Melba Kayak April 16th, 2018 - 15:56:24
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.
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.
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.)
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