Melba Kayak April 12th, 2018 - 13:15:30
Of course, adding a quality rack system to a SUV or Mini Van will offer the most room for accessories and carrying capacity. Note: Its OK if the bars extend out past the roof. According to the law, they can extend as wide as your side-view mirrors. On tall vehicles this works well, on shorter ones make sure you wont be hitting your head on the ends of the bars when you enter or exit the vehicle. Pickup Trucks Nothing is easier than strapping a kayak into the bed of a pickup and hitting the road. If the kayak is hanging over the end of your tailgate you must hang a flag on it for safety. Another option which makes this method of transport safer and more practical is a bed extender. An extender is a device that plugs into a standard 2- hitch mount and will give you up to 4 more of support under your kayak. (An extender can also be reconfigured to support your kayak over the bed, with one end resting on the cab roof and the other on the extender in the vertical position.)
Tips for Transport: Always give the kayak a good push and pull before driving away to make sure you are secure. As a general rule if you can rock the vehicle without the kayak shifting on its perch than you are fine. If the kayak is sliding back and forth on the bars or in the carriers than you need to go back and tighten the straps. If using straps with auto-lock buckles, always put a half hitch in the strapping after tying down to insure that even if the buckle loosens the strap will not come lose. If using ratchet style tie downs it is very easy to over-tighten and do damage to the kayak. So make sure that the kayak is snug, but dont go overboard. When transporting in a flat bed pickup dont choose places on the kayak to fasten to that can fail - like the handles. We recommend passing the straps through the scupper holes of the kayak and tying that off in the bed of the truck. Some cars roof areas can compress/dent in when using foam blocks, these dents usually pop back out. Always try to place foam blocks on the strongest part of the roof (this will be the areas closer to the front and rear windows) Also, if you find that some part of your kayak is making contact with the roof after you tighten it down then placing a piece of rug or padding there is a good idea to protect the car from scratching.
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.