By Peter Hinck
Storing multiple kayaks can take valuable space away from a garage or other storage. I worked on a design that could hold up to three kayaks while taking up as little space as possible. It holds the kayaks on their sides with padding to help reduce warping of the hull. It can be made in a two kayak or a three kayak version. This design will hold most kayaks.
To start, you will need three 2-inch, schedule 40 PVC tubes (10 feet long), eight 2-inch PVC tees, eight 2-inch 90-degree elbows, a can of PVC cement, a PVC saw, twelve 14-inch cable ties, a small piece of carpet, and foam pad 66-inch by 102-inch.
Cut the 2-inch tubes into two 60-inch pieces, two 30-inch pieces, two 17-inch, four 12-inch, six 6-inch and four 3-inch pieces.
Do not use the cement until you have completed the rack. This way you can make sure that the rack fits your kayak. You will have tubes left over to customize the rack for the fit of the kayak if you like.
Start at the bottom and take a tee, inserting two 12-inch tubes on each end. Then insert a 17-inch tube into the center tee. Do the same thing again with another tee. Take a tee and put it in the end of the 17-inch tube and repeat it with the other 17-inch tube. Now take a 60-inch tube and put it in both center tees. You should be able to stand it up.
Insert a 90-degree elbow on each of the 12-inch tubes with the ends facing up. Insert two 6-inch tubes in the top of the tees. Then add another tee to the top of both 6-inch tubes, along with the other 60-inch tube in the center tee. At this point you have a nice rack for two kayaks that can later be made for three.
Put a 3-inch tube in both tees and then put the center tee on top of the 3-inch tubes. With the tees facing out, insert two 3-inch tubes into the tees, making sure that both 3-inch tubes are facing the same side. On the other side insert two 6-inch tubes.
Put a 90-degree elbow on the 3-inch and 6-inch tubes. Make sure that the elbows are pointed up.
Take two 30-inch tubes and insert them into the elbows that are on the 3-inch tubes. Take the two 6-inch tubes and insert them into the elbows that are on the 6-inch tubes.
Make sure all fittings are in snug. Carefully put your kayak on the rack. Make sure that the heavy kayaks are on the bottom and the lightest is on the top. From here you can make adjustments if you like by cutting down or adding a longer tube where needed.
Now you are ready to use the PVC cement to finish your rack. Take apart the rack and rebuild using the cement on both ends of the PVC. You will only have a few seconds to make sure the fitting is on right before the cement dries. This will ridge up the rack and make it more stable.
Cut the carpet and padding into six 17-inch by 11-inch pieces. Lay them over the PVC tubes that the kayaks will lay on. Use a 14-inch cable tie to secure the carpet to the PVC.
The top of the 30-inch tubes can be used to hold vests or other items.
Stack the kayak on the rack and check for warping on the sides of the hull. You may find a little, and most of the time it will go back to normal after an hour in the sun. FS
First Published Florida Sportsman January 2014