How Do I Store A Canoe When Not In Use?

Have you recently acquired a canoe and are unsure of how to properly store it when it’s not in use? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will explore different options and provide tips on how to effectively store your canoe. From finding the right location to implementing proper storage techniques, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to keep your canoe in excellent condition until your next adventure on the water. So let’s get started and ensure your canoe remains safe and secure while awaiting its next voyage!

Where to Store the Canoe

When it comes to storing your beloved canoe, there are two main options to consider: indoor storage and outdoor storage. Each option has its own benefits and considerations, so let’s delve into both to help you make an informed decision.

Indoor Storage Options

Indoor storage offers a higher level of protection and security for your canoe. It shields your canoe from the harsh elements, preventing unnecessary wear and tear. Moreover, it reduces the risk of theft or vandalism, giving you peace of mind.

Outdoor Storage Options

On the other hand, outdoor storage can be a viable option, especially if you have limited indoor space. However, it is crucial to take extra precautions to ensure your canoe remains safe and protected. Outdoor storage may expose your canoe to various weather conditions, which can potentially lead to damage if not handled properly.

Preparing the Canoe for Storage

Before storing your canoe, it’s important to prepare it adequately to ensure it remains in pristine condition during its time in storage. This involves a few key steps, including cleaning, drying, and removing any accessories.

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Cleaning the Canoe

Begin by giving your canoe a thorough cleaning. Remove any dirt, debris, or algae that may have accumulated during your adventures on the water. Use a gentle soap, such as mild dish soap, a soft sponge or cloth, and warm water to clean the surface of your canoe. Pay extra attention to the bottom and inside of the canoe, as these areas tend to accumulate more dirt and grime.

Drying the Canoe

Once your canoe is sparkling clean, allow it to dry completely before storing it. This is crucial to prevent the growth of mold or mildew, which can damage the hull over time. To expedite the drying process, wipe down the entire canoe with a clean, dry cloth or towel.

Removing Accessories

Before storing your canoe, it’s essential to remove any accessories that may be attached to it. This includes life jackets, paddles, seats, and any other removable items. Storing these separately will prevent them from causing any unnecessary strain or damage.

How Do I Store A Canoe When Not In Use?

Storing the Canoe Indoors

Indoor storage provides an added layer of protection for your canoe, shielding it from the elements and potential harm. Let’s explore a few indoor storage options that you can consider.

Garage Storage

The garage is a popular choice for storing canoes, as it provides a secure and readily accessible location. However, if you choose to store your canoe in the garage, it’s important to ensure that there is sufficient space and that it won’t be in the way of vehicles or other items. Consider using a specially designed canoe rack or hoist system to keep your canoe safely suspended, maximizing available space.

Basement Storage

If you have a basement, it can be an excellent option for storing your canoe. Basements tend to offer a stable temperature and reduced exposure to sunlight, preserving the condition of your canoe. However, make sure the basement is dry and properly ventilated to prevent any moisture-related issues.

Attic Storage

If you have a sufficiently large attic with easy access, storing your canoe there can be a viable option. However, attics can be prone to temperature variations and may have limited space, so it’s essential to ensure that the conditions are suitable for storing a canoe. Be mindful of any weight restrictions and consider using a protective covering to shield your canoe from dust and debris.

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Storing the Canoe Outdoors

While indoor storage is often the preferred choice, circumstances may necessitate outdoor storage for your canoe. If you decide to store your canoe outdoors, follow these guidelines to keep it safe and well-protected.

Covering the Canoe

One of the most important aspects of outdoor storage is adequately covering your canoe. Use a durable and waterproof canoe cover that fits snugly over the entire boat. This will protect it from rain, snow, UV rays, and other potentially damaging elements. Ensure that the cover is securely fastened, preventing it from being blown away by strong winds.

Choosing the Right Location

Selecting the right location for outdoor storage is key to preserving your canoe’s condition. Look for an area that is well-drained and away from direct sunlight. Avoid placing your canoe under trees, as falling branches or sap can potentially harm the boat. If possible, consider elevating the canoe on racks or stands to prevent it from coming into contact with the ground.

Securing the Canoe

To deter theft or unauthorized use, it’s important to secure your canoe when storing it outdoors. You can use a strong chain or lock to attach your canoe to a fixed object, such as a sturdy post or fence. This will make it more difficult for potential thieves to take your canoe and provide you with peace of mind.

How Do I Store A Canoe When Not In Use?

Special Considerations for Canoe Storage

Depending on your specific circumstances, there may be some additional considerations to keep in mind when storing your canoe. Let’s explore a few scenarios below.

Winter Storage

If you live in colder climates where winter temperatures drop below freezing, it’s important to take extra precautions to protect your canoe. Freezing temperatures can cause the water trapped inside the hull to expand, potentially leading to cracks or other damage. Make sure to thoroughly drain all water from your canoe before storing it during the winter months. Additionally, choose a storage location that remains consistently above freezing temperatures.

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Long-Term Storage

If you plan to store your canoe for an extended period, such as several months or longer, there are a few additional steps you should take. Consider applying a protective wax or sealant to the exterior of your canoe to help prevent UV damage and extend its lifespan. It’s also crucial to inspect your canoe periodically during long-term storage to ensure that no damage or issues arise.

Frequent Use Storage

If you frequently use your canoe and need regular access to it, you may opt for storage methods that allow for more convenient retrieval. Consider investing in a freestanding canoe rack or a wall-mounted storage system. These options provide easy accessibility while still protecting your canoe from potential damage.

Maintaining the Canoe in Storage

While your canoe is in storage, it’s important to perform regular inspections and maintenance to ensure its continued good condition. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Regular Inspections

Even though your canoe is not in use, it’s crucial to inspect it periodically for any signs of damage or deterioration. Check for cracks, scratches, or any other structural issues that may have occurred during storage. Additionally, keep an eye out for any signs of pests, such as rodents or insects, and promptly address any problems that arise.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Maintain the cleanliness of your canoe throughout its time in storage. Dust and debris can accumulate, so periodically wipe down the exterior with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that may damage the canoe’s finish. If necessary, use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner specifically designed for canoes.

Proper Handling

When removing your canoe from storage, take care to handle it properly to avoid causing any unnecessary damage. Lift the canoe with a partner, using proper lifting techniques to distribute the weight evenly. Avoid dragging the canoe across rough surfaces, as this may lead to scratches or gouges on the hull.

How Do I Store A Canoe When Not In Use?


Storing your canoe properly is vital to ensure its longevity and continued enjoyment for years to come. Whether you choose indoor or outdoor storage, taking the time to clean, dry, and prepare your canoe adequately is essential. Regular inspections, cleaning, and proper handling will help maintain its condition and prevent any unexpected issues. So, go ahead and find the perfect storage solution for your canoe, and rest easy knowing that it will be ready for your next adventure on the water!