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Build a kayak rack

Kayak Rack Build

A friend of mine was in need of a kayak rack and after numerous requests, I made it a priority and started my research. I could have made it easy on myself and built a sawhorse style rack, same as mine, but I am not really a big fan of it. With a fair amount of google image searches, I drew up a plan.

In order to fit a wide variety of kayaks (play, creeker, long boats), a width of approximately 4′ was decided by 6′ tall with 18″ for each kayak. No one wants to be lifting boats high and this way, 8 kayaks could easily be stashed in an organized fashion.

I know youTube makes everything look easy but this had its challenges. First, I needed to cut and build as much as possible at my own house. Then I needed to transport it to my friend’s house where I would install it and hope all my measurements were correct. I was on a time crunch and in the process, forgot to bring some of my tools to her house and she does not have many tools laying around. Thanks to a local timber framer, I was able to do the install when I arrived.

I thought I had everything planned out. Yep, this project would prove to me I am your average DIYer. I thought the top brace and the bottom brace would be enough to support this and all 8 kayaks. Oh, how I was wrong. I took the advice of my friend, hopped in my car and drove to the local timber framer a few miles down the road. When I presented my problem to one of the workers, he easily gave me the solution: cut a piece of wood that goes from the top corner down to the opposite corner. Brilliant. Easy enough. I drove back to figure out the measurements. Now I know there is a math formula for this but math wasn’t my strongest subject in school and instead of killing myself over it, I took the width and height of the opening and drove back to the timber framer. He then inputted these numbers into an app, cut a piece of wood for me and I again drove back to my friend’s house to finally finish the project.

For a step-by-step, watch the video and look at the infographic below.

Any suggestions or comments, feel free to send my way but be gentle. I do not claim to be an expert woodworker.


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!