How to Build a Kayak Shelf / Rack

Written by Best Kayak Guide

Feb 26, 2022

February 26, 2022

Kayaking is fun & exciting; also, it is a sport that requires the right gear and safety equipment. A kayak shelf/rack can keep your equipment safe in place by ensuring it doesn’t get damaged by surrounding obstacles while it’s not been used for some time.

Kayaks can be quite long and can take up a lot of space in a garage or storage shed. A kayak shelf is a great way to store your kayak while saving space. Whether you want a place to store your kayak where it’s easily accessible or away from the elements which could be harmful, figuring out how to build a kayak rack is a straightforward project that can be completed in a few days.

This guide will bring you the types & qualities of a kayak shelf/rack and the things you’re required to build a general kayak storing shelf/rack.

Straightforward Answer:

How to Build a Kayak Shelf / Rack

There are a few ways that you can build a kayak shelf. You can use a pre-built kit or build it to your own design. If you choose to build it on your own, you will need some basic carpentry skills and tools.

The first step is to measure the space in your garage or storage area where you plan to store your kayak. Once you have measurements, you can start designing your shelf based on your kayak dimensions. The design will vary depending on the space that you have available. You can use a harder wood like oak or maple if you want, but it will be more difficult to work with. A softer wood like pine will be easier to work with, but it may not be as strong.

1. Get 2 sets of wood that is at least 2 inches more than the length and width of your kayak and at least 2 inches thick.

2. Screw the ‘2 x width wood pieces’ to the centre of parallelly kept ‘2 x length wood pieces’ in a way that you can firmly keep your kayak so that they form a kayak base frame.

3. Finally, attach the kayak base frame to the wall where you want it to hang, using ‘3 x triangle-shaped wooden frames’ in a sturdy manner.

So, These will be your 1hr work kayak shelf/rack.

Recommended Products:

01. Kayak Shelf Dual Kayak Stand 

This kayak storage stand will withstand rigorous use year after year. The powder coated finish and UV protected cushioned sleeves means this rack will be there for you when you need it next year, or for years to come. Also, this kayak rack can be used indoors in a shed or garage or outdoors on a deck. The sleeves are UV protected to withstand sunny days, while the padding prevents damage to your water craft from storage.

02. Rad Sportz Wall Mount Hangers

This hangers provide an easy way to mount your kayak or paddleboard neatly on the wall of your garage or shed. It’s constructed from sturdy powder coated steel, and equipped with nylon holding straps and clips, the hooks can be mounted right into your wall studs to safely store equipment up to 125-pounds. Also the hooks are designed with a foam padding to protect your kayak or sporting equipment from scratches. 

Descriptive Answer:

It’s not terribly important to have a perfect idea about kayak shelves before building yours, but it is important to have a general idea of what you’re doing. After all, you don’t want your shelves to fall apart and damage your kayak or yourself!

There are a lot of DIY kayak shelf plans out there, and most of them are pretty straightforward. That said, it’s always a good idea to do some research and plan ahead before starting any project. This will help ensure that everything goes smoothly and that you end up with the results you were hoping for.

Let’s go into detail about kayak shelves/racks and figure out what could be the best solution for you.

Types of Shelves/Racks

Types of Shelves/Racks
  • J-Style: Answer: A J-Style wooden ground kayak shelf is a piece of furniture that is used to store kayaks and other water sports equipment. It is made of wood and has a “J” shape, allowing it to securely hold multiple kayaks. This type of shelf is a popular choice for people who have a lot of water sports equipment, as it can store everything in one place. It is also easy to assemble and use, making it a convenient option for those who want to store their kayaks easily. It typically consists of a wooden frame with adjustable straps to secure the kayaks in place. This type of shelf can be installed in your garage or even small storage areas, and it provides you with a place to store your kayaks when they are not in use.
  • Horizontal Style: A horizontal style wooden ground kayak shelf is a storage system that is made to store kayaks horizontally on the ground. It typically consists of a wooden frame with adjustable straps to secure the kayaks in place. This type of storage system is popular among kayakers because it takes up less space than traditional vertical storage systems. It’s easy to install and can be customized to fit any kayak. Plus, it makes it easy to access your kayak when you’re ready to hit the water again!

Standards & Durability of Materials:

01. Wood:


A few different types of wood can be used to build a kayak shelf. Cedar, cypress, and redwood are all good options because they are resistant to rot and decay. Teak is another option, but it is more expensive than the other woods. Whatever wood type you choose should be lightweight and have a high strength-to-weight ratio to minimize the amount of weight added to the kayak.

Also, a few different chemicals can be applied to increase the durability of a wooden kayak shelf. A common option is to seal the wood with a waterproofing product, such as polyurethane. This will help protect it from water damage and prevent it from rotting. Another option is to apply a coat of paint or sealant that will help protect it from UV rays and other environmental factors that can cause fading or deterioration.

02. Metal:


A few different types of metal bars can be used to build a metal kayak shelf. Steel, aluminium, and galvanized steel bars are all good options. The type of bar you choose will depend on your budget and the look you’re going for. Steel is a great option if you want a durable shelf that will last for many years.

Aluminium is a good choice if you want a shelf that’s lightweight and rust-resistant. Galvanized steel is best if you live in an area with high levels of humidity, as it won’t corrode or rust like regular steel.

When it comes to different chemicals that can be applied in order to extend the durability of a metal kayak shelf, some of the most popular options are corrosion inhibitors, sealants, and paints. Each of these chemicals has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision.

If you’re looking for an easy and affordable option, corrosion inhibitors are a great choice. They can be applied easily with a spray bottle, and they work by creating a barrier between the metal and the environment.

03. Screw:


A few different types of screws can be used to assemble a wooden or metal kayak shelf. For wood, screws with a Robertson head (square-shaped head) tend to work best because they have a self-centring feature that helps them stay in place. Screws with either a Phillips head or Slotted screwdriver slots work well for metal.

Also, a good way to help extend the life of your screws is to apply a sealant around the threads before screwing them in. You can use something as simple as silicone caulk or even car wax. This will help create a watertight seal and keep out moisture and corrosion.

04. Straps:

The kayaks can be secured on a shelf with straps made from nylon, polypropylene, or polyester. These materials are strong and durable and will hold the kayaks in place. They can be easily attached and will keep the kayaks from slipping off the shelf.

You can extend the durability of kayak securing straps by using a little common sense. First, use a strap protectant cover to increase the life of the straps. Second, avoid allowing them to come into contact with sharp objects or abrasive surfaces. And finally, store them in a dry place when not in use. So, with a little bit of caution, your kayak straps should last for many years.

Visual Explanations:

  1. Build a Wooden Shelf/Rack:

  1. Build a Metal Shelf/Rack:

Related Matters:

01. How much will it cost to build a wooden one kayak shelf/rack?

The cost to build a wooden one kayak shelf/rack will depend on the size and complexity of the project. Generally speaking, the materials will cost between $30 and $50, and the labour will cost between $10 and $20 per hour. So, depending on the specific design and size of the shelf/rack, it would likely cost somewhere between $40 and $70 to build.

02. Can I make a kayak shelf/rack out of PVC?

You could certainly make a kayak shelf or rack out of PVC, but it would be more difficult than wood. PVC is a very hard and inflexible material, so it would be difficult to create curves or joints that would be strong enough to support the weight of a kayak. If you decide to try making a PVC kayak shelf or rack, I recommend using thicker-gauge PVC pipe and fittings and drilling pilot holes before screwing the fittings together. Also, be sure to use plenty of screws or other fasteners to attach the shelves or rack to your wall studs securely.

03. What is to think when storing a kayak on an outside shelf/rack?

There’s no need to worry; kayaks are designed to be stored outdoors. However, you will want to take a few precautions to ensure that your kayak is protected from the elements.

First, make sure that your kayak is clean and dry before you store it. You may also want to apply a coat of wax or sealant to protect the hull from UV rays and moisture. Second, be sure to store your kayak in a place where it will be protected from wind and rain. If possible, try to store it under some type of shelter, such as a porch or garage. Finally, check the hardware on your storage rack regularly and tighten any loose screws or bolts.

How to Build a Kayak Shelf Rack
How to Build a Kayak Shelf Rack

Read previous article: Can you Kayak in the ocean?

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