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How To Transport Your Ocean Kayak

One of the easier ways to transport your Ocean Kayak is to purchase a roof rack. This normally involves a set of bars that attach to the car via rain gutters or clips on the door. They come with a wide variety of attachments from kayak saddles to stackers. The racks can be used without the attachments; however, the racks should be padded. Place the kayak upside down (cockpit side down) on top of the rack. Ropes can then be strapped accross the boat and tied to the bars. Saddles cradle the boat and often come with their own straps. Stackers allow multiple boats to be placed on their sides without falling over.

An alternative from traditional rack systems are soft racks. They tend to be less expensive and will work with almost any car (i.e., without having to change clips for the "hard" rack style). These are pads that sit between the kayak and the roof of your car. Some styles have a strap that wraps around the kayak and others strap the pad to the roof. To tie the boat to the car, straps are run through the car doors and the boat is tied to the roof as well as the bumpers. Avoid over tightening the straps which may cause dents in the roof of the car.

We strongly recommend that a line be run from the bow and stern of all the boats to each bumper. If your bumpers do not have a gap to pass a rope around, look underneath. There should be a loop of metal on which to tie your line. Three points of tie down is a minimum (two across the car and one to the front bumper), a fourth (the rear bumper) is better.

Many people like to use the scupper holes to tie the boats to the car. This can help prevent the boat from sliding back and forth or the rope from slipping off the kayak. This is a perfectly acceptable method for tying the boats down. Be sure your kayak is securely fastened to your car to avoid losing the boat while in transport and possibly causing an accident.

Video:  How to Transport Kayaks

Transporting kayaks can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing. In this Paddling TV episode, Anna Levesque explains the quick, easy and safe way to move kayaks around.


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