Melba Kayak May 03rd, 2018 - 10:29:02
While foam blocks will work, we strongly recommend putting a rack system on your car - this will make life easier, protect the roof of your car, and leave you more room for other accessories & gear. Most rack manufacturers make special rack adapters for 2 door cars with shorter roofs. Both Thule and Yakima make good system for cars. SUVs and Mini Vans The longer roof frame of an SUV or a Mini Van does give you some advantages over cars, but sometime the added height of an SUV can make getting your kayak on top a little harder. Most SUVs come with factory racks that work well to receive most kayak carriers and transport accessories. Factory racks systems do have weight limits, but most can handle 1 or 2 medium to light weight kayaks without a problem. A popular way to transport two kayaks with a factory system is to transport one in a J-type carrier and the other flat or face down on the bars. You can really maximize space by using two J-Carriers.
The rigid (hard shell) kayak is what most people think of when they hear the word kayak. Of the various Hard Shell models, a plastic kayak is usually the least expensive but also can be the heaviest. They are usually tough and can take the abuse, but if they get damaged, they are very difficult to repair if at all. A fiberglass Kayak will be a much more expensive model than a plastic model, but is significantly lighter. Fiberglass can be easier to damage, but can also be easier to repair (can be expensive) compare to the plastic version. Composite types such as Kevlar, graphite and carbon fiber kayaks will be even more expensive and lighter still and more costly to repair once damaged then the other two mentioned already.
Inflatable kayaks are another option. They have some advantages on their own over both the sit in kayak and the sit on top kayak- namely that they can be deflated and easily stored and carried. This might be necessary if storage is limited or if you would like to hike in to a remote fishing spot. These are essentially a bit of a hybrid between the sit on top and the sit in kayak as they are often open to the elements but have side panels that surround you. They have great stability but generally dont track quite as well as the SOT or the SIK. These can have the tendency to collect water and a bailing pump or one with a drainage system is best for this reason. Bic Yakkair Fishing 2Hp Inflatable Kayak is a favorite for its light weight, carrying pack and built in water run offs.
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.