Introduction: How to Make an Outdoor Kayak Storage Rack

Picture of How to Make an Outdoor Kayak Storage Rack

This is a light weight Kayak Storage Rack that can be moved into the garage in the winter and down by the river in the summer. We needed a way to store the kayaks all year round. This rack was designed to hold 3 kayaks remembering it is best to store kayaks on their sides or upside down.

Dimensions: (39” W x 42” H x 54” L)

The dimensions are made to support the kayaks at a distance of 4 feet. It supports our smallest kayak at 6’ long and the biggest at 8’6” long. As 2 of our kayaks belong to our young daughters, we wanted to make sure they could get their kayaks on and off the rack by themselves. Since the top kayak sits just 3 feet off the ground, this rack makes it easy for everyone. The ends also serve as a place to hang lifejackets to dry.

FYI - The top portion can be constructed identical to the bottom to accommodate 4 kayaks, if needed.

Step 1: Kayak Storage Rack Materials

Picture of Kayak Storage Rack Materials

Materials for the storage rack:
24 feet of 2 inch PVC black pipe
8 – 2 inch T joints
8 – 2 inch 90 degree elbow joints
PVC cement
10 feet foam insulation tubes
Duct tape or cable ties

Step 2: Cut Your PVC Pieces to the Proper Lengths

Picture of Cut Your PVC Pieces to the Proper Lengths

Cut the PVC piping into the following
- two 48-inch pieces
- two 30-inch pieces
- two 17-inch
- four 15-inch
- four 12-inch
- six 6-inch
- ten 3-inch pieces

Step 3: Build the Base of the Rack

Picture of Build the Base of the Rack

Dry fit the following – do not use cement – make sure the rack fits your kayaks

There are 2 Two Ends of the rack – be sure to build 2 bases

- Attach the two 15-inch pieces into a T joint
- On each end, attach an elbow joint
- On the top of the elbow, insert a 3-inch piece

Step 4: Now Let's Build Vertically

Picture of Now Let's Build Vertically

- From the top of the T joint in the base, insert a 17-inch piece
- Attach a T joint on top of this (pointing towards the middle).  This piece is going to receive the 48 inch pipe to tie the ends together.
- Attach a 6-inch piece on top of the T
- Attach another T joint (again pointing towards the middle) This piece is also going to receive the 48 inch pipe to tie the ends together.

Step 5: Now Let's Build the Top of the Kayak Rack

Picture of Now Let's Build the Top of the Kayak Rack

- Attach a 3-inch piece to the top of the T joint
- Attach another T joint (same direction as the base T joint)
- From the top T joint, attach two 12-inch pieces (these should be horizontal to the ground)
- On the ends, attach the elbow joints
- Insert a 3-inch piece to the top of each elbow pointing upwards (same as base)

- Carefully attach the 2 ends of the rack by spanning the middle using the two 48-inch pieces

Step 6: The Rack Should Loosely Look Like This.

Picture of The Rack Should Loosely Look Like This.

Step 7: Make Adjustments and Glue It Together

Picture of Make Adjustments and Glue It Together

Ensure all the pieces fit snugly. Then gently place your kayaks on the rack. Now is the time to make any adjustments. Once you are sure the rack will suit your needs, you are ready to take the rack apart and begin cementing the pieces. Be sure to apply the cement to both pieces of each joint.

Pay attention to the direction of your T joints!  Once you insert the pieces, you will only have a few moments to ensure it is on properly.

Once the rack has been rebuilt, you can measure, cut and attach the insulation tube. This will serve to protect the kayak. It is inexpensive and easy to replace when needed. You will need to secure the tube in place with either duct tape or cables ties.

The rack can be weighted down with water in the tubes or tied to cinder blocks, if needed.

See you on the water!  Enjoy!


Dragonfly411 (author)2017-06-15

what type of tools do you need to cut the PVC pipes?

Thank you


TravisL65 (author)2017-04-30

I made this today after finding the post through google images, saved a lot of time finding this instead of designing one myself. Turned out nice the materials cost 57.00 for white sch-40 PVC and glue cement. I have two fairly heavy kayaks on this, it's holding them fine but not quite as strong as I expected. Nice project

De-B (author)2016-10-08

I ended up using the 40 inch pieces for one leg of the base, then added paddle holder opposite the long bottom pieces on the top.

shenson2 (author)2016-08-22

Where can you get black pvc pipe?

Disgizethelimit (author)shenson22016-08-28

Pretty sure thats ABS pipe. PVC pipe is white.

payasonegro made it! (author)2016-03-02

I added two extensions to the paddles

MarkSindone (author)2015-12-22

A job well done indeed. I really admire creative minds who can transform everyday objects into something way more useful than I can ever imagine what PVC pipes can achieve. I have been storing my kayaks on their sides side-by-side and they take up too much floor space in the garage. This rack will definitely help to save some space storing them vertically instead.

Rorek made it! (author)2015-12-14

It was a really fun project to work on! Very straight forward. Only problem is I had a little bit left over PVC Pipe. Not a big enough gripe though. Although it's not a bad project for Under $80 to $90. Not at all!

StoyanK (author)2015-10-27

Very nice job guys.

If I can find a free place I'm going to try this PVC storage system for my kayaks in my garden. thanks for posting … great idea! more ideas i found here

amarty3 (author)2014-09-26

ok I know this was 4 months ago, we just got our kayaks and i was looking to build this. I see the parts list and then the cuts/ individual sized pieces. there seems to be too many pieces where are the 30" pieces and the 4 extra 6" pieces used????

bowres (author)amarty32015-01-04

you do not need the 30" pieces and you need only 2-6" pieces for this design

cabeza321 (author)bowres2015-06-15

Agreed! Not sure why they listed the 30" pieces kept think I had done something wrong. Also, is there a difference in black and white pvc? I didn't see any black. I used 2" heavy gauge white. Seems sturdy enough.

cabeza321 made it! (author)2015-06-15

Love using adult tinker toys!

Acmaclure (author)2015-06-15

This looks like just what I need however I would like to make this rack for 4 kayaks. Do you have a photo of the 4 kayak version? Also, where can I get the black PVC pipe and fittings you recommend? I checked Lowes and Home Depot online but they don't seem to carry them.

craftclarity (author)2014-05-22

Nice! I'm going to need one of these soon, hopefully....!

SpringRobin (author)craftclarity2014-05-27

Weather is turning nice... might be sooner than you think!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm typical. I love my kids, I like food and love cooking. I'm into martial arts, BBQ's, grilling, and cars.
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