How To Store A Canoe In Your Garage? (The Best Way!) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to . The website is also an affiliate of a few other brands.

How to Store a Canoe in Your Garage?

A canoe can be the perfect antidote to a busy urban life. A few days of quiet relaxation on the lake. Sometimes just by yourself, sometimes with family and friends. But now that the weather is getting a bit  nippy it is time to start thinking about How to Store a Canoe in Your Garage?

If this is the first time you are confronted with how and where to store your canoe during the winters, you may be somewhat confused. Trust me the best way to store a canoe is in the garage. But it has to be done right.

The right way to store a canoe in your garage:

  1. A canoe is better off stored inside than outside.
  2. A garage is the perfect place as it usually has the space.
  3. The canoe should be prepped up before storage.
  4. It should never be stored directly on the garage floor as they are often dirt.
  5. Use a free standing rack, a wall mounted rack, a ceiling mounted rack or a ceiling hoist.
  6. Garage storage will protect the canoe hull. Overhead Storage is a space saving option
  7. Ensure that your garage is climate controlled.
  8. Protect the canoe from direct sunlight.
  9. Garage storage will prevent your canoe from being stolen.

You must store the canoe in a climate controlled garage.

In this post I am going to talk a bit about canoes and how they differ from kayaks. You will learn something about materials used and how a canoe should be prepared for storage during the winter months. And finally I will let you know the best practices of how to store a canoe in your garage.

Can you store a canoe in a garage?

What is the Difference between a Canoe and a Kayak?

It is quite reasonable to ask the question, What, if any, is the difference between a canoe and a kayak? To be honest I had this lingering question too.

After all, both are paddle craft, i.e., you use paddles to move the craft. 

You sit “on” a canoe but you sit “in” a kayak. In other words a canoe has an “open cockpit” while a kayak has a “closed cockpit”.

Both Canadians and Brits refer to a canoe as a “Canadian canoe” and to a kayak as a “canoe”.


That just makes things a bit more confusing. 

The fact is that there are several differences between a canoe and a kayak, but the defining difference is how you sit. 

There are other differences but the ones that matter when it comes to how to store a canoe in your garage, are:

  • Canoes are bigger
  • Canoes are deeper
  • Canoes have a wider frame
  • It’s easier to load and unload stuff in a canoe because of the open top
  • Canoes may actually be lighter for the same size & material

It is likely that a canoe owner will go for a tandem (2 person) model while a kayak owner will go for a solo model. A tandem canoe is at least 16 feet long but a solo kayak is never more than 12 feet long.

In which case the average canoe would likely be heavier than an average kayak!

What Materials are Canoes made from?

The first canoe was dug out of a tree trunk. You won’t see that kind of canoe now unless you went to a museum. It is very rare to find a canoe which even uses some wood.

Modern Canoes use synthetic materials such as specialized plastics (layers of polyethylene, high impact ABS or acrylic), fiberglass or Kevlar. Aluminum is used at times too but it is not very popular now.

How are Canoes Made?

Canoes made from specialized plastics are made using one of the following production processes.

In the THERMOFORM process a layer of poly foam is encapsulated between two layers of specialized plastic.

In the ROTOMOLD process a solid block of plastic is given the shape of a canoe by cutting away the material not required.

Fiberglass or Kevlar canoes are made by laying in the woven fabric fibers in a mold and bonding them together with resins. 

Really any of these materials are pretty good. Typically a more expensive canoe will be stronger and lighter. Kevlar canoes are, without doubt, at the top end of the spectrum.

The material of your canoe has a role to play when you need to store your canoe in the garage.

How to Prepare a Canoe for Storage in a Garage?

Before you are ready to store your canoe in the garage for the winter you have to ensure that the canoe is totally clean. This is not as difficult as it sounds.

  • Clean out anything and everything that you have kept in the canoe. One tends to forget small items in the canoe, especially after a long canoe trip.
  • Next rinse the canoe, both inside and outside with a garden hose. Wait for about ten minutes so that any dried up mud or other grime has had a chance to soften.
  • Then wash your canoe thoroughly with a mild detergent using a sponge or a wet rag. Use a soft bristled brush for the nooks and crannies and the hard to get areas.
  • Rinse off the canoe once again so that all traces of soap or detergent have been washed away.
  • Use a towel to dry the canoe as much as possible. Leave it to air dry so that all the moisture is gone.
  • Wax may not adhere to a plastic or polyethylene canoe. 
  • However, if you have a fiberglass, Kevlar or canoe made of similar material, waxing the canoe outer hull is necessary. 
  • Dirt & dust will not adhere to the canoe hull. Wax also reduces adherence of grime and marine life from sticking to the canoe hull, next time it is in water. Wax reduces friction so paddling a waxed canoe is less tiring.
  • Last but not the least, spray on a coat of UV protectant.

A really good product for your canoe or for that matter any paddle sport watercraft is Star brite Ultimate Paddlesports Cleaner & Protectant with PTEF – 22 oz available at Amazon.

Is There Enough Space in Your Garage to Store a Canoe?

Believe me there is. An average canoe is around the same length as an SUV and much narrower.

Let us look at a typical canoe size. The Nova Craft Canoe is a well known canoe brand from Canada. They have a large range of canoe models but one of the most popular is Prospector 16. They describe it as

The Workhorse of the Canadian north, our Prospector 16’ feels most at home loaded with gear on a remote wilderness lake or river. While it is best suited for river tripping, it remains versatile enough to be a good all round canoe.

Nova Craft Canoe
How To Store A Canoe In Your Garage (Nova Craft Canoe Prospector 16)
Photo Credit: Nova Craft Canoe Prospector 16

The canoe can weigh from 45 pounds to 66 pounds depending on the canoe material. It is 16 feet long and 3 feet wide. It is 15 inches deep in the center and 23 inches deep at the end.

Even a one car garage is typically 20 feet deep and 8 feet wide. Hope fully, you have a garage that is a two or three car garage. In short there is usually enough space in your garage for a standard recreational canoe.

Canoes are fairly light too. Even a fiberglass Prospector 16 weighs 66 pounds, a weight you can carry for a short distance if you have been keeping yourself fit.

So there you have it. Generally speaking space will not be a constraint to store a canoe in your garage!

What are the Best Practices for Storing a Canoe?

  • Avoid storing your canoe outside. Do it ONLY if there is absolutely no other choice.
  • If kept outside, secure the canoe so that it does not get blown away by the wind or stolen by burglars.
  • Storing a canoe inside is the best option. Store your canoe in the garage. Garage is simply the best place. There is space and it is convenient.
  • Never store a canoe on the floor on its hull. You will damage the hull.
  • The best way to store a canoe in the garage is upside down on a rack.
  • A canoe can also be hung from the garage ceiling using a sling hoist. This frees up garage floor space.
  • Ensure direct sunlight does not fall on the canoe. UV radiation will dull the canoe surface. The color may also fade.
  • Store the canoe in a garage, a climate controlled garage. The garage should not get too cold or too hot. It should also not be damp or have high humidity levels.

One of the best ways to Store a Canoe in your Garage is to use StoreYourBoard Canoe Ceiling Storage Hoist, Hi Lift Home and Garage Pulley Rack, Pro. Order it from Amazon.

The Hi-Lift Canoe Ceiling Hoist is the perfect solution to clear up floor space and keep your canoe in great shape. Thanks to it’s pulley system, a 4 to 1 mechanical advantage allows you to raise and lower your canoe with just one person. Heavy-duty straps and independent ceiling brackets mean you can adjust the setup to fit the size of your canoe. 

Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.

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