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I recently got a secondhand Old Town Discovery 169 canoe, which is at least 15 years old and made of some kind of polyethylene (I assume). The problem is, I have nowhere good to store it. I'm considering putting an access door in the ceiling of my one-car garage and keeping it in the attic. My main concern is temperature - will the high sustained summer temperatures in the unfinished attic age or damage the canoe material? Would I just need to be a bit more careful supporting the canoe properly to avoid deformation? Temperatures often climb into the 90Fs (32C) and occasionally 100s (38C +) during the summer, and the attic probably gets tens of degrees hotter than that. The alternatives are to store the canoe outside, or to park in the driveway and let the canoe have the garage itself, neither of which are ideal.

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  • Are you sure you're actually going to be able to fit it through any gap you can make? What's the roof like (I'm thinking maybe you could insulate it against solar gain)? Can you add ventilation?
    – Chris H
    Sep 14, 2023 at 14:30
  • @ChrisH A standard width attic door might not fit it, but I am seeing some up to 30" wide, which should fit the canoe rotated onto its side. It's an asphalt shingle roof. I do currently have an attic fan, but it still gets quite hot up there. Insulation might be an option if necessary, but at this stage I'm more wondering if the heat is a problem that needs solving, or if it's not a big issue. Sep 14, 2023 at 14:39
  • The issue I see with something that's both long and wide (even if tapered) is that if you go through the hatch near-vertically you then have to get most of the length into the attic before you can rotate to horizontal. I'd never get my kayak into my house attic for that reason, let alone a canoe (and while my garage has a little attic, it's about 2.5×1.5 m and 1m high 8'×5'×4')
    – Chris H
    Sep 14, 2023 at 15:24
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    But the big problem is your "tens of degrees hotter" because you're right.I've certainly recorded over 20°C hotter in mine than outside, on a sunny day. What's hard to work out is exactly how right you are
    – Chris H
    Sep 14, 2023 at 15:25
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    FWIW, this temp deflection table might be of some use. Looks like about 60 C (140 F) for HDPE, I can see a roof-space getting close to that, so deformation possible?? You could try suspending it from the lower floor rafters/ceiling to escape the heat? Otherwise a full-length form to maintain shape might be needed?
    – bob1
    Sep 14, 2023 at 20:07

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While it is possible that the canoe can take the summer heat it is also likely it will deform. And as you are not sure of the plastic used, I would not take the risk.

Storing it under the ceiling in the garage or out of sunlight in your house or outside space seems a better option.

If you want to move forwards with storing it in this area, insulating it and ensuring good ventilation would probably be enough to give reasonable certainty. You could also measure the temperature on hot sunny days, to see how much risk you're prepared to accept.

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