Storing Your Canoe In The Winter
While you can enjoy your canoe for most of the year, you’ll want to keep it safely stored away in the winter season. Properly storing your canoe can prevent damage during this cold and icy season. If your canoe is properly stored, you’ll be able to use and enjoy it as soon as winter ends.
Finding The Right Place To Store Your Canoe
Ideally, your canoe should be stored indoors. When your canoe is indoors, it will be safe from snow, rain, and other elements. Storing your canoe indoors will also allow you to control the temperatures that it is exposed to. Below temperatures can be damaging to canoes. As a general rule, warmer temperatures are better.
If you don’t have indoor storage space for your canoe, it’s best to keep it covered with a tarp. You should check your canoe regularly and remove any snow, branches, or other debris that are on the tarp. Snow can be heavy, especially when it accumulates, and it could wind up crushing your canoe if it isn’t removed.
Protecting Your Canoe In Storage
Before you store your canoe, you’ll want to take a few precautions to prevent damage. You should remove covers from hatches, and you should also remove the plug from the float tank. Even if your canoe is being stored indoors, it’s best to keep it under a cover. If your boat isn’t covered, rodents and other animals may use it as a source of shelter. It’s also best to keep your canoe elevated.
It’s also important to fully clean your canoe and do basic maintenance before it’s stored. Examine the hull and rigging and look for signs of damage. Your canoe can become more brittle in cold temperatures, which is why you’ll want to be aware of problems before your canoe is stored.
If your canoe is cracked, you’ll want to fill the cracks before your canoe is stored. If water manages to settle in these cracks, and it freezes, it could cause severe damage to your canoe. One of the easiest ways to fill cracks in a canoe is to drill a small hole at either end of the crack, cover it with duct tape, and heat it with a hairdryer. This can seal the crack and keep it from getting any larger.
If your canoe’s trim is made from wood, you should also loosen the gunwale’s screws. If the screws are too tight, it could cause the gunwale to crack. Basic preventative maintenance like this can help you to avoid problems when the winter season is over.
Other Storage Tips
If you’ve used your canoe in saltwater, it will need to be completely rinsed before it is stored. Salt can be corrosive, and if any salt remains on your boat, it could cause a great deal of damage. Use fresh water to clean your canoe.
As a rule of thumb, canoes should be stored upside down. If you’re hanging your canoe, you’ll want to be sure the rack is completely secure. Your canoe could be badly damaged if it falls to the ground. If you’re hanging your canoe, you’ll want to avoid hanging it by its thwarts or grab handles. Ideally, the weight of the canoe should be supported evenly.
You should also take steps to protect your canoe from thieves. Ideally, you should keep your canoe hidden from views, even if you’re storing it in an indoor space like a garage. You may also want to use a security strap to keep your canoe safely in place. Taking a few steps to secure your canoe can be a big deterrent to criminals.
While cold can be damaging to a canoe, it shouldn’t be stored near a furnace, water heater, or another major heat source. Being exposed to high temperatures could cause your canoe to warp. It’s smart to keep your canoe in a warmer space, but you’ll want to be wary about the location that you store it in.
If you want to be able to use and enjoy your canoe when spring rolls around, you’ll want to make sure that it’s properly stored in the winter. Stick to these storage tips so that you can avoid damage and keep your canoe safe all winter long.