P H O T O : J O H N K I N G
As the days grow cooler and the traditional paddling season draws to a close, we field dozens of calls from customers who want to know the best way to store their Delta kayaks.
We advise everyone to store their kayak indoors, whether that be in a garage or shed, a friend’s basement, or even mounted in your living room as wall art (also a great conversation starter). It’s best to store your kayak on a padded rack with the supports under the strongest part of the hull—the bulkheads in front and behind the cockpit. Companies like Talic and Suspenz make great-looking kayak racks that baby your boat. You can also get simple strap systems to hang your boat from a wall or ceiling—a great option for those with lightweight Delta kayaks and limited space.
If you absolutely must store your kayak outside, avoid areas where ice and snow accumulate, or where falling debris could hit your kayak. (Under the eves can be a good option, but only if there’s sufficient overhang.) A covered storage area is always best, as the weight of snow, ice or even wet leaves can damage your kayak. And even though your Delta kayak has a UV-resistant Solarkote outer skin, it’s best to keep it out of direct sunlight and covered with a tarp or, better still, a breathable storage bag such as those made by Danuu. With the proper precautions, it is possible to store your Delta kayak outdoors, but only as a last resort. So if you haven’t asked your friend if they have room for a kayak in their basement, now’s the time.
Here are some other storage tips to make sure your Delta kayak is ready to go:
1. Clean and dry your cockpit and hatches before storing your kayak. A dryer sheet or Arm & Hammer moisture absorber will keep hatches dry and fresh—and guard against mildew growth.
2. Lubricate your hatch gaskets with Novus 1 Clean and Shine or Armor All Original.
3. Never hang your kayak by the grab handles or rudder, as those points are not designed to support a load for an extended period of time.
4. Use a tarp or cockpit cover to keep the dirt and critters out of the cockpit. You’re not the only one who thinks your Contour II seat is comfortable. Squirrels and other rodents like to make nests from seat padding, or even make dens in your cockpit—especially if it is stored outdoors.
5. It’s not necessary to take the hatch covers off during storage but if you do, insert them into your hatches and cover them with a sheet or tarp. Do not let them hang by the bungee cord as it may stretch over time.
6. Now is the time to make any repairs to your kayak, buff and polish and replace any frayed bungee or perimeter line.
NOTE: We DO NOT RECOMMEND the use of 303 Protectant on our boats as it is known to degrade polymers such as ABS. We are aware that many of our dealers sell 303 but we advise against its use.
We’ve done our best to cover the basics of winter kayak storage, but feel to free to comment below or give us a call if you have more specific questions about storing your boat, or about maintenance procedures and replacement parts to keep your Delta Kayak in tip top shape.