Melba Kayak May 03rd, 2018 - 10:30:49
Ok, you did your homework and got the right kayak - now you need to make another decision. How are you going to transport your new kayak? Some kayaks are heavy and cumbersome - especially rigged fishing kayaks. Youll need to put some thought into what will be the best transport method for you, your kayak, and your vehicle. Various vehicles will create different situations to contend with. For instance, if you have a very tall vehicle it may not be practical for you to load your kayak on the roof - maybe a trailer is the way to go, or a Hullavator. Maybe you have a health problem or an injury that will prevent you from lifting a kayak. Or maybe you just dont feel like lifting a 60+ lb kayak over your head. All of these issues can be addressed.
Pros: J-carriers work well to protect the kayak hull from damage when tightening the straps. They will also maximize your roof space to allow for extra kayaks or other accessories. Cons: It can be tough to maneuver the kayak on top of your vehicle and into the side position of the J-carrier, especially 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 and the Malone Autoloader. Vehicle types Cars 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 bow and stern lines when transporting by car or any vehicle with a short roof span - a favorite of ours is the Thule Quickdraw.
Lets go over some of the different methods to transport your kayak(s). Transport Methods Rack Systems Most kayak transport needs can be satisfied by adding an after-market rack system. A rack system includes the bars and feet (adapters) that attach the system to your particular vehicle. The bars can be used alone or they can serve as the base for additional kayak carriers and accessories. The most widely used systems are made by Thule and Yakima. These types of racks offer the most weight capacity and are the safest way to transport kayaks on a vehicle. Factory Racks Many vehicles come with factory bars (usually the flat oblong shaped ones) and these can work fine to transport your kayak and can usually be fitted with most kayak carriers, but they lack the carrying capacity and long term strength of a good after-market rack system. So if you need to carry multiple kayaks or even one heavy single kayak, investing in a good rack system will be your best option.
The first, most basic consideration in kayak selection is the type of kayak. There are essentially two types of kayaks- the sit in kayak and the sit on top kayak. There are other vessel options such as the inflatable kayak and pontoon boats and other small fishing craft. A SIK is the traditional type of kayak that one thinks of when they envision a kayak. You sit in a cockpit inside the kayak. Any water that comes over the side must be physically removed by bailing or with a pump. Water can be prevented from entering the kayak with the use of a "skirt" which is a membrane that goes over the opening of the kayak that has an opening for your torso. It is a required accessory for white water kayaking and kayaking a rough ocean. One advantage of the sit in kayak is that it can keep you dryer - especially when fitted with the skirt. Often greater stability and maneuverability can be achieved with a sit in kayak as your knees grip the inner walls of the kayak which is what makes this model the favorite among those who kayak for the sake of kayaking. The sit in kayak can however be more difficult to get in or to bail if they overturn, and in one you will have more limited mobility. Among sit in kayaks, the Old Town Dirigo 120 Angler Recreational Fishing Kayak is a favorite for its stability and versatility.