Melba Kayak May 02nd, 2018 - 08:17:49
Ok, you did your homework and got the right kayak - now you need to make another decision. How are you going to transport your new kayak? Some kayaks are heavy and cumbersome - especially rigged fishing kayaks. Youll need to put some thought into what will be the best transport method for you, your kayak, and your vehicle. Various vehicles will create different situations to contend with. For instance, if you have a very tall vehicle it may not be practical for you to load your kayak on the roof - maybe a trailer is the way to go, or a Hullavator. Maybe you have a health problem or an injury that will prevent you from lifting a kayak. Or maybe you just dont feel like lifting a 60+ lb kayak over your head. All of these issues can be addressed.
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.
If you decide on a single (solo), make sure that it has enough storage capacity for whatever gear you are going to need and bring along. Space shouldnt be much of an issue for just afternoon kayaking, but if youre going to take long trips with your kayak (camping/fishing), adequate cargo capacity must be available. Dont forget about your seating needs you want it to be comfortable and supportive. Whitewater kayakers prefer a snug fit, while touring kayakers prefer something with more room, allowing room to stretch and change positions on longer trips. Check out kayaks that come with upgrade seating if you can afford it. Available Options A spray skirt, deck fittings, flotation bags and a handy holder for your water bottle are all options to consider. Having the right options can make a difference in your kayaking enjoyment.
Helpers & Load Assist Devices No matter what system you are using you will still have to physically set the kayak into or onto it. This may seem difficult and awkward at first, but you will find that it will get easier with repetition and ultimately you will find what works best for you and your situation. But a little help doesnt hurt. So here is a list of products that can help make bearing the weight a little easier. Thule Hydro Glide: helps when loading your kayak from one end of your vehicle and also acts to hold the kayak during transport. The kayak slides easily on felt covered pads. Thule Roller Coaster: a roller attached to a set of saddles that allows you to push the kayak up onto the roof from the rear of the vehicle. Loading Bars: Thule as well other companies make a bar that extends out so you can lift one end of the kayak on the bar and then lift the other side onto your rack. Thule makes the Outrigger.