Building a Wooden Kayak Rack

Building a Wooden Kayak Rack

Kayak Rack Plans

Almost finished kayak rack

This weekend I built a wooden kayak rack for the backyard based on a design by Korey Atterberry. The garage just wasn’t an option as of right now. I plan on keeping the kayak in a cover to prevent long term damage from being out in the elements and the strap design of this bracket will prevent any hull deformation while it’s being stored. I used pressure treated lumber and plywood for my kayak rack, but if you intend to keep this inside, you could cut the cost in half by using untreated lumber.

You could also add hooks along the top bar to hang life jackets and other accessories. Others have built similar racks using the same bracket design and have gone two or three boats high, with a distance of 32″ from top to top for spacing. Because my kayak is 13′ long, I used the full length of the 8′ 2×4 for my kayak rack. If you have smaller boats, you could shorten the length. Total supply cost was less than $100. Depending on your dimensions, boat count and pressure treated or not, your prices may vary.

Supply List

  • 5 – 8′ Pressure treated 2×4’s
  • 2 – Pressure treated 2′ x 4′ plywood panels
  • 8 – 5/16 Hex Bolts
  • 8 – 5/16 Nuts
  • 16 – 5/16 Washers
  • 1 foot – 1″ Wood Dowel
  • 1 foot – 1″ Schedule 40 PVC
  • 2 – 1″ Nylon Straps with locking cams (

Cradle Template

Print settings

Print this PDF as a multi-page. tiling, or poster (depending on what your computer settings are). Ultimately, you want the file to output like the screenshot to the left. Then print the template to scale and allow you to assemble the five necessary sheets into one before cutting the template out. When you tile print, the measurements on the template are not necessary. I used an original template from Korey Atterberry, scaled the image to print and converted to a usable PDF.

Direct download link for the kayak rack template is below.

Kayak Rack Template

Kayak-Cradle.pdf (711 downloads)


Assembly Instructions

  1. Transfer your paper template to a single cardboard template that you can reuse with ease. Trace two or these patterns to each of your plywood sheets.
  2. Cut your brackets out with a jigsaw or router. I used a jigsaw.
  3. Drill the four holes in each bracket piece in the spots indicated by the blue circles using an 11/32” bit.
  4. Smooth all faces and edges with a sander to your desired finish. You could also you a router to round all edges off for a nice finish.
  5. Cut the 1” dowel into 1-1/2” pieces, and drill a 11/32” hole down the center. You’ll need 4 per boat.
  6. Cut the 1” PVC into 1-1/2” pieces. You’ll need 4 per boat.
  7. Install two hex bolts through the outer holes drilled, securing your “bushings” (consisting of the dowel and PVC) and finally through a 2nd bracket piece.
  8. Cut nylon straps to a length of roughly 4 1/2 feet, finishing off the cut edges with heat to prevent fraying.
  9. Loop the nylon strap between the two bolts in a manner that allows the cam to be pulled tight to adjust the hanging tension.
  10. From here, your next steps will vary based on your base and height design.


Once I had the brackets assembled, I put together a simple 8 foot wide, 32 inch deep box frame using pocket lags. I then attached my brackets to two 36 inch high 2×4’s, and attached these 2×4’s to the box frame using a combination of pocket lags and two triangle braces  on each corner, cut from the scrap plywood. You could also add castors and keep your kayak rack in the garage if you have the space. Good luck!

If you decide to build one of these kayak racks I would love to hear about it, drop me a comment!

If do-it-yourself posts aren’t your thing, checkout some video from Grand Teton National Park, or head over to my YouTube channel for more content.


I am a modern day Renaissance Man. Husband, father, dad, photographer, videographer, drone pilot, entrepreneur, beard aficionado, leather crafter, screen printer, web developer, excel guru, etc.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.