Kayak Roof Rack - Which Systems...

Posted by: dylansdad77

Kayak Roof Rack - Which Systems... - 03/22/14 09:52 AM

...are best? I am buying my first kayak (14.5 foot) next weekend and I plan on getting all the essentials at the same time...paddle, PFD and roof rack. I am having the hardest time deciding on which rack system would be best. I drive an SUV with a factory rack system on it and I believe most systems out there will be compatible. I'd like to keep the cost under $200 for the rack system. Any suggestions?
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Kayak Roof Rack - Which Systems... - 03/22/14 06:58 PM

Can you be more specific about your SUV roof rack (brand of car)? I have a Toyota 4Runner with roof rack and that's it. If you have a "racing" or "hot rod" store in your area, roll bar foam is perfect for covering the cross bars on your rack. If not, you can simply use towels or foam blocks. I load my yaks hull side up. I've got 10.5ft creek boats all the way to 17 ft. sea kayaks. All work great on the factory rack.


Posted by: dylansdad77

Re: Kayak Roof Rack - Which Systems... - 03/22/14 07:25 PM

'05 Mercury Mountaineer. I haven't attached anything to the roof rack that required an actual "fit" so I am still new to this. If all else fails, I will end up getting the foam blocks to start and see how it goes.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Kayak Roof Rack - Which Systems... - 03/23/14 03:46 PM

Just looked at images of your car. If you have cross bars on your roof rack, you need nothing further.
Roll bar foam will slide right on. A bath towel makes good padding too.
Is your kayak a sit in, or sit on boat?
If it's a "sit in" kayak, load it hull up. If it's a "sit on", load it hull down. Two tie downs for short trips, bow and stern lines for longer trips. If you are good with knots, 3/8th nylon rope with truckers hitches will hold the boats. If not a knot person, cam buckles is plenty. No ratchet straps!!
Posted by: dylansdad77

Re: Kayak Roof Rack - Which Systems... - 03/31/14 12:24 PM

so after all that, i decided to go ahead and purchase...nothing. Decided to use the factory rack and tie down both sides, then bow and stern lines. That all seemed to work ok. Granted, it moved a little on me from the wind, but the weather was a big factor and I am not planning on transporting the boat in those conditions again. I think I will end up using a towel to add friction between the boat and rails to prevent any slippage. Thanks to everyone for the advice!
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Kayak Roof Rack - Which Systems... - 03/31/14 07:29 PM

Ah, good! It should not have moved at all, if you cinched it down right.
See if this makes sense...
1. loop each tiedown around middle of cross bars.
2. load boat.
3. flip both free ends of each tie down over boat. You should have 4 free ends hanging over the boat.
4. run the non-buckle free end of tiedown, UNDER the inside of the main rack (the part that runs along roof), and out.
5. Buckle should be resting on boat about 12" above rack.
6. Feed free end through buckle and tighten to the point boat just begins to "squish" or deform....not too tight but not loose.
That way you have a solid connection between boat and roof rack. Should be no movement in wind at all.
If you don't have running boards on your SUV, stand on the tire!