Canoe storage on the floor


I'm faced with a shortage of outside space and may have to store several canoes on the cabin floor for a year or two. They will be upside down (i.e., hull up). In the past I've always stored boats in the traditional manner on wall mounts or slings.

Any problem with the floor option?
Storage problem

We had a similar problem at a camp I worked at in the 60'. Canoes stored on their sides against one another against a wall over the winter the bottom sides flattened. We solved the problem by building some H-frame sawhorses that could stack 3 canoes, only problem is it takes 2 or 3 people to get them in and out of the stack, but since it was winter storage it was once in and out per season. much easier if only 2 canoes.
Lowest crossbar kept the tips of the canoe 4" off the floor and two higher bars to for additional canoes. Using an old cut down door with 4 casters, set the sawhorses on the flat door and you can wheel the stack of three to where you want them. Think positively, build sturdy racks, good luck
The canoes would rest on their gunwales/decks, in the ordinary fashion. See attached photograph. I wouldn't stack them vertically on their sides, or on top of one another.

I don't see much opportunity for hull flattening here. Might there be another problem?


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I'm no expert, by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd be leary of storing them as pictured. The presssure on the stem tips might tend to twist each stem?

Maybe get some 4x4s, & put them underneath, so the boats are keel straight up?
My brother in law works at a canoe camp and they store their approx. 100 canvas canoes on the floor of the various dining halls, cabins, lodges, etc... during the fall/winter/spring season every year (about 7 - 8 months of the year) in that manner. I don't think they've ever had any problems and they've been doing that for a very long time. All canoes come out in the spring and are put in racks outside. There isn't anywhere else to store them all winter.

Personally, I'd get some cheapie sawhorse brackets at the hardware store and whip a couple sawhorses up with some extra 2x4s. I don't know how many canoes you actually have to store but I would just feel better about it if I were doing it with my canoes.
Is the camp storing W/C canoes like this, or are they other materials? Aluminum boats would probably fare much better than most.
W/C. From what I understand, they've been doing it for a very long time. I'm sure they'd change what they do if it caused problems.

There's only a few Camps with that many W/C, is this one of the eastern Canada camps, Keewaydin or Camp Ahmek?

Widgi in MN puts "most" of theirs on racks in a canoe barn, though others end on all over on the floor. :)

Hi Dan,

Keewaydin, Temagami. I'm sure Jason (brother-in-law) has a fun time playing Tetris every fall and trying to fit them all in the various buildings.

Going back to the first post, I think I'd be nervous about leaving them like that for a year or two though. I'd imagine things would start deforming at some point.

Ya, I'd be concerned too. I've had a couple projects that the ends got twisted, and repairing them didn't look like any fun. (I didn't, I passed the bad one on to another guy.)

I'm a bit surprised that Keewaydin, Temagami doesn't have a sheltered place to store their W/C, they've been around for a long time. I wonder if they ever see any distortion in their canoes, or maybe they don't look?

I guess there hasn't been any (or many) problems with their current over-the-winter storage so they haven't had to think about any kind of special storage. I haven't noticed anything from looking at their canoes but then again, they are 'users' and have their share of bumps and bruises from tripping. There are a couple ones that are babied (not sent out on trips but still stored in this way during the winter) and still look like the day they left the shop.
Over the years I stored my canoe in a multitude of locations.

As long as it is dry & out of the weather you are on the right track. Mine spent 17 years shuffling between garages, barns and a storage trailer before I found there were guys like Jerry & Rolland and this forum & gladly started making my canoe serviceable again.

It's hung from (2) lengths of cord from rafters...and was oriented in both directions and we used to keep the paddles & PFDs inside!

It hung on (2) loops around the end of the thwarts to hang along a garage wall from two nails into two of the studs [small garage & overhead door...I wonder if the next owner ever figured out those two depressions from the top of the stems into the insulation?

It sat on two 12" stainless steel hoses and held canvas filter bags in a 45' storage trailer at one business [my boss never knew!]

Maybe the tumblehome helped but the shape hasn't changed. My father did measure alot when he replaced the split deck back when we got the canoe but it ended up hanging out where ever I could keep it dry for along time afterwards.