View Full Version : Roof transport

02-20-2014, 12:54 PM
I scrapped my idea on buying a trailer. Too much dough.
I'm looking for what you all might have as far as roof carriers.
I have a Subaru Forester and a 14 ft SOT. I'm hoping to get another yak for my wife. Possibly a 12 ft SOT.
Is this doable?
Thanks in advance.

02-20-2014, 01:45 PM
i was perusing the bass pro catalog today and they had some new easy load and unload roof systems in there....

might be worth a look see

02-20-2014, 01:46 PM
I have been out of the kayak scene for some time, but this is my
take on the subject.

I kayak fished once a week for two solid years in Southern
California, my routine transport distance 30-40 miles from LA to
Malibu or Ventura....part highway, part major route.

All I had was a regular thule roof rack and not a kayak specific
rack. I got the advice from a bunch of experienced guys. There
are a number of cradles and roller systems out there, but they
really are not necessary, and they also seem to make it more
difficult to carry multiple yaks on the car.

You can pick up thule/yamika racks on craiglist pretty cheap if you
are on a budget...and just buy the kit that is appropriate for your vehicle.

Transport the kayak deck down...if the deck deforms a bit no
problem....if the hull deforms then you have a warped hull. You
don't want to warp the hull, so transport pressure should be on the deck.

Strap down the bow and stern to the front and back of the car.
Just make sure what you tie it to is sturdy. I hauled my 14' xfactor
on my vw jetta. The car had a brass tow link that I could thread
onto the chassis through a window on the valance. In the rear of
the car there was a permanent tow link. Strap down the mid
sections to each local roof rack cross bar. Done.

the straps I used...are under 15 bucks...and look something like can find them at homies/lowes....If you can find ones that
are rubber is better so they don't ding the paint.

For a second kayak, lean it against the longer, and strap it down
the same way. Me and my buddy would drive 120 miles from LA to
LaJolla that way. It ain't pretty but it gets the job done fine.

I hope you find the advice useful.

02-20-2014, 02:39 PM
Puppets reply was great. To go cheap cheap cheap like the birdy, a couple of 2x4's with eye bolts on each end tied down to your roof racks give a little extra width and all the stability you'll need.
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02-20-2014, 08:27 PM
I've got a Thule Stacker mounted on my factory bars and it works pretty well for the money. Tie down at both ends and in the middle. Wouldn't want that to let go on the highway.
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The Dad Fisherman
02-21-2014, 06:03 AM
I've been looking at the Slipstream from Thule....

02-21-2014, 04:34 PM
well TDF,
after seeing that price
it made my head spin a full revolution LOL

When my brother and i were working in MIAMI
doing some construction ...revamping a lawyers office
down there....We had no truck :wall:

just a pontiac firebird
so we took a piece of 2x6 and then took a cardboard template
of the SLOPE of the roof -> on each side of the cars roof
and transferred the line to the 2x6 fairly accurately

after cutting it as close as possible to match the roof's shape
we next SCRIBED the roof on to that same piece making it

we connected the front and back pieces with some pt lumber that sat
on the roof snug after it and the cross pieces had soft material glued
to the "wood meets car surfaces" so the RACK sat on the vehicle like
you'd sit in a saddle on a horse.... in other words custom made to fit...

laugh if ya want, but we carried full loads of studs and sheetrock on that thing
more than i've ever loaded in a pickup and it weighed over 1000 lbs easy.
man did we ever get some LOOKS...
you could make one to carry a 150 lb KAYAK .... is all i'm saying

02-23-2014, 03:48 PM
I just use a trailer roller for mine with a strap through it mounted on a foam pad; can get one for about $50 including shipping off the internet. You can just roll the 'yak on from the back, tilt it up and plop it on another foam pad up front. Think you could do it with two 'yaks if you wanted; the rollers are narrow enough that you can slide them apart on the strap on your roof to get the spacing right.

Paul D
02-26-2014, 01:04 PM
I made the switch from carrying my 14' SOT to a trailer when I bought a new car. The big cost is the trailer hitch on your vehicle if you don't have one. If you do, there's not much separating the cost of a rack system vs. a trailer. I bought a Malone trailer. You have other options and can make one yourself if your handy. You might be able to get the cost at the same level as a rack. The trailer is easier and more convenient, less wear and tear on your vehicle (no matter how careful you are your going to ding your vehicle at some point.) It's so nice to unload and load your boat only having to lift it a few feet off the ground. Two SOT kayaks is alot to carry and lift on a car. Only cons I've found regarding the trailer is there are a few locations that are not trailer friendly, most are though. And a trailer is a trailer, you have to be able to park it and back it. Takes a little practice. So you might want to reconsider. Tight lines.

02-26-2014, 01:12 PM
totally agree with puppet, deck down on a regular roof rack is the way to go. Honestly, the factory cross bars on your forester should do it. You can either get pipe insulation or buy some pads, which I think holds the yak in place better on the top.

That's what I have been doing now for 6 years and it's worked great.

TDF's suggestion is probably the way to go if your kayak is just too heavy to lift up on the roof deck down (which his is!) but you can also get something like this to assist in loading:

I haven't tried putting two yaks on top of my car, but you could lean one up against the other as puppet said. If you are going to be transporting two kayaks very regularly, you may want to either invest in a trailer or get j racks.

03-02-2014, 07:31 AM
I have a pair of used J-cradles, fits onto thule and other roof racks, that I would like $50 for. PM me if interested

03-02-2014, 08:35 AM
my outback is a little heavy .. hulley rollers and saddles on yakima racks with a waterslide to hang off back of car .. Expensive system but I own it and not gonna stop yakking no time soon ... I hope .. . Started with J hooks .. good for other peeps but not for me ... A Beast getting an outback up in those ..

The Dad Fisherman
03-02-2014, 10:47 AM
Same hobie I have and it is a bit heavy....was looking at the slipstream because I can roll the yak right up on the roof...
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03-18-2014, 03:10 PM
Dick's has some BIG pool noodles now .. $4.99 each .. If your not too worried about caving in your roof,, ratchet strapping your yak down ..

Backbeach Jake
03-22-2014, 07:44 AM

03-22-2014, 09:57 AM
I've got a Thule Stacker mounted on my factory bars and it works pretty well for the money. Tie down at both ends and in the middle. Wouldn't want that to let go on the highway.
Posted from my iPhone/Mobile device

Second on the Stacker, 3 kayaks, 1 Canoe. Just strap them seperately.
I also have the outrigger bar to load the things 1 end at a time