How to Store a Fiberglass Kayak? Dos, Don’ts, and 12 Pro Tips

Fiberglass kayaks are more expensive than other types of kayaks for the many benefits they offer. One of their downsides, however, is that the fiberglass material can be slightly brittle if it’s exposed to UV rays, extreme heat, or moisture. So, they need to be stored properly to protect them from deteriorating quickly.

So, how to store a fiberglass kayak? You can store your fiberglass kayaks inside or outside. The most important thing is to make sure that it is kept in a shaded space away from sunlight, high temperature, and moisture. You also need to make sure the kayak is thoroughly cleaned and dried before you store it.

Keep reading to learn more about how to properly store a fiberglass kayak and what common mistakes you should avoid. You can also check out these awesome budget kayaks if you want something really good that won’t need a loan to get.

The Basics of Fiberglass Kayaks

colorful kayaks to show how to store a fiberglass kayak

Fiberglass kayaks are made of several layers of woven fibers treated with a strong resin that contains silica powder and polyester. This makes the hulls of the kayak more rigid and durable. It also makes it lighter in weight, faster, and more responsive. You can learn about all the reasons that make fiberglass really good here.

The complexity and cost of the manufacturing process as well as added features such as large storage space and comfortable adjustable seating have all led to fiberglass kayaks being significantly more expensive than compared to other types of kayaks. On average, their prices start at $1,000, and can even get as high as $3,000.

Why Do You Need to Properly Store Fiberglass Kayaks?

Fiberglass kayaks are seen by many as fragile because the material used in manufacturing them is much lighter in weight than other materials such as plastic or wood.

It is true that fiberglass can be somewhat brittle and prone to scratches or cracking. It can be worn down over time from frequent use or being subjected to heavy impact or any activity that can cause a significant amount of strain on the kayak’s surface.

However, it is highly unlikely for it to get damaged or worn down on its own without interference from external factors or lack of proper maintenance.

Proper maintenance starts with proper storage. Storing your fiberglass kayak will help protect it from natural elements like rain, snow, sunlight which can all have a negative effect on the kayak’s surface.

Long exposure to sunlight and high temperature can result in weakening the fiberglass material making it more prone to warping and cracking. It can also affect the color of the kayak. If you have absolutely no way to store your kayak inside, make sure to check out my guide to keeping a kayak in the sun here to minimize the damage and protect your kayak while outdoors.

And despite the resin layer on the kayak being waterproof, exposure to too much rain and absorbing a large amount of water, can result in a breakdown between the fiberglass surface and the resin layer which can cause damage to the kayak.

Another thing that can damage your fiberglass kayak is salt disposition in the large porous areas of the fiberglass surface which can result in adding more pressure on the fiberglass making it more prone to cracking.

So in the end, fiberglass kayaks can definitely be highly durable and long lasting if you know how to properly maintain and store them. Otherwise, they will cost you a lot of money and effort to repair.

How to Store a Fiberglass Kayak?

ideas to how to store a kayak in an apartment

Storing fiberglass kayaks can be a little challenging. It’s generally safer to store your kayak indoors than outdoors because you’ll have more control over the environment inside.

Here are some tips you can follow to safely store your kayak indoors:

6 Pro Tips for Storing Fiberglass Kayaks Inside

  1. Keep the kayak in a shaded space away from direct sunlight or any source of extreme heat.
  2. Avoid storing your kayak on the ground to prevent moisture from building up. You need to protect the bottom of the kayak because that’s the part that is constantly exposed to water and the most susceptible to damage.
  3. Try to place the kayak in an elevated area by using a suspension system or a rack. You can easily purchase a rack or even construct one yourself.
  4. Avoid stacking several kayaks on top of each because the added weight will cause a lot of strain on the hulls of the kayaks. It’s much safer to store them separately using a rack.
  5. If you’re using a rack, make sure it supports the sides of the kayaks to prevent it from scratching the bottom of your kayak. So, you can position the kayak upside down or have the hull facing up.
  6. If you’re suspending your kayak from your ceiling, avoid hanging the kayak by its grab loops. You need to evenly distribute the weight of the kayak when you hang it on the rack because the uneven weight will add more pressure on the fiberglass which can cause cracking.

For more tips on storing kayaks inside, check out my guide on storing kayaks in apartments correctly here.

If you do not have enough space for indoor storage, you can still store your kayak outside. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure you’re storing it correctly:

3 Crucial Tips for Storing Fiberglass Kayaks Outside

  1. Make sure to always keep it covered with a heavy tarp to reduce exposure to sunlight, heat, or moisture.
  2. Store it under a structure to ensure it’s not hit by any falling branches or exposed to rain and snow.
  3. Keep it off the ground to protect the bottom of the kayak and also to keep any animals out as some small animals and pests might want to make a home in the cockpit of your kayak.

There also some tip you need to follow to maintain your kayak in a good shape:

3 Important Tips for Caring for Fiberglass Kayaks

  1. Regularly inspect the kayak for any signs of damage or fatigue such as hairline cracks or scratches.
  2. If you find any cracks, do not ignore them as they can get bigger with time. Make sure to repair them as soon as possible to prevent more permanent damage. 
  3. Make sure to clean your kayak before you store it by rinsing it from the inside and outside with fresh water and mild to get rid of any dirt, salt, or sand on it. You also need to make sure to dry the kayak thoroughly to prevent moisture from building up.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Fiberglass Kayaks

Now that you know how to correctly store your fiberglass kayak indoors and outdoors, it’s useful to also know what you need to avoid.

  • Avoid securing your kayak with tight straps for a long time as it can create pressure points that can crack the surface of the fiberglass.
  • Avoid positioning your kayak with the cockpit side up as it can lead to damaging the bottom.
  • Avoid positioning the kayak on its side if you’re storing it on storage bars as you will risk denting the side that’s laying on the bars.
  • Avoid storing the kayak on a wheeled cart as it can put more pressure on the surface of your kayak. So, it’s recommended to only use wheeled carts when you’re transporting your kayak, not for long-time storage.

Related Questions

Are Plastic Kayaks Easier to Maintain than Fiberglass Kayaks?

Plastic kayaks might require less maintenance than fiberglass kayaks. That is because they’re made from a heavier more durable material which allows them to withstand a significant amount of impact. They still need to be kept away from UV rays and extreme heat to avoid warping or distorting the shape of the kayak.

How Can You Store a Kayak Vertically?

You can store your kayak vertically on one end if you do it for a day at a time. Storing the kayak vertically for a long period of time leads to damaging the body of the kayak. That is because the weight of the kayak will increase the pressure and deform the end of the boat that’s resting on the ground.

Helpful Resources 

Recreational Kayaking: The Ultimate Guide By Ken Whiting (you can also check the book on Amazon here)

Kayak your way to Freedom

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