Reply To: Water, water everywhere; nowhere to keep my kayak

John Truchan

Hi Pam:

Looks like you are getting plenty of options to consider.  I found myself in a similar situation 3 or 4 months ago when considering purchasing a kayak – I live in a small condo near Commercial Drive – where do I store the thing. From my investigations here’s the bottom line.

The two ‘bodies’ you need to worry about are the Strata Council and the Fire Marshal’s Office. Of the two, the Strata can be the most worrisome because there appears to be no hard and fast rules. In my case, the Strata said they have no problem with it as long as the Fire Department doesn’t object. The Strata may have rules for brackets, drilling holes, obstruction of pathways etc so it frustrating to navigate through those shoals and is likely on a case by case basis.

The Vancouver Fire department was pretty straight forward – they have no problem with kayaks. It needs to be off the floor and at least 18″ from a sprinkler head. The director I talked to said to imagine it this way – in the event of a fire there will be smoke and no light in the garage. They don’t want to be stumbling over anything or running into anything lying around on a floor while trying to put out a fire in a burning car. Otherwise, they seemed pretty reasonable.

It also depends on the jurisdiction you’re in. I have the feeling City of Vancouver has different rules (slightly less stringent) from other municipalities so you’ll need to undertake due diligence and contact your local Fire Department. I have a copy of the bulletin that the City of Vancouver sent to me which I presented to the my Strata as evidence that the fire department was on side. (I don’t see where I can attach the document to this reply so if you want send your email address to me and I will forward it to you.) With that in mind the Strata still wants to see where and how the boat will be stored. It’s trickier than you think because of the length, any suspended drain pipes and you need clearance to get around or under it to get into your car. Parking stalls are not luxurious in dimensions.

Finally, where I live, fire is not the issue, theft is. Ask you house insurance provider if they have any provisions/qualifications for storage of a kayak.

In the end I decided not to buy a kayak this year and, when I rent, I just leave the kayak on the car roof rack overnight. Your case is different I realise.

Lots to consider but do-able with persistence.


John Truchan