An easy way to store your canoe is to build a canoe shelf on an empty wall either inside or outside the garage, tool shed or other handy structure. It takes just a few simple tools, some shelf brackets, padding and a pair of two by fours. A canoe shelf keeps your boat up off the ground and allows you to store the boat without a lot of bending of your back and knees.
2 large metal shelf brackets at least 18 inches wide
2 pressure-treated two by fours, 4 feet long
A bag of 2 inch galvanized screws
2 pieces of thick pile carpet 8 inches wide by 28 inches
Drill and bits
Stapler and 1-1/2 inch staples
Find a wall with cleared space long enough for your canoe. If you have an 18-foot canoe, you’ll need a wall with at least 22 linear feet of open space. Remember you need room for the folks carrying the canoe to get around the ends to hoist it up onto the rack.
Find two wall studs to screw into. They should be about a third of the length of the canoe from either end. If you have an 18-foot long canoe, position the shelf brackets about 4 to 6 feet from the ends (no less than 4 feet). If the shelf is on an outside wall this keeps the sun from heating a composite or plastic boat and making it sag in the middle.
Screw the shelf brackets to the wall so the top of the bracket is 3 ½ inches below where you want the gunwales of the canoe to rest. Back the screw heads with washers. Use 3 ½ inch galvanized screws and predrill the holes. You can make the rack high so the boat will be up out of your way – if it’s, say, inside a garage or shed. Just remember, you’ll have to lift the boat up onto the shelf. Don’t make it so high so that racking the boat is difficult. You can make the shelf waist height and avoid lifting altogether. This is great for an outside rack and saves on the old bones if you’re not 22 anymore.
Measure the beam of the canoe amidships. This is the width from gunwale to gunwale at the center. Add two or three inches to this measure and cut your two by fours this length.
Set the two by four’s on edge on top of the shelf brackets. Predrill the holes from underneath and up through the shelf brackets. Use 2 inch galvanized screws backed with washers and screw the boards into place.
Cut out the carpet pieces so they are 8 inches wide and about two inches shorter than the two by fours are long. Lay the carpet strips over the top of the two by fours and staple them into place.
Screw large eyelet screws (1 inch or more wide across the eye) into the ends of the two by fours. Screw a second pair of eyes in the face of the two by fours on the sides of the boards facing the bow and stern of the canoe (away from the center of the rack). Place those two up close to the wall. This gives you a pair of handy hook up points to which you can attach bungee cords or tie-down straps. You’ll thank me later.
- Don’t paint pressure treated lumber. Leave it the natural color.
- If you can get plastic astro-turf style carpet, use that. Regular carpet will eventually rot. Artificial grass will last longer, tolerates being wet and protects just as well.
- Keep metal brackets and screw heads painted to reduce rusting and this setup will last nearly forever.
- You can bungee lifejackets and paddles up underneath the canoe for easy storage and transport, so that everything is together.
- If you forget to tie your boat down, a good windstorm can leave your boat in the branches of a nearby tree or you can push it off onto the garage floor when you’re dragging tools around the garage. A friend of mine dented his aluminum canoe while trying to pull an electric cord loose.
- Make sure you have plenty of room for loading and unloading your canoe safely from the rack. Keep obstructions out from under foot. Dropping a boat on your toe can be painful.
Note how the shelf allows room for the cars to park up close to the back garage wall AND places the canoe at a perfect height for lifting. No bending over to hoist the canoe up off the floor. Allows you to keep your back straight while loading and unloading the boat. Also, there are no dark places underneath the boat where rats, cats and the odd chihuahua can hide or collect things. Crisp, clean and neat. Good job Rogelio and thanks for sending the picture.
|© 2013 by Rogelio Hernandes, Kennesaw, Georgia |
used by permission