step can be quite a pain. Firstly, you need a big enough towel that is good at absorbing water. 
  • Polish the kayak: Even though you are storing your kayak indoors, you still want to give it a good polish before you store it. Using a UV protectant and non-toxic polish will help prolong the life of your kayak and protect it from UV rays if it’s placed in direct light.

Kayak Storage: Three of the Best Methods

Storing your kayak in an apartment can be tricky, especially if you live in a small one with minimal space. I have decided to list three of my favorite methods that will save you vital space. 

Hopefully, one of these kayak storage ideas will suit your space requirements.

Lay the Boat on Its Side

The cheapest and most convenient method when it comes to kayak storage in your apartment is to lay it on its side against the wall. The biggest downside to doing this is that it takes up a lot of space and who really wants a large kayak in the middle of the apartment living room?

You should make sure that you have a rubber mat that you can place on the floor so that the boat does not have any contact with the hard floors. Over time, this could cause pressure points on the vessel and change the shape of the boat.

Whether you lay the boat with your seat facing the wall or outward does not matter when you store your kayak indoors. This is because rain won’t be able to get into the boat.

Get a Kayak Rack or Suspension System

If you own your apartment, you can decide whether or not you want to drill holes into the walls to install a rack. If you are happy doing so, all you need is a drill and a drill bit, and you are good to hang your boat. 

A storage rack attached to the wall is ideal because it will free up a lot of floor space and keep your boat off the ground. You can hang your kayak upside down on the crossbars of the rack, or you can use wide straps (heavy duty ones) that you attach around the cockpit area of the boat.

Never hang your boat by the grab loops as it could cause your boat to bend; use proper straps. Also, don’t store the boat with the cockpit facing upwards on a rack because the crossbars could dent the boat.

How to Store a Kayak Vertically

We have mentioned that you should never place your kayak on its hull, especially on a hard surface. Well, half of that is true when you store a kayak vertically. 

See, it can be done, but you need quite a bit of support to hold the kayak’s weight.

It would help if you never store the kayak on its nose. The tail is a lot wider and is a lot more substantial, and therefore it can handle a lot more weight than the nose. 

What to Avoid When it Comes to Indoor Storage

Knowing what to avoid when storing a kayak in an apartment can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. I have seen a few people make some of these mistakes when storing kayaks, and while you don’t notice the damage immediately, you will notice it within a year or so.

Here are a few tips about what not to do when it comes to kayak storage:

  •  Never lay the kayak on its hull. Kayaks are simply not built for this. Over time the shape of your kayak will change, and your performance and handling will take a dip. 
  • Keep it out of the sun.
  • Always remove your non-essential equipment. I would never advise that you remove your safety equipment. You do not want to forget it one day, but you should remove anything that might damage the inside of the kayak.
  • Do not store a dirty kayak inside. If you have mud on your kayak, it is one of the fastest ways to get cracks in the structure. Also, a dirty kayak can lead to a messy apartment.
  • Never drill rack holes without permission. If you rent your apartment, you might lose your security deposit if you start drilling holes for a wall-mounted rack.
  • Do not hang it from the ceiling. I didn’t add this in the best method section because it looks terrible and can also cause damage. The benefit of hanging kayaks on the ceiling is that you will save space on the ground. 

If you’re hanging it from the ceiling, ensure you use heavy duty hooks to secure it well.

Other Options

If you have absolutely no space to store your kayak inside, or install a rack, and you have to opt for outdoor storage, the best way to keep your kayak safe is to cover it with a weather-resistant tarp and keep it out of the sun in a shaded area. 

The tarp will protect it from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, especially if you won’t be using it for long periods. For extra security, you can install a steering wheel lock across the boat’s cockpit.

But know that exposing your kayak to extreme heat and cold makes it susceptible to cracking and splitting. In the harsh winter months, it’s best to find a storage unit for your boat.

The other option is to get an inflatable kayak. An inflatable kayak is much easier to store as you can simply deflate it.

If you store your kayaks in a shed or garage, you can invest in a pulley system that helps you lift your kayaks to the ceiling for convenient storage. If you’re a DIY person, there are some great videos online about how to create your own pulley system.

Even if you store your canoe in a garage, it’s a good idea to protect it from heat and cold with a tarp cover.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any other questions about storing your kayak, read on.

Is It Safe to Store Kayaks Standing Up?

As long as you have the proper support beneath the boat, it should be fine. If you want to store your kayak standing up but do not provide enough support, the entire weight of the kayak will be placed on your hard floors, which will inevitably damage the kayak. 

Basically, it’s fine for a short while, but it’s not an ideal long-term storage solution.

Can You Store Kayaks in Storage Units?

While it is perfectly safe to store your kayak in a storage unit, make sure that you double the support by placing two mats on the ground. Also, you can ask the storage facility if you can mount racks. 

What’s nice about a storage unit is that you can put your kayak trailer in there too.


For many people, living in an apartment is cheaper and more convenient than staying in a house, so learning how to store a kayak in an apartment is important. 

This is especially true as you get closer to cities, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your hobbies. Instead, you can just learn how to store a kayak in an apartment.