How To Build A Kayak Rack

If you are a keen kayaker, then you might have already amassed a healthy – or perhaps unhealthy – number of kayaks in your personal collection.

However, it might be difficult to find a place to store them all. You have looked at some of the kayak racks that you’ve seen online, but some of them might seem very expensive.

Well, why not build your own rack? There are a few ways you can build a decent rack that will support one, two, three or even four kayaks at a time.

These are just a few ideas that we’ll give you for building your very own kayaks, which will definitely help you make space in your home.

So what exactly are the best materials that you can use to build your kayak rack? How long will it take you to build a solid kayak rack?

How to build a kayak rack

How much will the materials cost you and will it be cheaper than buying a rack? How can you keep your rack waterproof and what are the types of racks that you can build?

Well, if you fancy rolling up your sleeves and building your very own kayak rack, then we suggest that you keep reading.

We have a list of potential designs that might be suitable for your kayak rack as well as your home. We’ll also give you some handy tips and hints to keep you safe when building your kayak rack.

1. A PVC Rack

All you need for this PVC rack is 7 10-foot lengths of PVC piping and some PVC fittings that will keep them all together. You’ll also need some PVC ends to make the design look aesthetically pleasing and to keep any children safe from sharp corners.

Once you have got all your piping, lay them out in a shelf-like design so that the length of your kayak can rest on each pipe.

Have them in this style of crossbars, which will help you to distribute the weight of your often heavy kayak. You can also cut the PVC so that it will suit the length of your kayaks.

Once you have gotten the measurements right, you can glue all the pieces of these pipings together with PVC glue. This will make sure that the shelf does not collapse or corrode over time if you have your rack out in the rain.

2. A DIY Wooden Rack

All you need for this one is timber from your local yard, along with a saw and some screws. You can start by cutting this one with your lathe so that you have a few joints that the kayak can rest on.

Make sure that the ends of each joint are sounded so that they do not damage the surface of your kayak.

Once you have cut them, erect a stand, with the feet jutting out longer than the length of the shelves. This will help the bottom support the collective weight of the kayaks.

You should also make sure that your stand is leaning back slightly to counterbalance the weight of the kayaks and stop the whole rack from toppling over.

The best thing about wood being the main material for this stand is the fact that it is very durable and also very pliable. It can also withstand the harsh rain and UV light, if you are thinking of storing it outside. However, be wary that the outside elements will eventually corrode your rack. 

3. A DIY Rack From Scrap Wood

This works on the same principle as the kayak above, except it will cost you a lot less money on materials. Just make sure that you test the wood first before you erect the stand, as it might not be durable enough to support the weight of your kayak.

4. A PVC Kayak Roof Rack

You can also take a few lengths of PVC piping and lay them across the roof of your car. Make sure that you glue in secure struts to prevent the kayaks from sliding out when you are turning on the road.

PVC will really stand up against the harsh outdoor materials, being far more durable and waterproof than wood. If you are going to build a kayak rack yourself, then we would always recommend that you use PVC. Aluminum is also a good material, although that will succumb to rust eventually.

5. A PVC Kayak Stand

This is another type of stand, except it is horizontal rather than vertical. With a horizontal stand that will allow you to show your kayaks in a kind of display case. This is great if you want your kayaks to be a part of the furniture of your home.

What To Remember When Building Your Rack

When you are making your rack, you’ll want to be sure that you are completely safe, so we would recommend wearing safety goggles and thick gloves that will be able to resist getting pierced. Here are a few other things that you’ll want to consider:

  • Make sure that the bottom of the rack is heavier than the top. When you add your kayaks on, then this will change the whole weight of your rack and cause it to become more top or front-heavy.
  • You should be careful that the bottom legs of your rack are jutting out further than the shelves of the rack itself. Again, this is so the whole rack doesn’t topple over when you add your kayaks.
  • Try and test the rack with one kayak first to see that it will hold.
  • Remember to use a strong glue and wait for it to dry completely before you add the weight of your first kayak.

We hope that our guide to a DIY kayak rack has helped you to decide which is the best material and construction for your kayaks.

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