How To Store A Paddle Boat Outside

You’re ready to launch your paddle boat onto the lake on this gorgeous summer day. You open the garage door to fetch it and find it covered in dust and cobwebs.

Because you haven’t used it in a while, finding a secure method to store it outside is time. Although keeping a paddle boat out might be challenging, the correct techniques can make the process efficient and safe.

Choosing a suitable storage site is the first step. Find a place with some shade. To prevent the boat from sinking into the earth, lay it on a pad or other firm surface next. To extend the boat’s life, it must be cleaned with soap and water, inspected for damage, and any cracks or dents repaired with epoxy.

But it isn’t all.! We’ll delve deeper into these steps, providing valuable tips and insights to help you confidently store your paddle boat outside. Let’s get started!

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How to Find the Perfect Spot to Store Your Paddle Boat

To keep your paddle boat secure and long-lasting, you must choose the ideal location for storage. Consider a few critical variables before choosing a place because they might significantly influence the boat’s condition.

Protection from the Elements:

When selecting a storage location, prioritize protection from the elements. Your paddle boat could become damaged by wind, rain, and sunshine. Find a protected area, such as a garage, a covered patio, or a carport.

If none of these alternatives are feasible, think about spending money on a premium boat cover made with outside storage in mind. A sturdy cover will shield your boat from rain, snow, and UV rays, helping to preserve its appearance and structural integrity.


Ensure the storage spot provides adequate security for your paddle boat. Consider putting the boat in a lockable garage or a gated backyard if you live in a neighborhood prone to theft or vandalism.

Pick a place with good lighting and security features like cameras or a neighborhood watch scheme if feasible. These precautions will give you peace of mind knowing your paddle boat is protected.


Consider the ease of access to your paddle boat when selecting a storage spot. If you plan on using the boat frequently, choose a location that allows for convenient retrieval.

Avoid areas where the boat may be obstructed by other items or difficult to maneuver in and out. Additionally, ensure enough space around the boat for maintenance and cleaning purposes.

Ground Conditions:

To prevent potential harm to the boat, evaluate the storage location’s ground conditions. Ideally, The environment should be sturdy, level, and clear of sharp items or garbage.

If the terrain is unstable or prone to flooding, consider utilizing a boat stand or parking the boat on a solid foundation like concrete blocks or a boat trailer.

What Are the Risks of Storing a Paddleboat Outside?

Storing a paddleboat outside without proper precautions exposes it to various risks that can negatively impact its condition and lifespan. Understanding these risks can help you take appropriate measures to protect your paddleboat.

Exposure to the Elements:

One of the primary risks of outdoor storage is exposure to the elements. Direct sunlight, rain, wind, and extreme temperatures can all harm your paddleboat. The boat’s materials may fade, discolor, and deteriorate after exposure to UV radiation for an extended period.

Mold, mildew, and rot can develop due to rainwater seeping into cracks and fissures. Furthermore, the boat may tilt or flip over due to heavy gusts, resulting in damage.

Damage from Wildlife and Pests:

Leaving a paddleboat outside can attract wildlife and pests. Birds may nest on the boat or leave droppings that can corrode the boat’s surface over time. Insects and rodents can also find their way into the boat, causing damage to the interior or chewing through materials.

Theft and Vandalism:

Storing a paddleboat outside increases the risk of theft or vandalism. Paddleboats are valuable assets, and leaving them unattended in an easily accessible location can make them targets for theft. Vandalism, such as scratches, dents, or graffiti, can also occur when stored in public or unsecured areas.

Lack of Regular Maintenance:

When a paddleboat is stored outside, there is often a tendency to neglect regular maintenance. Small issues can go unnoticed without proper maintenance and escalate into more significant problems over time.

Neglecting tasks such as cleaning, inspection, and repairs can lead to compromised structural integrity, diminished performance, and reduced lifespan of the paddleboat.

How to Prepare Your Paddle Boat for Storage Outside

Properly preparing your paddle boat for storage outside is essential to ensure its longevity and minimize the risk of damage. Taking the time to prepare thoroughly will help protect your boat during the storage period.

Clean the Boat:

Start by thoroughly cleaning the paddle boat. Clean the outside and interior surfaces of the boat of any filth, grime, or debris. Scrub the boat with water and a light detergent, taking special care of difficult-to-reach places. After rinsing off any remaining soap, let the boat air dry completely.

Inspect for Damage:

Check the boat carefully for any signs of damage, like cracks, dents, or general wear and tear. Pay particular attention to the paddles, seats, and other boat parts. Before storing the boat, take care of any problems you uncover to prevent more harm.

Repair and Maintenance:

If you discover any damage during the inspection, make the necessary repairs. Use appropriate repair kits or materials to fix cracks, replace damaged parts, or reinforce weak areas. It’s essential to address repairs promptly to avoid exacerbating the damage over time.

Remove Accessories and Equipment:

Before storing the paddle boat, remove any detachable accessories or equipment, such as seats, oars, or storage compartments. Clean and store these items separately in a safe place to prevent loss or damage.

how to store a paddle boat outside

Consider Lubrication:

Apply lubrication to moving parts, such as hinges, pedals, or rudders, to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation when you take the boat out of storage. Use appropriate lubricants recommended by the manufacturer.

Drain Water and Dry Thoroughly:

Ensure that the boat is completely drained of any water. Remove drain plugs and allow the boat to dry completely before storing it. Moisture may cause mold, mildew, and rust, so keep the boat dry to avoid these problems.

How Can You Protect Your Paddle Boat from the Elements While It’s Stored Outside?

Protecting your paddle boat from the elements is crucial when storing it outside. Exposure to harsh weather conditions can lead to damage and deterioration over time. By implementing the following protective measures, you can ensure your paddle boat remains in good condition during storage:

Invest in a High-Quality Boat Cover:

As previously said, a robust and weather-resistant boat cover is one of the most efficient methods to protect your paddle boat from the elements.

Choose an outdoor storage cover that is particularly built for that purpose, ideally made of UV-resistant material to avoid fading and damage caused by sunshine.

Ensure the cover is large enough to surround the boat and fits snugly to keep water, dust, and debris out.

Secure the Boat:

Secure the paddle boat properly to prevent damage from strong winds or accidental movement. Straps or tie-downs connect the boat to a strong structure, such as a post or a heavy-duty anchor point. This will aid in keeping the boat in place during storms or high winds.

Position the Boat in a Sheltered Area:

Position the paddle boat in a sheltered area to provide additional protection. A covered patio, carport, or dedicated boat storage shed can shield the boat from direct exposure to rain, snow, and sunlight.

If no such structure is available, consider using a pop-up canopy or constructing a temporary shelter to provide overhead protection.

Regularly Inspect and Maintain the Cover:

Regularly inspect the boat cover for any signs of wear, tears, or loose fittings. Repair or replace the cover as necessary to maintain its effectiveness. Ensure the cover is securely fastened and properly sealed to prevent water infiltration.

Periodic Ventilation:

While it’s important to keep the boat covered, ensure there is some ventilation to prevent the build-up of moisture inside. This may be accomplished by leaving small airflow apertures or vents in the cover. Adequate ventilation aids in the prevention of condensation and the formation of mold and mildew.

Check and Empty Any Accumulated Water:

During storage, periodically check for any accumulated water inside the boat. Remove any water promptly to prevent damage and the growth of mold or mildew. Dry the boat thoroughly before resealing it with the cover.

What Are the Best Ways to Store a Paddle Boat Outside?

When it comes to storing a paddle boat outside, there are several effective methods that can help protect your boat and ensure its longevity. Consider the following best ways to store a paddle boat outside:

Freestanding Paddle Boat Storage Racks:

Investing in freestanding paddle boat storage racks is a popular and efficient solution. These racks are designed to securely hold your paddle boat in an upright position, providing stability and protection.

Look for racks made from durable materials such as steel or aluminum, as they offer strength and resistance to outdoor conditions. Freestanding racks not only save space but also allow for easy access and convenient organization of your paddle boat.

Wall-Mounted Paddle Boat Storage Racks:

If space is limited, wall-mounted storage racks are an excellent choice. These racks are installed directly on a wall, utilizing vertical space and keeping your paddle boat securely stored.

Opt for sturdy racks that can support the weight of your paddle boat and are designed specifically for wall mounting. This option helps maximize available space while keeping your boat off the ground and protected from potential damage.

Customized Paddle Boat Storage Solutions:

In some cases, you may require a customized storage solution to meet specific needs.

Companies specializing in boat storage racks can provide tailor-made options based on the dimensions and requirements of your paddle boat.

These customized storage solutions ensure a perfect fit and optimal protection for your boat, regardless of its size or shape.

Boat Sheds or Garages:

If you have sufficient space and resources, storing your paddle boat in a boat shed or garage is an ideal solution.

These enclosed structures offer comprehensive protection from the elements and provide a controlled environment for your boat.

Ensure the shed or garage is properly ventilated and insulated to prevent moisture build-up and temperature extremes.

Covered Patio or Carport:

Utilizing a covered patio or carport can also be an effective way to store your paddle boat outside. These structures provide overhead protection from rain, snow, and direct sunlight. Ensure that the cover extends fully over the boat and is securely fastened to prevent water or debris from entering.

What Are the Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Storing a Paddleboat Outside?

It’s critical to avoid frequent mistakes while keeping a paddleboat outside, which can result in damage or premature deterioration.

Knowing these mistakes, you may take the necessary precautions to keep your paddleboat in good condition.

Although we briefly examined these difficulties earlier, we need to go over them again in full today.

Neglecting to Clean and Dry the Boat:

One of the most common mistakes is failing to clean and dry the paddleboat thoroughly before storage. Dirt, debris, and moisture left on the boat’s surface can lead to mold, mildew, and corrosion over time.

Prior to storage, make sure to clean the boat using mild detergent and water, removing any grime or residue. Allow the boat to dry completely to prevent moisture-related issues.

Beach storage for paddle boats

Improperly Securing the Boat:

Failing to secure the paddleboat properly can result in damage caused by strong winds or unintentional movement.

Ensure the boat is securely anchored or tied down to prevent it from shifting or falling over.

Use high-quality straps or tie-downs and choose secure attachment points such as sturdy posts or anchor points.

Using Poor-Quality or Ill-Fitting Boat Covers:

Using a low-quality or ill-fitting boat cover is another common mistake. A subpar cover may not provide adequate protection against the elements, allowing dust, debris, or water to enter and potentially damage the boat.

Invest in a high-quality boat cover designed for outdoor storage that fits snugly and offers sufficient protection from UV rays, rain, and other environmental factors.

Not Checking on the Boat Periodically:

Neglecting to check on the boat periodically during storage is another common mistake. Regular inspections allow you to identify any issues or potential problems in a timely manner.

Check for any signs of damage, water accumulation, or pest activity. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and preserve the condition of your paddleboat.

Failing to Remove Drain Plugs:

For boats equipped with drain plugs, forgetting to remove them before storage can lead to water retention and subsequent damage. Make sure to remove drain plugs to allow any water inside the boat to drain out completely. Failure to do so can result in mold, mildew, or even structural issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When Is the Best Time to Store Your Paddle Boat?

The winter is the ideal time to store your paddle boat. This is due to the colder temperatures and often calmer water.

  • What Type of Cover Is Best for Your Paddle Boat?

Since it relies on many variables, including your preferences, location, and how often you use your paddle boat, there is no simple answer to this issue.

While some people choose a more resilient PVC or polyester cover, others prefer to cover their paddle boat with a tarp. Finally, the ideal form of paddle boat cover is one that meets your needs and fits your budget.

Final Say

Properly storing your paddle boat outside is crucial for its longevity and protection. By finding the perfect storage spot, understanding the risks, preparing the boat, protecting it from the elements, utilizing the best storage methods, and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure your paddle boat remains in excellent condition.

Remember to clean, inspect, and maintain your boat regularly, use high-quality covers, and secure it properly. Following these guidelines, you can enjoy your paddle boat for years to come, ready to hit the water whenever you’re ready for your next adventure.

Jack K. Pride
Jack K. Pride

Jack K. Pride is an accomplished author and a prominent figure in the boating community. With a passion for boats and a deep understanding of the maritime industry, he has been sharing his expertise through his compelling articles on

Known for his insightful and informative writing style, Jack's articles provide valuable insights, tips, and knowledge to boat enthusiasts worldwide. His dedication to the subject matter and commitment to delivering high-quality content makes him a trusted voice in the boating world.

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