Canoes are an investment, which means you want to protect them during the winter and off-season. This means storing them indoors. You don't have to move your car to put the canoe in the garage, though. Your storage unit is an excellent place to keep your canoe. The following tips will help you store it safely.
Tip #1: Invest in a stand
A canoe stand allows you to store your canoe while it is resting on its gunwales, which prevents the canoe from warping or becoming damaged. Another option for those not wishing to invest in a canoe stand is to use two sawhorses. Make sure they are set up at an equal distance so the weight of the canoe is distributed equally between the two. You can also use two boards or wood blocks, just make sure the curve of the bow and stern doesn't touch the ground.
Tip #2: Store the canoe upside down
The reason for this is once again to keep the weight of the canoe on the gunwales. It also prevents dirt from collecting inside the canoe while discouraging pests from setting up home inside or beneath the seats.
Tip #3: Avoid using the canoe for storage
Storing upside down does make it difficult to store anything in the canoe, but make sure that there is nothing made of fabric shoved beneath the seats. Stored items could provide a nesting spot for pests or accumulate moisture that may lead to rot. Items like life vests should be stored dry and inside a plastic storage tub so they are protected. Also, don't set anything on top of the canoe while it is inside the storage unit.
Tip #4: Fix any damage before shutting it away for the season
Once the canoe is upside down and ready to store, check the finish for any damage. Any scrapes that go through the finish need to be repaired. For wooden canoes, this usually means treating it with a marine paint or sealant. Plastic canoes can be painted with an outdoor paint formulated for use on plastic.
Tip #5: Don't forget the paddles
A paddle rack that allows you to hang the paddles for storage is the optimum solution, but not always the most space saving. Many paddle racks are also wall mounted, which means you can't install them in a rented storage unit anyway. The second best option is to stow them underneath the seats or to lay them across the sawhorses or blocks supporting the canoe.
For more advice, contact a storage facility in your area such as California Storagemasters.