carrying a kayak - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-25-2012, 01:21 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by slowpat View Post
Yes. The hull is stronger than the top side.
Maybe this is dumb, but the new Acura RDX commercial shows a Kayak bottom up.

2013 Acura RDX Canada Commercial - YouTube

To me this looks more aerodynamic.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:27 PM   #44
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Not a bad idea, but it wouldn't work with most kayaks I've paddled, as there are various hatches, coamings, etc that would get in the way.

J racks are definitely the way to go. Easiest to load and secure, and presenting the least area for upward wind to push on the 'yak
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:13 AM   #45
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Tying 'Em Down

"...taut bow and stern lines to the bumper areas are still required...."

Seems like it will be an interesting balancing act between too tight and not tight enough![/QUOTE]

A few thoughts...

I've carried two 17' sea kayaks (and canoes) for 10's of thousands of kilometers on various wagons and trucks, using padded crossbars with no saddles of any kind, and haven't come close to losing one yet. Here's what works for me:

Each boat is lashed to the front and rear crossbars (currently Thule bars on footpacks to fit my '99 Saturn SW1), using separate nylon cinch straps fore and aft on each boat (4 in total). These are tightened until hard (alternatively, you can use pieces of rope rather than straps, using a trucker's hitch to obtain sufficient purchase to get it tight).

If carrying two kayaks, I run the same noseline thru each boat's bow attachment point, tie it off at each bow, and then lead it thru webbing loops held in place under the furthest forward fender bolt on each side of the vehicle's bonnet. If expecting heavy winds, I'll use a second noseline per boat, crossing this one to the opposite corner to create a X and hold the hulls together. If there's one kayak or a canoe, I just tie the bowline's centre point to the boat, and lead the ends to and thru the loops, forming a V.

Besides providing security, the noselines act as an early warning system if anything starts shifting around up there...

A similar approach can be used in the rear, but it isn't nearly as critical, since you won't be generating any 100 km/hr headwinds in reverse. I usually don't use one unless I'm expecting to drive at highway speeds...

In either case, a trucker's hitch is used to apply LIGHT pressure on the lines; there is no benefit to tightening the nose and stern lines until hard, as they are primarily a backup in case the rack or a strap should fail. Just snug, yes - hard, no. This is especially important with plastic kayaks; my Cape Horn 15 can bend as much as 4"-6" at the bow if the noseline is overly tight. I also find I prefer to carry the Cape Horn deck-down, as it distorts less due to the deck's curvature. My stitch-and-glue ply&epoxy VOLKSKAYAKs travel hull down, canoes upside down (strength, wind resistance, rain, etc.)

Finally, I check the straps and lines every time I stop; it's long since second nature to get out and check the four straps and the noseline to make sure it's all snug and tidy.

Oh, and, yeah, enjoy the Mirage - kayaking is about the closest you can get to being an aquatic creature without having to swim...well, you will swim, too, but that's another story...lol...
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:06 AM   #46
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We put our 2 kayaks under our Boler's table or in our Subaru's trunk when we travel. They fit nicely under the table! Inflatable Kayaks | Kayaks made for recreational, high performance, sit-on-top self bailing and multi-use.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #47
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Inflatables are a wonderful solution IF the kayaks are suited to your conditions. Some are excellent seaworthy boats, others glorified pool toys. In our waters (North Atlantic) the only inflatables I'd trust are in the $4-5,000 range. I build my hardshell sea kayaks for about 1/10th of that.

Horses for courses, I guess...the main thing is to get out on and enjoy the water in whatever lets you do so safely and conveniently.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:41 AM   #48
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Richard how you do it has worked well for me carrying sea kayaks for many years without a problem as well.

People should also consider the weight cap of the rakes and roof of their vehicle. In the case of my Subaru Outback I can carry 2 single fiberglass or Kevlar sea kayaks, but not 2 doubles.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:13 AM   #49
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That's a really important point, Carol. Find and follow the weight limits for your setup. Folks should be aware that some factory racks are more ornamental than useful. I removed the factory crossbars on my old Escort wagon with my bare hands - the ends of the thin-walled metal crossbar tubes were held to the siderails with small, rusty sheet metal screws which pulled out with a good yank. A good rack, properly installed, should let you rock the car when you grab the crossbar end and shake it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:24 AM   #50
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I think most of the vehicles that come with factory racks have something in the manual in regards to weight limits. Was heading on a kayaking trip once with a girlfriend's family and we need to pick up a double kayak on our way for her children.... discovered her SUV's rakes where not rated to take a single and double combined.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:54 PM   #51
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It's funny, I loaded and took my kayak to a nearby lake this morning for its maiden voyage, and I get home and see all these new posts in the kayak thread. Shoot, I forgot to take a picture of the kayak on top of the Highlander! I meant to do that when I got back, but forgot.

I kept reading how Toyota made it hard to get the rear covers off the roof side rails to mount their crossbars. And they're over $200! So I found some generic ones for $40 that clamp onto the side rails. After taking off an end cap and sliding one clamp off temporarily, a large pool noodle was worked onto each crossbar. I left the end cap off of one permanently because I discovered that I can slide a 5/8" diameter round bar (that I already had bought for the axle of the kayak cart I build out of pvc) into the crossbar; I add more pool noodle and then use this bar to support one end of the yak while I lift the other end (Yakima makes something like this for big bucks.... pffft!). I even was able to find red pool noodles to match the red kayak.

The kayak is secured hull up and similarly to Richard's-- 4 nylon ratchet straps, 2 to each siderail. The rearward straps go through the Mirage Drive cavity, the front ones pass through the scupper holes. Plus a nylon rope from the bow to the rear bumper (yes I'm carrying the kayak stern first) and another rope through one scupper hole and to the front bumper. AND a bicycle cable to one side rail for security. That kayak ain't comin' off unless the rails fly off with it.

I did have a bit of trouble, though, when I loaded the kayak last night and took it for a drive to see how effective my tie-down methods were. The trouble was this incredibly loud noise in the vehicle... it sounded like I had another motor revving up top! I swear I thought something horrible was going to happen any second! But it was just a nylon strap humming (super loud) in the wind, and adding a twist to it eliminated the noise completely.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:18 PM   #52
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I finally got pix of the kayak on the Highlander.

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