July 15, 2017

Kayak Transport and Carriers

Ok, you did your research and got the right kayak -- now you need to make a different decision. How are you going to transport your new kayak?


Some kayaks are heavy and troublesome - especially rigged sportfishing kayaks. You'll need to put some believed into what will be the best transport method for you, your company's kayak, and your vehicle. Several vehicles will create different cases to contend with. For instance, in case you have a very tall vehicle it might not be practical for you to load your company's kayak on the roof - what about a trailer is the way to go, or maybe a Hullavator. Maybe you have a health issue or an injury that will prevent you from lifting a kayak. Or even you just don't feel like lifting a 60+ lb boat over your head. All of these concerns can be addressed.

Let's review some of the different methods to travel your kayak(s).

Transport Solutions

Rack Systems

Most kayak transport needs can be completely satisfied by adding an after-market rack system. A rack procedure includes the bars and feet (adapters) that fix the system to your particular motor vehicle. The bars can be used alone or they can serve as the camp for additional kayak carriers and accessories. The most widely used products are made by Thule and Yakima. These types of racks provide you with the most weight capacity and so are the safest way to take with you kayaks on a vehicle.
Plant Racks

Many vehicles feature factory bars (usually the flat oblong shaped ones) and these can work excellent to transport your kayak and may usually be fitted with many kayak carriers, but they be lacking the carrying capacity and long term strength of a very good after-market rack system. If you need to carry multiple kayaks or even one heavy one kayak, investing in a good slab system will be your best option.
Memory foam Blocks

This method is a lot like the duct tape method of kayak transport. With this method the foam blocks are placed on the roof of the car and the boat is strapped down sandwiching the foam between the roof as well as kayak. The reason foam hindrances are so popular is that they undoubtedly are a very economical transport system. Nevertheless , care needs to be taken to ensure that the kayak is secured properly to prevent any complications and or damage to your boat and/or vehicle.


Automotive with foam mass carrier system

Trailers: That is fast becoming a popular alternative for individuals who are tired of lifting as well as for the family that requires an easy way to haul the fleet. Many trailers are well made, perfect for kayaks, and in some cases can be close to cost of a great aftermarket rack system. People recommend Trailex Trailers.

Trailex makes a single kayak variation that is light enough to unhook and use as being a dolly to get right up to the water. For those who prefer to carry more than one kayak in addition they make multi-kayak trailers.

Slab Accessories

Rack Pads

Stand Pads were originally made for surfboards but work well intended for kayaks. The pads wrap around your factory or after-market bars and are held in destination by Velcro straps. Roof-rack pads are a very good choice if you transport you kayak face down (the seats area facing the roof), by carrying face down you are placing the load within the gunwales (the strongest portion of the kayak) and it is the way many kayak companies recommend to handle the kayak to prevent distorting or damaging the hull.

Pros: Like foam obstructions, it can be a very economical set up, especially if you already have bars on your car. Unlike foam blocks slab pads can't fly off your vehicle.

Cons: Pads usually don't a lot of cushion and can drop some kayaks if moved with the hull down or simply if you over tighten the tie-down straps.

Cradles and Saddles: A very popular way to carry a kayak designed to transport the kayak right area up (just like it can be on the water). Some examples of the are the Thule Set-To-Go plus the Malone Seawing.

Pros: All these tend to keep kayak available and protect the hull from damage. These systems usually work well with other possessions that aid in getting your boat on your vehicle like rollers and glide pads (we will discuss these later).

Cons: These set-ups are made to transport your kayak proper side up, not the right way to avoid distortion, but with care this will not be a huge concern. Also, if you are going to transport couple of kayaks, cradles do limit the usable space on your rack bars.

J-Carriers: These kinds of work by carrying your company's kayak(s) on their side with J-shaped racks.

Pros: J-carriers work well to protect the kayak hull from damage when tightening the straps. They will also maximize your roof space to accommodate extra kayaks or several other accessories.

Cons: It can be difficult to maneuver the kayak on your vehicle and into the side position of the J-carrier, especially if your vehicle is tall. Likewise, be careful in parking don as the added height is seen as a problem. Some examples of J-carriers are: Thule Hullaport plus the Malone Autoloader.

Vehicle types


Cars with short roofs can be a challenge - especially 2-door cars. The shorter the distance between the straps/bars the less secure the system will be. Always, use bows and stern lines when ever transporting by car or any other vehicle with a short roof structure span - a favorite of ours is the Thule Quickdraw.

While foam blocks will continue to work, we strongly recommend putting a rack system on your car -- this will make life much easier, protect the roof of your motor vehicle, and leave you more space for other accessories and also gear. Most rack companies make special rack adapters for 2 door vehicles with shorter roofs. Equally Thule and Yakima generate good system for cars.
SUV's and Mini Vehicles

The longer roof framework of an SUV or a Mini Van does give you a few advantages over cars, yet sometime the added height of an SUV can make getting your boat on top a little harder. Many SUV's come with factory cabinets that work well to receive a large number of kayak carriers and carry accessories. Factory racks systems do have weight restrictions, but most can handle a couple medium to light weight kayaks without a problem.

A popular means to transport two kayaks which has a factory system is to transport one out of a J-type carrier as well as the other flat or experience down on the bars. You are able to really maximize space through the use of two J-Carriers.

Of course , adding a quality rack system to the SUV or Mini Suv will offer the most room just for accessories and carrying capability. Note: It's OK in case the bars extend out beyond the roof. According to the law, they can expand as wide as your side-view mirrors. On tall vehicles this works well, on short ones make sure you won't be smacking your head on the ends in the bars when you enter or simply exit the vehicle.
Pickup Trucks

There is nothing easier than strapping a kayak into the bed of the pickup and hitting the road. If the kayak is suspending over the end of your tail gate you must hang a the flag on it for safety. Alternative which makes this method of transfer safer and more practical is a bed extender. An estirar is a device that connects into a standard 2- hinderance mount and will give you approximately 4' more of support beneath your kayak. (An tirarse can also be reconfigured to support your company's kayak over the bed, with one end resting about the cab roof and the different on the extender in the top to bottom position. )

Helpers and also Load Assist Devices

Regardless of what system you are using there will still be to physically set the kayak into or in it. This may seem difficult and awkward at first, but you will discover that it will get easier with repetition and ultimately you will find what works best for you including your situation. But a little enable doesn't hurt. So here is actually a list of products that can help help to make bearing the weight a little easier.

Thule Hydro Proceed: helps when loading your kayak from one end of your vehicle and also acts to hold the kayak during move. The kayak slides without difficulty on felt covered shields.

Thule Roller Coaster: a roller attached to a set of saddles that allows you to push the kayak " up " onto the roof from the raise of the vehicle.

Loading Discos: Thule as well other companies make a bar that extends away so you can lift one end of the kayak on the pub and then lift the various other side onto your rack. Thule makes the Outrigger

Lift Aid Accessories: Companies now help to make accessories to help you get your boat unto your roof. One such product is the Hullavator by Thule, this hydraulic assist tray folds down the side with the vehicle where the kayak is loaded at waist levels and the whole thing folds over back onto the roof with mechanical assistance - Good! We've had many shoppers tell us that without this product they wouldn't have been capable of continue kayaking because of physical limitations brought on by age as well as injury. Sure it's costly, but worth every penny.

Roller Termes conseillés: This little device works to help you get your kayak standing on your vehicle. It basically can be described as dolly that suctions on to the back of your vehicle and you just rotate the kayak on or off.

A very low-tech selection that works particularly perfectly with mini-vans, SUV's and station wagons is a rubberized backed bathmat. Just to place mat (with rubber assisting down - so it will not likely slide) on the rear with the vehicle and place one end of the kayak on the mat and slide onto the rack. Here is a video clip of an kayak being loaded using a bathroom mat.

Tips for Carry:

Always give the kayak a fantastic push and pull ahead of driving away to make sure that you are secure. As a general rule if you can rock the vehicle without the kayak relocating on its perch than you are fine. If the kayak is certainly sliding back and forth on the discos or in the carriers you need to go back and tighten the straps.

If using straps with auto-lock buckles, usually put a half hinderance in the strapping after attaching down to insure that set up buckle loosens the band will not come lose.

If perhaps using ratchet style wrap downs it is very easy to over-tighten and do damage to the kayak. So make sure that the boat is snug, but may go overboard.

When transporting in a flat bed pickup no longer choose places on the kayak to fasten to that can crash - like the handles. All of us recommend passing the connectors through the scupper holes of the kayak and tying that off in the bed of the truck.

Some cars roof areas can compress/dent in whenever using foam blocks, these notches usually pop back out. Constantly try to place foam chunks on the strongest part of the roof top (this will be the areas more close to the front and rear windows)

Also, if you find that several part of your kayak is usually making contact with the roof once you tighten it down after that placing a piece of rug as well as padding there is a good idea to defend the car from scratching.

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