Storage Racks

Ryan Scott

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I am looking to build new storage racks for my canoes. Is it best to store them upside down on the gunwales or upside right in a sling? (possibly supporting the entire length in a carpet sling.)
I will build it on wheels to make it simple to move about. Ideally holding 2 hulls.
Any and all thoughts appreciated.
Most folks store their canoes upside down, even indoors, for a couple of reasons.

Critters (mice, squirrels, chipmunks, etc.) often find a right-side-up canoe a handy place to nest and/or defecate, and chewing up those tasty, crunchy ribs and decks is easier for them when the canoe is right-side-up.

People often use right-side-up hulls as ad hoc storage bins -- for pfd's, paddles, bags of fertilizer, garden hoses, etc., -- of course, neither you nor I would ever do something like that ;) . And when that happens, the critters are even happier than with an empty hull.

Further, it is usually much easier to build a rack for upside down storage -- the chief concern is to make the storage brackets horizontally parallel, so as to not induce any twist to the hull.

I also find it hard to imagine a sling rack for 2 canoes that would not be quite awkward to use.

If a rack is also to be used to display, or to work on a canoe, a sling rack may be more useful -- but a rack for two canoes would not be an ideal place to work on a canoe.

Using a length of carpet to support the entire length of a canoe seems not just overkill, but also not really effective, given the complex shape of a canoe hull. A carpet sling would give even support to a length of round pipe, but I'm not sure what it would do with a canoe hull -- it might only support the wide center of the canoe where the carpet would be stretched, while offering little or no support at the narrow ends, where I would think the carpet would be slack. Slings, just a few inches wide, are usually made of canvas, seat belt material, old fire hose, toweling, or some such thing. Two fairly light slings, placed about a third of the way from bow and stern, are more than adequate for almost any canoe.
What I use to temporarily store canoes while I am working on them are basic canoe stands that I have added a lower "shelf/support" to hold a second hull. The bottom canoe is stored gunnels down while the top one can be either way using the 2x3 as shown or using the carpet strap that is hanging down on the side under the canoe being painted. These can be mounted on a solid cart to make it moveable. Just an idea, it works for me. DSC_0004.jpgDSC_0004.jpgDSC_0004.jpg
canoe storage

Here's mine. It has wheels under it. I think upside down is best as long as moisture can't linger in the tips of the stems under the decks and cause rot.


  • IMG_1314.jpg
    109.3 KB · Views: 283
Thanks for the input.
I know there are likely as many rack systems out there are there are people with too many canoes....
So come on and post yours......PLEASE!
I usually store my canoes on straps and snap hooks hanging from the ceiling as shown at although I will occasionally use a trailer as shown at if I need to move more than one around at once. An upright display rack from Old Town like the one shown in the attachment below is currently disassembled in my garage due to a lack of floor space. My model canoes rest on a scaled down version of this rack. The thread at has some other options and a few pictures at the end.



    169.4 KB · Views: 254
Last edited: