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Homemade (& Affordable) Kayak Rack

Homemade (& Affordable) Kayak RackSo I recently procured another kayak which meant… I needed more storage. I’ve been considering these Seattle Sports Kayak Wall Cradles but after reading some message boards and considering the price for two, I figured there was probably a more economical solution. Then, I ran across a discussion which lead me to this cheap solution. I found the hangers and was able to hang TWO kayaks in my garage for just over $30.

Turns out, it was very easy (and cheap) to install so here’s our easy do-it-yourself guide to building your own garage kayak rack.

Homemade (& Affordable) Kayak Rack

Equipment and Cost for 1 Rack:

» Heavy Duty Arm Hangers x2: $11.36
(The price fluctuates on Amazon. They’re also available at the Home Depot under the Everbilt brand name.)
» 3” #12 Steel screws x4 (Replace the hardware the hanger comes with): $1.99
» Eye Screws x6: $2.49 (usually sold in a pack)
» Bungees x2: $1.58
» Carabiners x4 (Optional): $1.56
» Rope (Optional): Assuming you already have some, we’ll consider this free.

Total Cost for 1 Rack: $18.98 + tax (almost a $20 savings)
Total Cost for 2 Racks: $33.48 + tax(almost a $45 savings – you save a bit more since the screws all come in boxes).

The Tools You’ll Need:
Powerdrill
Pencil
Tape Measure
Pliers
Stud Finder (Optional)

How To:
Step 1: Find a stud on both sides of the cockpit. Measure the same distance from the floor (or ceiling – whatever you’re close to). Mark, and drill the braces to the studs with 3 Inch #12 steel screws (again, the ones that come with them are not of high quality).

Step 2: Place your kayak on the braces.

Step 3: For added security and so the kayak doesn’t just tip off the braces, you’ll want to add some bungees. Position an eye screw on top of the kayak and one below – parallel to each brace. The position distance depends on how long your bungee is. Choose a distance that’s far enough to keep your bungee taught and your kayak from moving from the wall.

Step 4: (Optional) For even extra added security – and incase a brace fails (it hasn’t happened in 8 years), add another eye screw above and below the bow and stern of the kayak. Then, clip caribiners to each end of a length of rope. Clip one caribiner to the new eye screw, loop the other end of rope and caribiner loosely around the kayak and clip it to the same eye screw.

Step 5: Remove, kayak and paddle often.

As of 2015, we’ve now installed three of these racks and they’ve all held sturdy for over 8 years. Feel free to send us pictures of your homemade kayak rack so we can add them to the post!

Buy Now
(These Heavy Duty Arm Hangers)


Milespaddled.com How-To Video:


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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    July 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Great post! I couldn't bring myself to spend $75-100 on glorified hooks for my kayaks. This worked great and MUCH cheaper. The hooks were located in the "hardware" section of my local home depot. I was looking in the "storage" section and almost gave up on trying to find them.

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    July 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Great to hear this worked out for you! And, thanks for pointing out where to find those hooks. It's a great solution to avoid buying expensive kayak hooks.

  • Reply
    Wes Taylor
    August 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Took your gear list and ideas and made outdoor tree with 4X4 posts to hold 4 kayaks! Took the idea of the outdoor tree from http://www.oakorchardcanoe.com/kayaktree.php

    Thanks for great post!

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    August 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    That's a great idea! We hadn't considered an outdoor kayak tree. Thanks for the comment and happy we could help!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 27, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Thank you so much for posting this…great ideas! I am not the most mechanically inclined, and your ideas will help me a lot!

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    September 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Fantastic to hear! Always interested in hearing or seeing how this worked out. Thanks for the comment!

  • Reply
    Kay in Central PA
    October 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Thanks for the post! I found your site through Google images while I was searching for a DIY solution and this worked out perfectly. Lowes seems to carry a similar set of braces, but not quite big enough. Found the right set at Home Depot as mentioned above. Knowing what specific hardware to look for saved me a bit of trial and error. And I got my garage floor back. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    October 16, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for the comment Kay! Glad to hear that we could help! And we agree that more garage space = more happiness. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 17, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Sweet job. Thanks to the Wide World of Web your racks have now made it Downunder to Australia.
    Thanks

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    June 1, 2011 at 1:25 am

    How did we miss that last comment? I can't believe this made it to the land down under. Fantastic!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    November 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Oct. 29, 2011
    Found this project Friday night, went to Home Depot Saturday, picked up your list of supplies. Went home, had the project done in a half hour, both kayaks hanging on the wall nice and secure. Thanks for the info for this project. Your info is still being used. Bob

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    You're smart to use different screws than the ones the package come with. I thought the ones they came with would be sufficient…

    Well, after screwing the hangers to the wall and placing my kayak in it, I decided I needed to move the placement of the hangers to I could put my other kayak above it. After trying to screw the arm hanger into it's new place the whole screw snapped in half. Lame.

    I'll now be heading to Home Depot for some reliable screws.

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    June 7, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Bob, Thanks for the comment! Sorry for the delayed response – we apparently aren't getting comment notifications. Anyway, glad we could help and thanks again for the post!

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    June 7, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Mary, glad we could help! And yes, the screws that are sold with the hangers are too cheap to handle the weight. Sorry you had some trouble but I hope the hangers are (literally) holding up! Thanks for the comment!

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    July 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Feel free to send us your pictures so we can add them to the post!

  • Reply
    Chris and Scott
    August 25, 2014 at 12:24 am

    This was the perfect solution for us! Thanks for the detailed info/instructions. I can send a picture if you'd like…just need the email address.

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    August 25, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Great to hear! Yeah, send us a shot and we'll post it! Thanks! hello@milespaddled.com

  • Reply
    Freddie Adamson
    April 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    This is the best DIY system I have come across. Thank you for a brilliantly simple idea!

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    April 19, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks for the note Freddie and so glad you found it useful!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    July 25, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I did the same these brackets held my wilderness systems ride 115 and the native ultimate 12 fx just fine if the bottom is toward the wall they sit securely without additional straps. I spaced the brackets at 64" as studs were 16" on center. For a bit of extra security I put two large screw in bike hanger hooks at each end and used simple tie straps from handles to the ceiling hooks on each end to the kayak handles it spreads some of the load and makes it super secure. I found the studs then tow of us held the kayak in place and my wife traced the lower edge for locating where to set it then we used a laser level to set the other bracket. Super and the brackets and straps were under $40 total. Biggest problem is stud finder doesn't work thru fireproof drywall. So finding the first stud took a half dozen or so nail small nail holes. Thanks so much for the tip. Home depot had everything. Dave Lincoln NE

  • Reply
    Miles Paddled
    July 25, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks for the comment Dave. Glad you found it useful!

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