How to Build a Vertical Kayak Rack? Step By Step – 2022

Building a kayak rack is a great way to store your kayaks securely and vertically. If you’re like most kayakers, you probably have quite a few kayaks. And if you have multiple kayaks, you probably need a place to store them.

A vertical kayak rack is a perfect solution for storing your kayaks vertically, and it’s easy to build yourself.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to build a vertical kayak rack using just a few simple materials. Let’s get started! 

Materials You Will Need?

You will need the following materials: 


This is the wood that will form the vertical posts of your rack. You’ll need six pieces, but you can choose to use longer or shorter ones if you’d like. 


This is the wood that will form the horizontal braces of your rack and which will be attached to each vertical post. You’ll need four pieces, but again, the choice is yours. 

Wood screws  

You’ll use these to secure the horizontal braces to each vertical post.

PVC pipe 

This will be used to brace your kayak hulls for stability and protection when storing them in the rack. 

Frame clamps 

These will be used to secure each horizontal brace to its respective vertical post. 

Nuts and bolts 

You’ll need these if you decide not to use frame clamps, they’ll serve the same purpose as the frame clamps but in a different manner.

How to Build a Vertical Kayak Rack?

Building a kayak rack is easy, but there are some basic things to keep in mind. 

  • First of all, make sure you build the rack on an even surface. This way it will be more stable and will prevent tipping or rocking while your kayaks are stored on it.
  • Secondly, building vertically is not only easier than building horizontally (you don’t have to worry about finding a wall or other surface to attach it to), but also allows for more storage space.
  • And thirdly, you’ll need a few tools and a little time.

There are many ways to build a kayak rack, and one of them is the method we’re going to show you here. It’s simple, sturdy and it comes with an added bonus: the top of the rack can be used as a table.

First, here are some dimensions that will be helpful when building your own kayak rack:

1. Each vertical post should stand 34 inches high 

This is to accommodate most kayaks which are around 13 feet long. So if you want to store taller kayaks, make your vertical posts slightly taller. 

2. The horizontal braces should be 3 inches wide 

This is wide enough to provide adequate support for most kayak hulls while still allowing them to rest on the horizontal braces without touching the ground beneath. If you want a larger or smaller distance between kayak hulls, make the horizontal braces accordingly.

3. The PVC pipe should be 2 inches in diameter 

This works well for most kayaks and allows them to fit snugly into the rack. However, if your kayak hulls are a little thicker or thinner than that they won’t fit as nicely, so adjust accordingly.

4. Vertical Post should be 12 inches

One vertical post should be at least 12 inches shorter than the other two – You’ll see why this is in a second.

5. You can use 3 or 4 vertical posts

Make sure the horizontal braces are equally spaced between them – this is to ensure stability and prevent tipping while your kayaks are stored on it.

Once you have all of these dimensions down, let’s start building the vertical kayak rack.

  • First, mark where you’ll be attaching each horizontal brace to its respective vertical post. (Make sure they’re spaced equally apart.) Then pre drill the holes and use screws to attach them securely.
  • You can use frame clamps if you prefer, but we decided to use nuts and bolts instead.
  • Once all of the horizontal braces are attached, use PVC end caps to seal the top of each one. Make sure they’re firmly attached or your kayaks won’t be secured in place. (If you used frame clamps then this step will not be necessary.)
  • Now cut the PVC pipe into two pieces – two pieces equal to the length of each horizontal brace. Attach each piece using PVC end caps, firmly securing them at the top and bottom.
  • Now you’re all done! Store your kayaks on it by laying them flat on either side of the rack’s vertical posts. (The shorter post will make this easier.) Then use their weight to keep them in place, and make sure the straps securing your kayaks to their car racks aren’t too tight. (This will prevent you from damaging your kayak’s hull.) And voila! Now you have a sturdy kayak rack that can be used as a table when not in use.


So, now you know how to build a vertical kayak rack yourself. It’s easy and it won’t cost you much time or money. Plus, the top of the rack can be used as a table if needed.

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to leave us a comment below. Good luck building! 


How do I secure my kayak?

There are many ways to secure your kayak when it’s in the vertical kayak rack. Some people use bungee cords that go underneath their hulls, while others prefer to use carabineers attached to the buckles on their car racks.
You can also use nylon straps designed to hold your kayaks in place. (This is what we usually do.) It all depends on your kayak, the way it’s secured to the car rack and what you prefer.

Can I store more than one kayak per rung? 

Yes, if your kayak is long enough so that its hull doesn’t touch the ground when laid flat. (If it does touch the ground, then it’s too long and you need to use 2 kayaks per rung.)

How can I make sure that each kayak is level? 

You can purchase adjustable feet that will help with this problem. Some people also prefer to store their kayaks upside down so they rest on their decks instead of their hulls. Whilst this method prevents the kayaks from touching the ground, it may not be as secure.

Why use PVC? 

PVC is inexpensive, easy to work with and perfect for any DIY project that requires pipe or tubing! Plus if your UV protected kayaks are stored outside in direct sunlight, the PVC won’t get brittle and crack like other types of pipe would.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top