Getting to the water!

After nearly a year of on and off again work on my Chessy 17, I will be ready for launch this spring. I usually load my kayak(s) on top of our van by myself. Not wanting to risk the occasional stern hitting the pavement which I tolerated with my plastic boat, I've decided to go with a trailer. So, two questions for the group:

1) Any feedback on the Yakima Rack and Roll trailer?

2) Regardless of where the rack is (trailer or roof top), what is the best system to attach the kayak without marring the finish. I have a hully roller which I don't think I'd use on a wooden boat and a mako saddle which I think two pair would secure and protect the boat. CLC videos show the standard foam bar pads. Suggestions?


7 replies:

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RE: Getting to the water!

I use Thule racks and hydro-glide saddles (felt covered) in the rear and set-to-go saddles up front, regular Thule straps and after several thousand miles and loading and unloading the system hasn't put a scratch on the boats. There are scratches from lots of other things, however. The hully rollers work great for wooden boats and mako saddles hold them just fine. Remember, these are kayaks, not pianos, that we drag around so don't worry about a few dings every now and then. I load mine quite often by myself and putting the stern on pavement every now and then doesn't really do anything. Whatever system you use people are going to want to look at your boat and ask a lot of questions, they really won't care about a few scratches or even notice them!

Enjoy the boat!

George K

RE: Getting to the water!

I have the same setup as George and find it works well. I am currently hauling an Annapolis Wherry atop my pickup and come this Spring, a SW 17. The Wherry has some scrapes on the bottom but this is mostly from beaching rather than loading mishaps.

RE: Getting to the water!

My CLC boats are alot lighter than any plastic boat i have lifted. My 70 year old dad simply lifts his WD12 onto the top of his car. go easyon the really thick fillets and you will be ok.

RE: Getting to the water!

My 17LT ended up at 40 pounds.

RE: Getting to the water!

I have carried my Shearwater Hybrid on Yakima racks on the roof of my truck.  I have Makos on the front and Hully Rollers on the back rack, and they haven't marked the hull.  The rock I paddled up on did a few scrapes, fixed with a varnish touch up.  I just drove to Florida, arrived today, with two plastic boats on the roof.  The second set up is two sets of Hully Rollers.  I started out deciding not to go over 60 mph.  That didn't last long, I averaged 70-75 mph, and found myself over 80 once.  The didn't move at all.  Used bow and stern lines, and the tension on them never changed after the first tightening after 100 miles.  I was pleasently surprised how well they traveled.  I won't be afraid to take my wood boats next time.  I would like to swap one set of Hully Rollers for another set of Makos.

RE: Getting to the water!

I've been using the foam blocks on the roof rack and the straps that came with them.  When loading by myself, I throw a towel scrap of an old yoga mat on the ground behind the Forester and put the stern down on that with the front alongside the car. Then lift the front onto the pads. Then pick up the back and push.  Slides right on.  I took some rubber "molding" that I bought at an auto parts store and put it along the top back of the forester to protect it from the boat.  To take it off I throw a towel under the side rails of the roof rack to protect the car from scratches and slide the kayak off onto my shoulder ducking my shoulder into the cockpit. Walk it that way to the water.  Has worked well for me.  I worry more about the car than the kayak.  I can sand and touch up the kayak.  Beaches, rocks, etc put lots more nicks in the boat than carefully placing on the asphalt does.

then again, I did not sand all the bumps out of the fiberglass before varnishing. Wanted to get to the water.

My 5 cents. Ed

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