Beautiful boats deserve beautiful storage. When you have high-quality canoes or kayaks, or both, why tuck them away or cover them up out of sight? The best way I’ve found to store my boats is a couple of ingenious systems I’d gotten years ago from Talic Kayak Storage Systems in Auburn, NY. They’ve been in business since 1999 and now have a large selection of canoe and kayak storage systems to choose from.
The details of their systems vary, but the basic principle is the same: two brackets with webbing designed just for your craft attach to the wall studs of an inside wall to support boats from 6-foot squirt boats up to 20’ canoes. They make the parts from Baltic birch plywood, a high-quality, void-free material often used in cabinet making, yellow pine, stainless steel hardware, and high-quality webbing. The wood brackets attach to the wall studs and the webbing supports the boats, so no part of a boat touches the wood frames. It’s simple, elegant, and durable. They make all their products at their shop in Upstate New York.
Talic canoe and kayak storage provide substantial flexibility for boats of different lengths, widths, and heights. Following is a small selection of the systems they make for a variety of gear storage.
The Tilt is their best seller, as it will fit most boats. The photos show you how it works, and the magic here is that it can handle boats of any length and width. The only limiting factor is the height at the gunwale – the top outer edge of the boat’s hull. If that’s 14” or less, as is the case with almost all recreational canoes and kayaks, that boat will fit on the Tilt. The brackets for the Tilt system quickly fold up when not in use, freeing space for other uses.
To check if the Tilt will work for your kayak, you need to measure 36” on both sides of the fore/aft centerline to get the gunwale measurement, as that’s where the brackets should be located. Set the boat on the floor, take a measurement 36” on either side of the centerline, and that’s it. When stored on the rack, the boat is cradled securely and gently on its side on the brackets. Don’t worry about the hull flexing; the gunwale is the most structurally sound section of the boat. High-quality boats also have plenty of structural rigidity to easily keep their shape.
This is a grouping of their modular Woodlands system. This system is much like the Tilt but holds two boats and up to five paddles on specifically made paddle racks. The maximum height of your boat is 12” at the gunwale (so, not as deep as the Tilt) and the maximum boat width is unlimited. This modular system uses two rails that attach to the wall studs with cradles for the boats and accessories which fit into slots on the rails. Accessory brackets will hold fly rods, skis, and bikes, and you can also add shelves for all the other miscellaneous gear needed for your sports and activities.
The Woodlands Starter Kit 2 accommodates two narrow kayaks in a flat posture and up to five paddles. The kit contains the two 60” vertical rails that attach to the wall studs, two sets of deep hull boat brackets, and one set of paddle storage brackets. Check out the accessory brackets and shelves, which even include clothes hanger rods so you can hang jackets and PFDs to dry.
The Canoe Roost can handle big boats up to 40” wide and 100 pounds. Thanks to the 2-inch wide webbing which conforms to every curve to distribute the weight evenly, you can store the boat hull-down rather than gunwale-down, but it’s really up to you. Either way works fine. This system folds up so it’s out of the way when not in use. Folded, the system sticks out only 3.5” from the wall.
The Kayak Condo comes in two versions, for one boat or two, for kayaks up to 28” wide. The single rack will hold boats up to 90 pounds, and the double racks will hold two boats at 90 pounds each. The arms fold up when not in use, and like all their kayak storage systems, it’s made of yellow pine, Baltic birch plywood, stainless steel hardware, and 2” webbing.
All these systems are designed to be used indoors. Some people have applied a high-quality exterior deck seal for use outside, but I still prefer keeping boats inside. The sun is rough on any surface over time. Well, maybe not granite, but it’s definitely rough on wood and webbing. Again, it’s up to you.
If you’re having trouble figuring out which system will work best for your needs, just email them and they’ll help you choose. Just keep in mind that all these systems will accommodate most kayaks, SUPs, and surfboards, while larger boats like canoes may need the Canoe Roost for example. The length of your boat(s) doesn’t usually matter, as the systems are flexible in their placement. There are some guidelines, as you don’t want the racks to be too far apart, which could cause the boat to sag in the middle. That’s why they recommend you don’t hang boats from the grab handles on the ends, or hanging canoes from the breast hooks at the bow and stern. And if you want to store two boats of quite a different length, such as a short whitewater kayak and a canoe, that probably won’t work with just one system.
As for installation, all their systems are designed to be attached to the wall studs, as drywall anchors are not as reliable. They can guide you on hardware choice, including for masonry walls. And you can mount your system at any height on the wall that works best for you. If you have plenty of room, storing boats lower means less lifting. In a tight space, mount your racks higher on the wall to use the space below or maintain clearance for moving about.
That may seem like a lot of information, but it’s pretty straightforward, and they’re ready to help if you have any questions.