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How To Store A Kayak Inside An Apartment?

With just a quick search, you can find a wealth of information on options for storing kayaks indoors.

However, among those answers, you aren’t likely to find much information when it comes to keeping your boat inside an apartment.

And trust me, not having a garage can make it frustrating at times like this!

So, here are some tips on how to store a kayak inside an apartment, while freeing up wall space too.

The easiest way to store a kayak in an apartment is to start by finding a room with enough space, place a rubber mat on the floor, and lay the kayak on its side. Don’t place your kayak directly on its hull, since this can create pressure dings on your boat. You can also mount racks, but that might be a problem especially if you rent your apartment.

In this article, we will share a few ingenious ways for storing a kayak inside an apartment!

Tips For Preparing Your Kayak Properly Before Indoor Storage

Preparing your kayak before you store it in your apartment not only increases your boat’s life span, but it also helps you keep your apartment clean.

You don’t want a dirty kayak to bring sand inside your home., and ruin your walls and carpets.

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

So, here are a few ideas for storing any type of hard-shell boat or kayak indoors, including your favorite sit-on-top kayak:

Remove all equipment

If you live in a small apartment, you might want to keep your equipment inside the kayak, and as long as it doesn’t stick out, that is fine.

However, you will still have to remove your equipment before moving on to the next step anyway.

Rinse your kayak with fresh water

It’s important to keep your kayak clean by rinsing it off after each use.

This step is especially important if you kayak in the ocean and your boat is full of sand or saltwater. That said, even if your favorite spot is a lake, it’s still essential to rinse your kayak thoroughly.

Dry your kayak

This step can be quite a pain – you’ll need a big enough towel that can absorb water effectively.

Polish the kayak

Even though you’ll be storing your kayak indoors, you’ll 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 the sun’s direct light.

Kayak Storage: Three Of The Best Methods

Storing your kayak inside an apartment can be tricky, especially if you live in a small space.

Here, I will discuss three of my favorite methods for apartment kayak storage that are sure to save you vital space.

Hopefully, one of these options will suit your space requirements.

1. Lay The Boat On Its Side

When it comes to kayak storage inside your apartment, the cheapest and most convenient method is laying it on its side against the wall.

The biggest downside to this approach is that your kayak will take up a lot of space, and most people don’t really want a large kayak in the middle of their living room.

Make sure you place a rubber mat on the floor, so that your boat doesn’t have any direct contact with the floor.

Otherwise, over time, this could cause pressure points on the vessel that change the shape of your boat.

Whether you lay your boat with the seat facing inward toward the wall or outward away from the wall doesn’t matter, since either way it will be protected from precipitation.

2. Get A Kayak Rack Or Suspension System

If you own your apartment, it’s up to you whether you want to drill holes into the walls of your home to install a rack.

If you’re ok with drilling holes into your walls, all you’ll need to hang your boat is a drill and a drill bit.

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 either hang your kayak upside down on the rack’s crossbars, or you may choose to use wide straps (heavy duty ones) that you attach around the cockpit area of the boat.

Either way, never hang your boat by the grab loops, as this can cause your boat to bend – be sure to always use proper straps.

Also, don’t store your boat with the cockpit facing upwards on a rack, because the crossbars could dent the boat.

3. Store A Kayak Vertically

As we mentioned above, you should never place your kayak on its hull, especially on a hard surface.

Well, this only partially applies when you store your kayak vertically.

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

If you’re storing your kayak vertically, be sure to never store it on its nose.

The tail is a lot wider and more substantial, so it can handle a lot more weight than the nose.

What To Avoid When It Comes To Indoor Storage

Two dirty kayaks out in the sun

Knowing what to avoid when storing a kayak inside an apartment can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

I’ve seen some people make a few of these mistakes when storing kayaks – and while you may not notice damage immediately, you will 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, which will cause its performance and handling to take a dip. 
  • Keep it out of the sun.
  • Always remove non-essential equipment. I would never advise removing your safety equipment, since you don’t want to forget it one day, but it is wise to remove any objects that might damage the inside of the kayak.
  • Do not store a dirty kayak inside. If your kayak is covered in mud, this is one of the fastest ways to get cracks in the structure, as well as ending up with a messy apartment.
  • Never drill rack holes in the wall without permission. If you rent your apartment, you could risk losing your security deposit if you drill holes for a wall-mounted rack – always ask first.
  • Do not hang it from the ceiling.

I didn’t include this option in the best methods section above, because it not only looks terrible, but it can also cause damage.

The only benefit of hanging a kayak from the ceiling is that you’ll be able to save floor space.

If you do hang your boat from the ceiling, be sure to 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 need 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.

A tarp will protect your boat from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, especially if you don’t plan to use it for an extended period of time.

For added security, you can also install a steering wheel lock across the boat’s cockpit.

Keep in mind that exposing your kayak to extreme heat and cold makes it more susceptible to cracking and splitting.

During harsh winter months, it’s best to find a sheltered storage unit for your boat.

The other option is to get an inflatable kayak, which is much easier to store since you can just deflate it when it’s not in use.

If you store kayaks inside a shed or garage, you can invest in a pulley system that helps you lift the boats to the ceiling for convenient storage.

If you’re a DIY person, there are some great videos online that can help you create your own pulley system.

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

Is It Safe To Store Kayaks Standing Up?

Multiple kayaks in a vertical position leaning up against a wall

As long as you have the proper support beneath the boat, this should be fine.

If you want to store your kayak standing up, but you don’t provide enough support, the entire weight of the kayak will be placed on your hard floors, which will inevitably damage the boat.

Basically, this option is fine for a short amount of time, but it’s not an ideal long-term storage solution.

Can You Store Kayaks In Storage Units?

Kayaks and surfboards inside a storage unit

While it is perfectly safe to store your kayak in a storage unit, make sure that you maximize the support by placing two mats on the ground.

You can also ask the staff at the storage facility if you’re permitted to mount racks.

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


For many people, the cost of living in an apartment is cheaper and more convenient than 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 the activities you enjoy.

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