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How to Store Your Canoe for the Winter

You'll need to know how to store your canoe if you want to keep it in good shape for next season.

Nine months out of the year, there is little more fun than finding the nearest lake or river and going out on a kayak or canoe.  In the winter, however, it's simply too cold to consider it.  Any wise nature lover will naturally want to keep his or her boat in the best condition possible over the icy winter months.  The following tips will help you to store and protect your kayak or canoe so you can take it out as soon as the chilly weather warms.

Where to store it

  • Try to store inside.This will allow you to control the environment in which you keep your kayak or canoe. Outdoors, it will be subject to the elements.
  • If you have to store it outside, be sure to cover it with a tarp for UV protection. The sun can, in fact, be a great deal more harmful than the cold.
  • If you store it outside, do not allow snow to pile on it or trees to fall on it. It seems a small thing, but if you live in a wooded or snowy area, strong winds or heavy snowfall can crush your kayak or canoe.
  • Warm storage is better than cold storage.
  • The plastic may become brittle in the cold. While it is not the end of the world to store your kayak or canoe outside, it is nevertheless something to consider.

How to store it

  • Make sure all cracks are filled. Water freezing inside any cracks can do considerable damage.
  • Keep it elevated to keep animals out.To an animal looking for shelter, a kayak or canoe will look wonderful.  Sharp claws and acidic urine can do serious damage if they get the chance.
  • Store it in the correct position. Plastic kayaks should be stored on their sides.
  • Composite kayaks should be stored on their sides or upside down.
  • Canoes should be stored upside down.
  • Make sure you have the proper equipment to hang it. Whether it rests on its side or hangs from the ceiling, make sure your racks are secure and appropriate for your specific boat.
  • If you are storing it outdoors and do not have a rack from which to hang your kayak or canoe, either use or build a pair of sawhorses.  In place of the top support, use a webbing upon which to rest the kayak or canoe.
  • Barring this, use two universal foam kayak blocks. Space them six to eight feet apart and lean the kayak on its side against the wall.

How to protect it

  • If you have a kayak or canoe with a wood trim, loosen screws in gunwales.This can prevent unwanted cracks from occurring during the winter.
  • Remove all hatch and neoprene covers, leaving hatches open to the air.
  • Use a cockpit cover on a kayakThis is yet another way to keep animals safely out.
  • If it has a float tank plug, remove it.
  • Clean and do maintenance first!
  • Small repairs can save you a mountain of trouble when the holidays are over.

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How to Store Your Canoe for the Winter