Question on securing a Kayak to a roof
I may be purchasing a used Old Town Canoe 160T 16ft tandem kayak this weekend but don't have a regular kayak rack for the roof rack on my wife's Jeep Grand Cherokee. They only recommend the foam blocks for short trips - anyone every use these for hour or so interstate trips? I know I'll need a couple narrow ratchet straps and a bow and stern tie down line - just interested in any feedback here so I transport this safely. Thanks.
I have always used just two rachet straps on my roof rack. In spite of having traveled for hundreds of miles at all speeds I still never have felt comfortable with just the two straps. My kayak is the rotomold and I tighten just past the point of distortion. Good on you if you get a yak. Best bang for your buck in the boating world.
Last year I went from MI to Maine w/ a 9.5' Heritage Featherlite and a 12 or so foot Old Town of some kind that I borrowed. Both were strapped onto the roof of my F250 crew cab w/ foam blocks and no bow or stern tie downs. It worked fine, but in the rain water leaked in all 4 doors where the rachet straps came through.
I also used the blocks to transport my 9.5' 3 hrs north on the roof of my Ford Flex. It has the roof rack, but no cross bars. I used the foam blocks and strapped it to the rack. Definately better than using straps through the doors, but still not the best solution.
Late last summer I mounted a factory rack from a Ford Explorer that I grabbed from the junk yard. I bought two of the J-type kayak carriers and used them to haul the 9.5 foot and my new 14ft featherlite angler 3 hrs north (bow line, but no stern line). WAY better than the foam blocks.
On the blocks, the boats would move around over time and I was never really comfortable. W/ the J-racks, they didn't move.
I've got a 14' Mad River canoe that I carry on my minivan. It has a cargo rack with cross bars and I just use two ratchet straps. I have gone 1 1/2 hours down the interstate with no issues.
I've only put Canoe's on my roof. I'd think the problem with a Kayak is that they're more Aerodynamic and more likely to lift up.
That said, I'm sure that if you put enough straps and make sure the tension is good and stays good, it's not going anywhere.
Thanks for the feedback. I picked up one of the foam block "kits" for now but will look on Craig's List or other classifieds for a used kayak rack eventually. I should be fine in the short term.
I have a set of the "J" style racks and put a 12' Old Town in it. Interstate speeds don't move the kayak one bit, but my gas mileage suffers.
Foam block will work well. Pick up a set of Yakima bow/stern tie downs. I recommend NRS loop straps to secure the kayak to the factory rack
The foam blocks worked out well. We ended up getting a used Wilderness Systems 15'6" Pamlico Excel. Pretty light for a tandem (70lbs) but we still need some work kayaking. Our trip back was about 60 miles. I am going to look into the Yakima or Thule kayak racks when I get a chance. We probably won't do many big roads trips (3 lakes within 30 minutes of us) but it'd be worth getting a used rack on craig's list. Thanks for all the feedback.