Melba Kayak May 03rd, 2018 - 10:28:24
Lift Assist Accessories: Companies now make accessories to help you get your kayak unto your roof. One such product is the Hullavator by Thule, this hydraulic assist rack folds down the side of the vehicle where the kayak is loaded at waist height and the whole thing folds back onto the roof with the aid of mechanical assistance - Nice! Weve had many customers tell us that without this system they wouldnt have been able to continue kayaking because of physical limitations brought on by age or injury. Sure its expensive, but worth every penny. Roller Loader: This little device works to help you get your kayak up on your vehicle. It basically is a dolly that suctions on to the back of your vehicle and you just roll the kayak on or off. A very low-tech option that works particularly well with mini-vans, SUVs and station wagons is a rubber backed bathmat. Just to place the mat (with rubber backing down - so it wont slide) on the rear of the vehicle and place one end of the kayak on the mat and slide onto the rack. Here is a video clip of a kayak being loaded using a bathroom mat.
Sit On Top kayaks are a newer breed of kayak. They resemble a modified surfboard of sorts and you sit on them rather than in them. SOTs have what are known as scupper holes, which allow water to drain from the cockpit. This way when water washes over the kayak the cockpit may briefly flood but it will quickly drain eliminating the need to pump out any water. This is especially beneficial in places like the surf zone. Both styles of kayaks are useful to fisherman and within each style there are models that will suit you better than others. Lets get back to some of those earlier questions and see why theyre important in helping you choose which of these types of kayak will be best for you. Stability: Fishermen do something in a kayak that most paddlers do not - they fish. Therefore having a relatively stable platform can be very important, especially to a person who is new to the sport and new to kayaks. When kayakers discuss stability they talk about 2 types. Initial and secondary. Initial stability is the side-to-side wobble that you feel when you sit in a kayak. Secondary stability is when the kayak is nearing its point of flipping and how much forgiveness it has before you actually flip.
They are tough, flexible, stable and seaworthy, but the general consensus is that they lack a bit of the speed and performance vs. a hard-shell. Like wooden kayaks, folding kayaks bring a sense of the past North American native culture to them. Now Inflatable kayaks offer the best portability of all the models and ease of storage. They can be the least expensive kayaking option - especially when you consider all the options like storage, portability and maintainability. Thousands of people have been using inflatable kayaks for years and have grown to appreciate how easy they are to get them into the water and back out. After it dries off, how easy it is to store them in your boat carry storage bag which then can be put in either the trunk of your car or once home in a storage closet. Inflatable Kayaks have come a long way and are very sturdy and safe to us. Both US Coast Guard and various rescue crews have used inflatable boats and kayaks for years.
Cons: Pads usually dont have a lot of cushion and can dent some kayaks if transported with the hull down or if you over tighten the tie-down straps. Cradles and Saddles: A very popular way to carry a kayak designed to carry the kayak right side up (just like it is on the water). Some examples of these are the Thule Set-To-Go and the Malone Seawing. Pros: These tend to keep kayak in place and protect the hull from damage. These systems usually work well with other pieces of equipment that aid in getting your kayak on your vehicle like rollers and glide pads (we will discuss these later). Cons: These set-ups are designed to transport your kayak right side up, not the ideal way to avoid distortion, but with care this will not be an issue. Also, if you are going to transport 2 kayaks, cradles do limit the usable space on your rack bars. J-Carriers: These work by carrying your kayak(s) on their side in J-shaped racks.