DIY Kayak Storage Hoist- How to Make Your Own

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Kayaking is an enjoyable and healthy outdoor activity that many people love. But when it comes to storing your kayak, it can be a real challenge, especially if you’re short on space. A kayak storage hoist is an ingenious solution that helps you keep your kayak off the ground, save space, and protect your investment.

In this article, we’ll guide you on how to create your own DIY kayak storage hoist with a step-by-step tutorial, as well as discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and alternatives.

diy kayak storage hoist

Why Use a Kayak Hoist?

A kayak hoist is an excellent storage solution for several reasons:

  • It helps save valuable floor space in your garage or shed.
  • It keeps your kayak safely suspended, reducing the risk of damage from accidents or moisture.
  • It allows for easy access to your kayak when you need it.

Types of Kayak Hoists

Before diving into the DIY kayak storage hoist, let’s briefly explore the two main types of kayak hoists:

Pulley System

A pulley system uses a series of pulleys and ropes to raise and lower your kayak. This is the most common type of kayak hoist and is the one we’ll be focusing on in this tutorial.

Electric Hoist

An electric hoist uses a motor to lift and lower your kayak with the press of a button. While more convenient, electric hoists are usually more expensive and may not be suitable for a DIY project.

DIY Kayak Storage Hoist

Now, let’s get started on building your own DIY kayak storage hoist.

Materials and Tools

  • Two heavy-duty pulleys
  • Two large J-hooks or carabiners
  • Two ceiling brackets
  • Rope (strong enough to support your kayak’s weight)
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Ladder
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to create your own DIY kayak storage hoist:

1. Assemble the Pulleys

First, attach the pulleys to the J-hooks or carabiners. Make sure they’re securely fastened and can easily rotate.

2. Attach the Hooks

Next, secure the hooks to the kayak’s bow and stern handles. Ensure they’re tightly fastened and can support the weight of your kayak.

3. Install the Ceiling Brackets

Using a stud finder, locate two ceiling joists that are the same distance apart as your kayak’s bow and stern handles. Mark the spots and drill pilot holes into the joists. Attach the ceiling brackets using heavy-duty screws.

4. Connect the Rope

Thread the rope through the pulleys attached to the hooks, then through the ceiling brackets. Ensure the rope is long enough to lower the kayak to the ground.

5. Test the System

Carefully lift the kayak by pulling on the rope, ensuring the pulleys and hooks work smoothly. Once your kayak is raised, tie off the rope securely to keep it suspended.

Safety Tips

  • Always inspect your hoist system for signs of wear or damage before use.
  • Ensure all connections are secure and tight.
  • Never overload your hoist system; make sure it can support your kayak’s weight.
  • When lifting or lowering your kayak, make sure the area is clear to prevent accidents.

Advantages of DIY Hoist

  • Cost-effective: Building your own hoist system can save you money compared to purchasing a pre-made system.
  • Customizable: You can tailor your DIY hoist to fit your specific kayak and storage space.
  • Skill-building: Creating your own hoist system can help develop your DIY skills and confidence.
diy kayak storage hoist

Disadvantages of DIY Hoist

  • Time-consuming: Building a DIY hoist may take longer than simply buying a pre-made one.
  • Potential for errors: If you’re not experienced in DIY projects, you may make mistakes that could affect the safety and functionality of your hoist.


If a DIY kayak storage hoist isn’t the right fit for you, consider these alternatives:

Wall-Mounted Racks

Wall-mounted racks are a space-saving storage solution that allows you to store your kayak horizontally or vertically along a wall.

Freestanding Racks

Freestanding racks are a versatile option that doesn’t require any wall or ceiling installation. They can hold multiple kayaks and can be placed anywhere with a flat surface.


What type of rope should I use for my DIY kayak storage hoist?

Choose a rope that is strong enough to support your kayak’s weight and is resistant to wear and tear. Braided nylon or polyester ropes are ideal for this purpose.

Can I use a DIY kayak storage hoist for other watercraft like canoes or paddleboards?

Yes, you can adapt the hoist system to accommodate other types of watercraft by adjusting the hook positions and rope length.

How high should I mount the ceiling brackets for my kayak hoist?

The ideal height depends on your ceiling height and kayak size. Ensure there is enough clearance between the kayak and the ground when it’s suspended, and that it can be easily accessed when needed.

How do I maintain my DIY kayak storage hoist?

Regularly inspect the pulleys, hooks, rope, and ceiling brackets for signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn-out or damaged components to maintain the safety and functionality of your hoist system.

Is it possible to build a DIY electric kayak storage hoist?

While it is possible to build an electric hoist system, it requires more expertise and specialized equipment. If you’re considering an electric hoist, it may be more practical to purchase a pre-made system designed for kayak storage.


A DIY kayak storage hoist is an affordable and customizable solution for storing your kayak safely and efficiently. By following our step-by-step guide, you can create your own hoist system and enjoy the benefits of hassle-free kayak storage. Just remember to follow safety tips and consider alternatives if a DIY hoist isn’t right for you.

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