How to Hang a Kayak on a Pulley System

by Caroline Baldwin
Hang your kayak in your garage with a pulley system.

Hang your kayak in your garage with a pulley system.

When the river has been ridden and it is time to safely store your kayak until the next adventure, try hanging your boat on a pulley system in your garage. Kayaks are expensive and can easily be damaged when sitting on the floor. The pulley system is an inexpensive way to protect your investment. After a quick trip to the hardware store, you’ll be ready to install your pulley system so your boat can be safe and out of the way.

1. Select a location in your garage to hang your pulley system and kayak. The location should be somewhere where you can lower your boat safely. Choose a spot away from your garage door.

2. Place the stud finder flat on the ceiling. Slide the stud finder across the garage ceiling drywall to locate the rafters. Mark the rafters with your pencil after you locate them.

3. Measure your kayak. You will need to mark two spots on the ceiling that are 6 inches from each end of the kayak and two spots where the middle of the kayak will be. These are the locations of your pulleys.

4. Drill a 1/4-inch pilot hole at each mark to accommodate a 5/16-inch eye screw. Screw the eye screws into the holes until the threads are no longer showing.

5. Unscrew the quick link and loop it through the eye of the screw. Slip the pulley onto the link and tighten the screw. Repeat this for all of the eye screws.

6. Slide a webbing loop onto the front and back end of the kayak. Unscrew a quick link and hook the webbing loop on the front of the boat into the link. Slip a pulley onto the quick link and screw it closed. Repeat for the webbing loop on the back of the boat.

7. Tie one end of the nylon rope to the back webbing loop and thread the opposite end through the pulley on the ceiling that is positioned for the back of the boat. Run the rope back down to the boat and feed it through the pulley on the back end of the kayak. Pull the rope back up to the ceiling and run it through one of the middle pulleys.

8. Repeat Step 7 for the front end of the kayak. The loose ends of the ropes should be hanging down from the ceiling in the middle of the system.

9. Tie a Prusik knot to join the third piece of webbing with the remaining ends of the ropes. Slide one end of the webbing around the ends of the two ropes and through the inside of the opposite end of the webbing three times. Pull the end you started with tight.

10. Screw an eye screw into the wall approximately 3 feet off the ground. Join the end of the Prusik knot to the eye screw with a quick link.

11. Hang your kayak with the pulley system by holding the ropes in one hand beneath the knot. Place your other hand on the knot. Pull the ropes downward, sliding the knot up over the ropes. Repeat the pulling until the kayak is at the preferred height. The knot will lock on the rope when force is applied, which will prevent the kayak from crashing down while you are hanging it.

Items you will need

  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • 6 pulleys
  • Drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • 5 5/16-by-4-inch eye screws
  • 7 quick links
  • 3 pieces of looped webbing
  • 2 lengths of nylon rope that measure four times the height of your ceiling

About the Author

Caroline Baldwin, a corporate communications director located in South Carolina, began writing in 1998. Her work has been published in publications across the United States and Canada including Rolling Stone, Boating Life, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from The College of Charleston.

Photo Credits

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