Rack recommendations?

Hi all-

I'm punting on a kayak trailer for the time being. Any recommendations for a roof rack setup to accomodate various combinations of SUPs and rec kayaks- up to 3 craft at any one time?

Now that my kiddos are older I have adequate help loading, so I'm not motivated by any of the "load assist" type solutions. My biggest priorities are security/stability on the road and not beating up these wooden boats with a rack that was designed with only indestructable plastic boats in mind.



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RE: Rack recommendations?

I don't know what type of vehicle you will be loading but I imagine you will need to add crossbars to get the width you need. I carry my Chesapeake 16 on a Yakima Sweetroll and I really like it. I did buy the optional felt pads to protect the boat's finish. When I roll the boat onto the rack (the rear saddles have recessed rubber wheels that only contact the boat during loading and unloading) the wheels on the rack leave a visible mark but it wipes off easily, the rack does not damage the boat.  I have carried my Chesapeake in Utah where interstate speeds are 80MPH and it rides well. I don't have experience with SUPs but a long crossbar would give you plenty of room for your boards. My kayak takes up two feet of the crossbar (I set the outside edges of the yakima saddles at 16 inches).  Mike

RE: Rack recommendations?

You really have two seperate and distict choices to make.  The first is what make/model rails best fits your vehicle.  I can't really give any recommendations there because I went with the GM Cargo Management system.  On the plus side it is very strong (made to carry ladders etc) and folds down into thr bed when not in use.  On the down side, it is a bit narrow and the large bar shape makes attaching kayak stuff a bit of a science project.

The second part is what you want to put on the bars to hold the kayaks.  I have tried pretty much everything, foam blocks, J racks, rollers and saddles.  The rails and attachments are pretty standard so pretty much anybrand holder will attach ro any brand rail (there may be exceptions).  For two kayaks, foam blocks are cheap and effective.  That is what I use on my truck except when carrying the surfski.  I use a V rack for that.  For three kayaks, you pretty much have to go with J racks.  I use Malone brand.  They hold the kayak very secure and I have never had any damage.  Loading the middle boat on a J rack on the roof will be a PIA even with help.  If you have the width, you may consider rollers in the back and saddles in front to make it easier to load.  The saddles also hold the boat very securely but you have to make sure that there is no sand between the saddles abd the boat or you will get scuff damage.  Also, I do not like the rollers for very lightly build boats because of the point loading.  In the pictures below, the Shearwater Double is on aft rollers with front saddles.


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