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15 Jul 2017
Okay, you did your homework and got the right kayak - now you need to make yet another decision. How are you going to transfer your new kayak?

Some kayaks are heavy and awkward - especially rigged fishing kayaks. You'll need to put some idea into what will be the very best transport method for you, your kayak, and your vehicle. Different vehicles will create different conditions to contend with. For instance, in case you have a very tall vehicle it may not be practical for you to load your company's kayak on the roof - why not a trailer is the way to go, or perhaps Hullavator. Maybe you have a health issue14921 or an injury that will stop you from lifting a kayak. Or it could be you just don't feel like lifting a 60+ lb boat over your head. All of these challenges can be addressed.

Let's go over some of the different methods to carry your kayak(s).

Transport Methods

Rack Systems

Most kayak transport needs can be satisfied by adding an after-market tray system. A rack system includes the bars and feet (adapters) that affix the system to your particular automobile. The bars can be used only or they can serve as the beds base for additional kayak carriers and accessories. The most widely used products are made by Thule and Yakima. These types of racks deliver the most weight capacity and so are the safest way to move kayaks on a vehicle.
Plant Racks

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

This method is similar to the duct tape method of kayak transport. With this system 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 pads are so popular is that they really are a very economical transport system. However , care needs to be taken to make sure the kayak is secured properly to prevent any conditions and or damage to your boat and/or vehicle.


Family car with foam block carrier system

Trailers: This really is fast becoming a popular alternative for individuals who are tired of lifting or maybe for the family in which 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. We all recommend Trailex Trailers.

Trailex makes a single kayak version that is light enough to unhook and use to be a dolly to get up to the water. For those who desire to carry more than one kayak in addition, they make multi-kayak trailers.

Slab Accessories

Rack Pads

Rack Pads were originally intended for surfboards but work well to get kayaks. The pads wrap around your factory or after-market bars and are held in place by Velcro straps. Tray pads are a very good decision if you transport you boat face down (the chair area facing the roof), by carrying face straight down you are placing the load about the gunwales (the strongest area of the kayak) and it is the way many kayak companies recommend to hold the kayak to prevent damaging or damaging the hull.

Pros: Like foam hindrances, it can be a very economical set up, specifically if you already have bars on your auto. Unlike foam blocks rack pads can't fly off the auto.

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

Cradles and Saddles: A very popular way to cart a kayak designed to hold the kayak right area up (just like it is usually on the water). Some examples these are the Thule Set-To-Go and the Malone Seawing.

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

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

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

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

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

Vehicle types


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

While foam blocks is fine, we strongly recommend putting a rack system on your car -- this will make life less complicated, protect the roof of your family car, and leave you more space for other accessories + gear. Most rack companies make special rack adapters for 2 door automobiles with shorter roofs. Both equally Thule and Yakima generate good system for autos.
SUV's and Mini Vans

The longer roof body of an SUV or a Tiny Van does give you a few advantages over cars, however sometime the added height of your SUV can make getting your boat on top a little harder. A large number of SUV's come with factory holders that work well to receive a good number of kayak carriers and transportation accessories. Factory racks programs do have weight limitations, but most can handle a couple medium to light weight kayaks without a problem.

A popular method to transport two kayaks along with a factory system is to transport one in a J-type carrier and also the other flat or face down on the bars. You can really maximize space by making 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 ability. Note: It's OK if your bars extend out in the evening roof. According to the law, they can prolong as wide as your side-view mirrors. On tall cars this works well, on shorter ones make sure you won't be striking your head on the ends with the bars when you enter or perhaps exit the vehicle.
Pickup Trucks

Absolutely nothing is easier than strapping a kayak into the bed of a pickup and hitting the roads. If the kayak is clinging over the end of your tail gate you must hang a a flag on it for safety. Another choice which makes this method of move safer and more practical is actually a bed extender. An extender is a device that power outlet into a standard 2- problem mount and will give you close to 4' more of support within your kayak. (An enrollarse can also be reconfigured to support your company's kayak over the bed, with one end resting within the cab roof and the other on the extender in the up and down position. )

Helpers plus Load Assist Devices

Regardless of what system you are using you will still have to physically set the kayak into or into it. This may seem difficult and awkward at first, but you will quickly realize that it will get easier with repetition and ultimately you will see what works best for you plus your situation. But a little support doesn't hurt. So here is known as a list of products that can help make bearing the weight a little easier.

Thule Hydro Float: helps when loading your kayak from one end of your vehicle and also acts to place the kayak during carry. The kayak slides very easily on felt covered pads.

Thule Roller Coaster: a roller attached to a set of saddles lets you push the kayak up onto the roof from the back of the vehicle.

Loading Watering holes: Thule as well other companies develop a bar that extends out so you can lift one end of the kayak on the tavern and then lift the additional side onto your rack. Thule makes the Outrigger

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

Roller Termes conseill├ęs: This little device operates to help you get your kayak on your vehicle. It basically is known as a dolly that suctions on to the back of your vehicle and you just move the kayak on as well as off.

A very low-tech option that works particularly good with mini-vans, SUV's and station wagons is a rubberized backed bathmat. Just to position the mat (with rubber assisting down - so it refuse to slide) on the rear with the vehicle and place one end of the kayak on the cushion and slide onto the rack. Here is a video clip of any kayak being loaded having a bathroom mat.

Tips for Move:

Always give the kayak an excellent push and pull ahead of driving away to make sure you are secure. As a general rule if you can ordinary the vehicle without the kayak moving on its perch than you are fine. If the kayak is usually sliding back and forth on the taverns or in the carriers than you need to go back and tighten the straps.

If using connectors with auto-lock buckles, always put a half hinderance in the strapping after tying down to insure that set up buckle loosens the strap will not come lose.

If using ratchet style wrap downs it is very easy to over-tighten and do damage to the kayak. So make sure that the kayak is snug, but don't go overboard.

When transporting within a flat bed pickup have a tendency 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 on the kayak and tying that off in the bed on the truck.

Some cars roof areas can compress/dent in when working with foam blocks, these nicks usually pop back out. Always try to place foam pads on the strongest part of the roofing (this will be the areas closer to the front and rear windows)

Also, if you find that a few part of your kayak is certainly making contact with the roof when you finally tighten it down then placing a piece of rug or perhaps padding there is a good idea to safeguard the car from scratching.


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