Melba Kayak April 22nd, 2018 - 14:26:38
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.
Speed: Generally, the longer and narrower a kayak the faster it is. SIKs are usually faster, however there are fast SOTs too. Speed is only important if you need it. If the majority of your fishing is close to shore or in small, protected areas, than you probably wont need a long fast kayak. However, if youre fishing a big reservoir, bay, sound, or in the open ocean the ability to cover distance may be very important to you. An equally sized SIK will usually be faster because it is narrower than a SOT of the same length. Maneuverability: If youre going to fish in small creeks or narrow estuaries, youll probably want a kayak that is easy to maneuver. A long fast touring kayak will be more difficult to use in these situations and might take away from your overall fishing experience. A shorter SOT or SIK will suit you better if these types of environments. On big waters making a sharp turn usually isnt crucial so a longer kayak is not a problem. Accessory Friendly: one of the joys of kayak fishing is converting a simple recreational kayak into a very effective and compact fishing vessel. This is done by adding fishing accessories. How much you add depends largely on your fishing style and your philosophy on gear. Some fishermen just take a rod and a few lures along and others like to bring lots of gear along. No matter what your preference, simply adding one rod holder will greatly increases the fishability of your kayak. Lots of flat surfaces are nice for mounting accessories.
Trailex makes a single kayak version that is light enough to unhook and use as a dolly to get right up to the water. For those who want to carry more than one kayak they also make multi-kayak trailers. Rack Accessories Rack Pads Rack Pads were originally designed for surfboards but work well for kayaks. The pads wrap around your factory or after-market bars and are held in place by Velcro straps. Rack pads are a very good choice if you transport you kayak face down (the seat area facing the roof), by carrying face down you are placing the load on the gunwales (the strongest part of the kayak) and it is the way many kayak companies recommend to carry the kayak to prevent distorting or damaging the hull. Pros: Like foam blocks, it can be a very economical set up, especially if you already have bars on your vehicle. Unlike foam blocks rack pads cant fly off the vehicle.
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.