Melba Kayak May 02nd, 2018 - 08:18:02
Wooden kayaks are the original and hand-made quality model. A smooth, warm wood kayak can be a beautiful thing. The prices on wood boats vary considerably. They are easy to repair but do require lots of routine maintenance like an ordinary boat would. Need to be stored properly and the quality can vary as well - depending on the craftsmanship. Folding kayaks offer the advantage of easy portability and storage. A folding kayak is a collapsible - made of fabric stretched over usually an aluminum frame - but that can vary. Their price is on the expensive side when comparing kayak prices, but they tend to last longer than a typical hard-shell and their resale price usually remains reasonable (depends on the care it received over the years).
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.
2. Size Matters... not so much Kayaks come in different lengths for a reason. Generally, the shorter the kayak, the easier it is to turn and maneuver. The longer the kayak, the better it tracks in a straight line. It is important to know what types of water you will be paddling in before you make a purchase. Recreational kayaks are generally between 10 and 12. There isnt going to be a huge amount difference between a 10 and 12 kayak. Both sizes work great in several types of water, so dont sweat too much over this choice. Dont forget that a larger kayak will weigh more, so make sure you can pick it up by yourself. 3. Storage Space and Deck Rigging Anytime you are looking at recreational kayaks, you want to pay attention to the available amount of dry storage space built into the kayak. Trust me, you will want to take things out with you that you dont want to get wet, so this space will be extremely valuable. Look at the outside of the kayak. Does it have a paddle holder and other bungee type rigging around the deck for storing items you want to keep within reach? You may think these things are not important, but they soon will be. You need to have places on your boat where you can stow things and attach items that you may want to use during your paddle. You also need to know that deck rigging, paddle holders and other attachments can be added to almost any kayak after you purchase it. However, you this may require professional installation.
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.