How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your car

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by SeattlePaddler, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. SeattlePaddler

    SeattlePaddler New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    So I posted this on the SubaruOutback forum and I'll post it here as well for those trying to figure out how to hail a really long tandem boat safely and securely. One point out here is that my generation Subaru outback failed with their roof rack design and it only has a 24" crossbar spread. This is how I overcame that issue for a 21' tandem boat.

    You know I've had this sweet setup for my subee for some time now and I figured I should share my tips. (I'm not sure if I have shared these pics/tips yet) I know I searched the web for ideas on how to carry a really long sea kayak on my roof safely and securely but this info just isn't out there. Well here it is with the techniques I had to figure out myself. It's not cheap but I feel it's necessary when your putting a 252" kayak over a 24" spread. Not happening bro. I found the Yakima DryDock which added an additional 5' spread. So now the 21' boat has 7' spread and it perfectly lines up where there is a bulkhead at each cradle.

    I use a cam strap at each j-cradle. I use j-cradles because the strongest point of a kayak is on it's side. I run my straps from the crossbars instead of thru the cradles themselves just for added security.
    I use 1 bow tie down and do not use a stern tie down. I think people over tie down there boats. The bow tie down is because it hangs off longer than the stern does and I only use it if I'll be driving the freeways.

    I use the Yakima BowDowns because they are rated for more weight over the Thule model. I got the fold down ones merely for being able to park in my garage.

    The Yakima DryDock does not come with a crossbar so you do have to buy 1 for it.

    My boat is a Northwest Kayak Seascape Tandem Expedition. Comes in at 21' or so (with rudder off) and about 95lbs. This thing had so much storage for camping on the islands that I bring my Outback with me in the boat.

    Hope this info and pics help you fellow boaters out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rearview
    [​IMG]

    Back Deck Roll
    [​IMG]

    San Juan Islands
    [​IMG]

    Fitting 4 whitewater kayaks while still fitting wide cargo box and all the camping gear. PS, my crossbars have grown in width. This pic is the latest width of them.
    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure if tags help people googling to find stuff but I'll add them anyways.
    Carrying hauling big heavy long tandem sea kayak seakayak 21' foot Subaru outback roof rack trailer hitch rack tandem double triple expedition kayak boat crossbar spread custom safe carrying safe hauling huge kayak car truck SUV
     
  2. datakoll

    datakoll Paddler

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    http://goo.gl/B9Qksk

    not ready for Bonneville ?

    Wal's blue sleeping pads are cuttable for use under rope lines. Electrical tape loop the pad to line.

    The hangover is illegal without lights or flags that is your vehicle entered a no insurance state ?

    you could wrap bark around it ?
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,641
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    SP,

    That is a good solution to the crossbar separation problem. I have used the Drydock on a 2 inch receiver and found it needed shimming to prevent wobbling. Is your receiver a 2 inch?

    On mounting the boat on edge: never worried about the strength of the hull, mounting my 95 lb CD Libra flat. However, mounting on edge increases the exposure to crosswinds, a serious concern, especially when a large double is on top of a smaller vehicle. I will be interested in how that works for you in heavy crosswinds. BTW, crosswinds are the demon demanding bow and stern ties, IMHO.
     
  4. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    And, a single bow line isn't much (any) use in preventing side-to-side movement of the boat.
    Double lines, bow and stern, would be my preference.

    The test of a rack & tiedown system is pretty easy - grab the bow of the boat and shake the car. :D
     
  5. SeattlePaddler

    SeattlePaddler New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    I've been on I5 in the Skagit valley with some heavy crosswinds. Didn't serve a problem. I find 7' of cradle spread to hold extremely stable. The bow line really wasn't even adding any extra support that I could see. My friend on the other hand behind me in his car had an issue with his kayak slipping sideways with his hull-down cradle system. He had to pull over to straighten his boat out and tighten everything. So to answer all your guys questions about wind and bow lines, I think my setup is doing quite well. :D tongue in cheek.

    As for hitch sway, did your DryDock come with the threaded bolt and the straps on each side? I tighten that bolt nice n tight as well as the straps and haven't had any issues with wobbling.
     
  6. SeattlePaddler

    SeattlePaddler New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    I don't understand any of your message except something about legal issues. Somebody usually brings up legal issues in forums. Don't know why. Regardless, you can see I have a red flag on my stern...Not seen in the first picture because it wasn't even tied down yet either. Just look at the picture below showing the boat from the rear. If an object hangs 4ft passed the rear of the car, a red flag is required in Washington.
     
  7. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    Nice set-up and nice kayak. I have seen similar setups but they were on pick-up trucks.

    That I would like to see! :wink:

    That lake looks very familiar...

    James
     
  8. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    609
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    Very nice. I do wish the vehicles marketed at outdoors folks would have nice straight roof lines and support good bar spacing. 21' of boat is a lot for the roof alone so it seems like an excellent idea to get some of that weight onto the hitch.
    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
  9. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    609
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    Obviously your system works for you. The only enhancement I'd make is to create tie-downs with loops of webbing on the fender bolts. This avoids having that rope running over the curvy front of the vehicle and offers a very convenient height to tie down the load. I do prefer 2 ropes out to each side at the front, ideally it's 2 separate ropes so that when the wind blows from the left, the left rope tightens & vice versa.
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,641
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    SP,

    No, my Drydock was one of the first years Yakima sold them, no threaded bolt in the receiver system. I assume the bolt threads into the far side of the tongue of the Drydock, locking it to the receiver dock. That would be a huge improvement. Yes, mine had the straps, and they helped a lot, but the unit still slipped side to side. Very annoying.

    I think the Drydock really makes a short wheelbase vehicle like yours into a solid kayak transporter. Surprising more short wheelbase vehicles do not use them.

    Oh, BTW, in Oregon, similar to the law in WA, anything protruding more than three feet past the rear bumper requires a flag, but no lights. You are covered anywhere in the States with your rig, I bet. The warning was a red herring and is best ignored. :wink:
     
  11. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    807
    Location:
    Semiahmoo, South Surrey, BC
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    And an Outback isn't exactly a small vehicle (compared to an Impreza, for example)...I'm surprised to see such a close bar spread on the roof!

    Your setup looks like a good solution. :big_thumb
     
  12. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    That's what I thought as well....
    But one is never too old to learn, I guess
    :D

    From http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.37.020
     
  13. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,641
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    Ouch, John. Guess I have been a habitual highway lawbreaker for years. Must be lax enforcement. I suspect a really skanky, far over the 4 foot limit load would get stopped and ticketed.

    In daylight, good visibility, it is a twelve inch red flag. Otherwise, red light(s) are required, if I read those regs correctly, as they would apply to the stern of a kayak, it being a single point of projection.

    SP will be a test case for us, I suppose. We will wait and see.
     
  14. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    The part about the flag dimensions was the first thing that caught my eye.
    12 inches square
    So my skinny red rag knotted around the end toggle doesn't qualify, either.

    I'll just keep hoping that I don't cruise past a cop having a cranky day, I guess.
     
  15. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,641
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    We are flogging this horse pretty hard, but ... I tried one of those 12 x 12 inch purpose made orange flags having reinforcement across the side with an attachment midway, and it stayed on about two miles ... not that it blew off. The godawful noise drove me nuts, so I took it down and put back up my version of your old red rag, John.
     
  16. Kathryne

    Kathryne Paddler

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    Funny. I was just looking at your post in the outback forum and here it is! I also watched the video that describes the set up. I have an Outback as well and even though my boats are only 16', I am looking for a wider spread on the crossbars. The Outback system just seems a little wobbly to me and even though it does the trick locally, I'd like something better for longer highway trips.

    Where did you buy the yakima setup for the Subaru, and if it's not too much to ask, for how much (without the rear rack)? We are looking at picking it up at REI, but the exchange rate doesn't favour us too much right now.
     
  17. windancer

    windancer Paddler

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Regina, SK.
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    I agree nice kayak and even nicer setup. I forwarded on the photos of your setup on to a co-worker, He has a cedarstrip double kayak that he built and currently transports on a F-150 and is looking to sell and buy a Toyota Highlander.

    Terry
     
  18. SeattlePaddler

    SeattlePaddler New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    Hey Kathryne. I bought the Yakima DryDock on amazon with my prime membership. Looks like I got a steal at the time of only $150 after tax and free 2day shipping. I bought the Yakima BowDowns at REI during the Yakima sale which I think is usually 20% off. Then bought the single crossbar at REI as well. It adds up quick. I'd say roughly it was around $400 total, for these additions. Not to mention already having a 2" hitch and I also already had the crossbar conversions I made. It's really just fun having all this car roof art. I call them investments. :)

    I'm glad my info is already helping people.
    Also, I made a typo on the Subaru Outback spread. It's 30" not 24".
    And for others looking at SubaruOutback crossbar conversions, here's the video I made a while back for that as well.

    http://youtu.be/F3dSLL4F5aw
     
  19. SeattlePaddler

    SeattlePaddler New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    I just made that long reply and am now questioning if you meant the crossbar conversion instead of the DryDock system. To answer the question about changing out the stock crossbars, I don't think I can give you prices. That was a couple years ago and don't remember. Best thing to do is wait for the REI Yakima rack sale. Call them and ask when it will be. It's 20% off ALL Yakima rack equipment.
     
  20. Kathryne

    Kathryne Paddler

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Re: How to transport HUGE/LONG tandem kayak safely on your c

    Thanks for the info. I was referring to the crossbar conversion as I don't need a dry dock for my short boats! Interesting info anyway, so thanks for sharing! I will keep an eye out for the sale. I think it just happened last November but I wasn't aware of the ability to convert the outback rack system when I was there. Thanks!