Canoe storage

How to: Winter Canoe Storage


n our neck of the woods the leaves have nearly all dropped and the snow has started flying in parts of the province. For most of us, paddling season is drawing to a close in Ontario. You might be wondering what to do with your lovely Nova Craft Canoe and other canoe tripping gear during the offseason. You wouldn’t be alone. Recently Dennis Rogers of the Canoehound Outdoor Adventure show on Youtube hosted a special live broadcast dedicated to the subject featuring Nova Craft’s very own lead repair tech Dan Walker. Watch here as Dan fields questions about canoe storage and maintenance (tip: skip ahead to the 12:55 mark in the video), or get the main takeaways below!

Winter Storage FAQ

Where and how should I store my canoe?

  • Ideal canoe storage is indoors and out of the elements
  • Canoes should be stored either upside down on their gunnels,  or hung upright in a sling that supports the hull
  • If storing your canoe outdoors, store it raised off the ground in order to
    • avoid extended contact with ground moisture
  • If storing your canoe outdoors, its best to shelter the canoe in order to
    • avoid UV exposure
    • avoid extended contact with moisture
    • avoid a scenario in which snow and ice accumulate on the hull
  • If tarping your canoe, be sure to create airflow between the tarp and hull

How should I prepare my canoe for storage?

  • Give your boat a wash (inside and out) with warm water, a small amount of dish detergent and a rag or non-abrasive sponge
  • Assess the hull while you wash, looking for cracks or damage that may have gone undetected
  • Seal up any gelcoat cracks or hull fractures before the boat is stored
  • If your canoe has unfinished wood gunnels, follow the steps described here
  • If you have a Royalex canoe with wood gunnels, loosen the screws on the gunnels to prevent cold cracking when the hull expands and contracts according to temperature
  • Apply a UV protectant to the hull’s exterior if storing your canoe outdoors