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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:51 am 
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Location: Missoula, Montana
For many years I loaded my fishing kayaks on the roof of my SUV by laying a towel over its rear wind deflector, lifting the bow of the kayak onto the towel, sliding the kayak forward onto my padded roof rack, flipping the kayak over onto its gunwales, and strapping it down. This was quick and easy, and the only gear involved was a $3.50 discount store towel. I always parked my vehicle on a flat spot before loading my kayaks, so I never had a kayak slide sideways off my wind deflector when loading it.

However, I bought a new SUV, and it had a thin and flexible rear wind deflector with a thin red light on its rear edge. Because I can’t clean and jerk a 13 foot long kayak, I had to find another way to get my fishing kayaks onto the new vehicle. I first bought a kayak loader which slid out of the end of one of the bars of my roof rack, but it was too flexible and felt very precarious. I was looking at various loading devices which mount in a tow hitch, but they cost a lot, and would rock and swing around on the back of my vehicle unless I removed them from the hitch and put them inside the vehicle when traveling, which would be a big hassle.

So I have been loading my kayaks onto the side of my SUV using a towel, which is almost as convenient as loading them on the rear, and there is no risk that the kayak will slide off sideways if my vehicle isn’t parked on a flat spot, because the roof rack keeps the kayak in place.

First, I lay a towel over the side of my vehicle, and put my kayak on the ground next to the vehicle with the stern lined up with the towel.

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Then I lift the bow of my kayak onto my shoulder, walk it over to the side of my vehicle, and set it on the towel, with a foot or so of bow above the towel so if the stern slides on the ground, the kayak won’t fall off the vehicle.

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Then I pick up the stern of the kayak, slide the kayak forward on the towel, walk the stern around to the back of my vehicle, and lay the kayak on its bottom on the roof rack.

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Then I stand on the threshold of one of the passenger doors, flip the kayak over onto its gunwales, and strap it down.

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I already had a towel. A problem with using a towel to load a kayak on your vehicle is that if it’s windy, the towel can blow off your vehicle before you can lift your kayak onto it. One option is to lay something heavy on the towel to hold it in place. My vehicle has a couple of holes in the sides of the rails on its roof to hold the factory rack in place. I invested a couple more bucks in a bungie cord, shortened the ends of its hooks so they would go into the holes, and use it to hold the towel down. I leave the bungie cord in place for a weekend of kayak fishing.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:39 am 
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What I've found very useful for a long time is to use a bathmat with a rubber or nonslip backing. The mat won't slide and stays in place while the kayak will slide on the nappy side easily.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 10:57 am 
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I tried doing that at first, but found adding a "boat loader" to the rack to be more convenient:

https://www.yakima.com/boatloader

Pricey, but I use it to load an AI onto a Honda Civic effortlessly. It lets you lift one end at a time without any hassle. I even did it when I had a broken arm a few years ago. I can even load the boat with a car parked right next to me. Also, because it's so stable, I can pump out any accumulated water that collects nicely at the rear end of the boat with the nose lifted up.


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:38 am 
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Location: Auckland NZ
My technique was to do pretty much the same thing over the back of the boat but to load the yak stern-first into cradles rather than upside down.

The towel should cover the rear cradle and hang over the back of the car to protect the paintwork so that the cradle doesn't grip the hull allowing it to be slid forward & back to the right position on the car (by pressing down the other end will lift clear of the front cradle and the boat can be slid on the towel-covered rear cradle).

Unfortunately like you I then bought a car with a stupid little plastic airflow wing on the top of the rear hatch! This put paid to resting one end of the kayak there when loading. It also prevents me from opening the back door when the kayak is sitting in the cradles - how dumb is that design feature!?! (whoever designs these stupid bits of plastic crap on so-called lifestyle vehicles is clearly a couch potato who has never used the vehicle they design for anything other than transporting family members, suitcases and golf clubs... but I digress...)

The benefit of right ways up (which implies the use of cradles) is that you can leave the seat and stuff that protrudes above the deck in place - you don't have to take everything off the boat & then put it back on every time you transport your boat to the water - saves a lot of time. You can also load the kayak up with all your gear via the hatches so you have more space in the back of your car for other lifestyle gear (you can get a whole lotta stuff into a Hobie kayak!).

The benefit of cradles is that you really don't have to strap the boat down particularly hard - it will stay put without sliding for/aft or side/side with minimal strap tension.

The benefit of stern first is that the rudder won't flap about and the seat back will fold down flat to reduce windage (and won't get covered in burst flies and splattered moths).

Just my $0.02 8)


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:30 am 
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Hello,

This is very useful for me, I have toyota rav4 with same wing on the back and hobie outback.

I have question for you: do you have any padding on the rails ? I do not see anything on photo but may be your rails have some cover or soft top

Let me know, I have native rails on my rav4 and I am debating should I use anything or just put kayak upside down right on the rails.

Thank you
Vitaly

EDIT: now I see on last picture that you do you padding. Can you share with me what is it ? Thank you!


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:49 am 
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Location: New Zealand
I have been using the Sherpak Boat Roller with a Rev13 and it's been working OK for me even with the little flap on the back window :)

Just need to make sure you turn the kayak over before loading it onto the roof, otherwise when you turn it over you get a load of water dumped on you!

https://www.amazon.com/Seattle-Sports-S ... B009PAAI5I

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:48 pm
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Location: Missoula, Montana
nvitaly wrote:
Hello,

This is very useful for me, I have toyota rav4 with same wing on the back and hobie outback.

I have question for you: do you have any padding on the rails ? I do not see anything on photo but may be your rails have some cover or soft top

Let me know, I have native rails on my rav4 and I am debating should I use anything or just put kayak upside down right on the rails.

Thank you
Vitaly

EDIT: now I see on last picture that you do you padding. Can you share with me what is it ? Thank you!

I have a Thule rack system which has rectangular bars and a flat surface on top of each tower. I bought a couple of oak 1"x4"x4' boards, drilled holes for carriage bolts which attach the board to the rack with thumbscrews and a metal bar with two holes in it, sealed the board well with spar varnish, put a couple of layers of closed cell foam on top of each board, and then covered the boards with cordura nylon. I've used this system for about 25 years. It's a fair amount of work to make, but I enjoy do-it-yourself projects.

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 1:17 am 
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recycle wrote:
I tried doing that at first, but found adding a "boat loader" to the rack to be more convenient:

https://www.yakima.com/boatloader

Pricey, but I use it to load an AI onto a Honda Civic effortlessly. It lets you lift one end at a time without any hassle. I even did it when I had a broken arm a few years ago. I can even load the boat with a car parked right next to me. Also, because it's so stable, I can pump out any accumulated water that collects nicely at the rear end of the boat with the nose lifted up.


I have the Yakima round bars, and found that a simple water pipe will slide perfectly inside them. It's cheap, and it works.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 6:00 pm 
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Location: Missoula, Montana
recycle wrote:
I tried doing that at first, but found adding a "boat loader" to the rack to be more convenient:

https://www.yakima.com/boatloader

Pricey, but I use it to load an AI onto a Honda Civic effortlessly. It lets you lift one end at a time without any hassle. I even did it when I had a broken arm a few years ago. I can even load the boat with a car parked right next to me. Also, because it's so stable, I can pump out any accumulated water that collects nicely at the rear end of the boat with the nose lifted up.


I bought the similar boat loader which Thule makes, and didn't like it. It's too flimsy, bends under the weight of my Revolution, and I was always afraid that my kayak was going to slide off it and crash to the ground. The towel on the side of the vehicle technique is way more secure.


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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 5:26 pm 
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pmmpete wrote:
I bought the similar boat loader which Thule makes, and didn't like it. It's too flimsy, bends under the weight of my Revolution, and I was always afraid that my kayak was going to slide off it and crash to the ground. The towel on the side of the vehicle technique is way more secure.


Interesting... I never tried the Thule model. The Yakima one I have is super strong and very stable. I've left my AI leaning on it many times. The Yakima also has a big plastic disc at the end which prevents the boat from sliding off, although it also makes banging your head more likely getting in and out of the car!

I like the idea of using a metal pipe as one person suggested a risk-free way to try it out.


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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 7:39 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
That is genuis... I have a 2002 Honda CRV with the factory roof-racks and they're simply not wide enough to carry my A.I. and the amas.

I was toying with the idea of doing something to make the bars slightly wider and your solutions has nailed it... Off to the hardware shop I go!

Cheers,

Mike.

pmmpete wrote:
I have a Thule rack system which has rectangular bars and a flat surface on top of each tower. I bought a couple of oak 1"x4"x4' boards, drilled holes for carriage bolts which attach the board to the rack with thumbscrews and a metal bar with two holes in it, sealed the board well with spar varnish, put a couple of layers of closed cell foam on top of each board, and then covered the boards with cordura nylon. I've used this system for about 25 years. It's a fair amount of work to make, but I enjoy do-it-yourself projects.

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 9:20 pm 
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Simple and effective Pete... my wife's new Highlander Hybrid has a skylight and moonroof that takes up almost the entire damn roof. I bought Thule aerobars to avoid using a stupid fairing, so no boatloading bar for me.

Also, the flush rail system is too weak for the Thule mounts to support a Hullivator. Being only 5'8" and athletic but with damaged shoulders, I won't be getting an Oasis up there easily. I think I can press my revo 13 up there as long as I have a small step.

Trailer-time?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:20 pm 
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recycle wrote:
I tried doing that at first, but found adding a "boat loader" to the rack to be more convenient:

https://www.yakima.com/boatloader

Pricey, but I use it to load an AI onto a Honda Civic effortlessly. It lets you lift one end at a time without any hassle. I even did it when I had a broken arm a few years ago. I can even load the boat with a car parked right next to me. Also, because it's so stable, I can pump out any accumulated water that collects nicely at the rear end of the boat with the nose lifted up.



Does Thule make something like this?

ON EDIT...yes they do.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-an ... TH847.html

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