Canoe Storage & Maintenance: Do You Love Your Canoe?

How do canoe storage and maintenance ensure your new, shiny family canoe keeps making family memories for years?

Think of a canoe like a vehicle – where you park them and how you care for them directly impacts their lifespan. Storing and maintaining a canoe is really important – otherwise, your canoe will suffer hull warping, rotting, UV damage, and a host of potential damages that could ruin your investment.

We only recently parted with our 35-year-old family canoe (it was hard to say goodbye), but it went to a very happy young family, and it has many years left of life to share adventures! But we kept the younger turquoise sister, who is barely 30 years young 🙂

CANOE Storage Tips

  • Consider the canoe length and see where it will fit with ease of access
  • Indoor storage is the best option
  • Store a canoe “upside down” resting on the gunwales
    • Do not store it flat on its bottom, on its side, hanging from its carry handles, or standing on one end
    • Web search “covered outdoor canoe storage” or “outdoor canoe rack” for DIY or purchase ideas
  • Store it off the ground, such as on blocks or a canoe stand
  • Keep it out of direct sunlight, as UV will eventually cause permanent damage
    • If a shaded spot isn’t a possibility, suspend a tough, weather-resistant tarp or cover above the hull or a canoe stand with a roof
    • DO NOT wrap the canoe or leave a cover right on the canoe, as moisture will seep in and can promote mold or fungal growth and will cause the wood to rot
  • Spread the weight: support it along its length with padded cradles/blocks, or if hanging in your garage, then nylon straps along the curve of the hull (or on a canoe stand)
  • Theft: sadly, this needs to be considered. Keep it stored somewhere out of view, and position it in a way that makes a grab and run difficult. Or, thread a weather-resistant cable through the thwart or handle and connect to a post/building/fence with a lock
  • Extreme cold is not good for them, but sometimes that can’t be avoided if stored outdoors. Extreme heat also isn’t good, so keep away from heat sources like a furnace/hot water tank

Canoe storage products and ideas

Some examples of indoor storage options (We weren’t too comfortable with the ones so far on amazon for canoes, so found a few examples to help you search locally).

Suspenz Flat Back Canoe Storage 36″

Foam padded, wall mount, safety straps, and reasonably priced

Product image for

Or Suspenz Ceiling Hoister allows you to store a canoe gunwales down (and bonus: you can hoist and lower one person only)

For example, available at REI

OldTownCanoe has a helpful chart to know how far apart to mount the brackets/straps if hanging:

Credit to: Old Town Canoe see the website for more details

CANOE Maintenance

  • We buff a UV/marine shield onto our canoe hull once a year
    • We suggest asking what to use on your particular canoe from the manufacturer, as this may vary depending on the composite material
  • Maintain the wood pieces (if any) per the manufacturer’s instructions (re-coat with a clear coat or oil, depending on your canoe)

Other Canoe Articles

Overwhelmed by all the canoe choices out there? What should you look for when choosing a family canoe?

See the article: Choosing a Family Canoe

Are you apprehensive about securing a canoe on your vehicle?

Check out Transporting Your Canoe

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