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Thread: Transporting Two Kayaks - no truck, no trailor, options?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    154

    Default Transporting Two Kayaks - no truck, no trailor, options?

    Anyone carry two kayaks on your car? I have a Thule bars that attaches to the factory railing. I'm concerned about the manufacture weight limit for the bars at highway speed for two kayaks. I'm thinking two moderately heavy kayaks around 70 to 80lbs each...

    I did a search on the forum but couldn't find specific threads. Thanks for your advice and comments.

    Looks like the Thule bar weight limit is 150lbs and factory railing is 150lbs.
    Last edited by Seasalt; 04-20-2017 at 11:56 PM.

  2. #2

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    I do- on an old Subaru Forester using Yakima round bars paired with Yakima BoatLoader Canoe and Kayak Side Loading System. This allows you to extend the boatloader extensible inserts to adjust to the width of 2 kayaks. Also, you can tilt the kayak up on one of the extensions when loading/unloading your yaks, avoiding having to bear the full weight of the kayak.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2011
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    thank you toadfinger (interesting name BTW).

    Are your kayaks heavy like over 140lbs in total?

  4. #4
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    Manassas
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    Yeah, it's possible. Can't recommend it as a matter of routine. The weight ratings on factory bars are set for liability/legal reasons and don't really have much bearing on how much can actually be loaded.

    Here's my old Jeep loaded with a couple yaks we took from VA to NJ. These ones weigh a fair bit less, but I've also carried multiple Hobies the same way.



    Its a PITA to load and unload one kayak on the roof, let alone two. You'll really need a second person to do a decent job. Use plenty of camstraps and run them through hard points on the kayak and the vehicle. Lash the yaks together with a couple cams, then lash the yaks to the vehicle with a couple more. Bow and stern straps aren't optional in this case. Drive a couple miles, then stop and tighten down the straps again before you get underway. Don't be an asshole on the road (that is, drive in the right lane, go the speed limit) and remember you're top heavy on turns. Besides looking like the Beverly Hillbillies you'll be fine.
    2014 Hobie Pro Angler 12
    I need a good paddling

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Cape St Claire
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    The feasibility will depend upon the length of your bars and the style of your carriers. I also have Thule cross bars mounted on factory rails. On a recent trip to Florida, I hauled 2 boats (not something I routine do) and had no issues. I have extra wide bars for my car and made sure that neither of them were on their side to minimize the sail effect. The most important component was the use of solid bow lines to mitigate upward draft. Cross bar weight ratings are for loads pressing downward. Introduce the effects of upward wind streams coming off the hood and you are asking a lot of a system designed to bear weight coming from the opposite direction. Legally, you can install bars as wide as your sideview mirrors.

    Good luck

    IMG_1179.jpg
    Bruce

    Wilderness System, Thresher 155

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    154

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntrava View Post
    Yeah, it's possible. Can't recommend it as a matter of routine. The weight ratings on factory bars are set for liability/legal reasons and don't really have much bearing on how much can actually be loaded.

    Here's my old Jeep loaded with a couple yaks we took from VA to NJ. These ones weigh a fair bit less, but I've also carried multiple Hobies the same way.



    Its a PITA to load and unload one kayak on the roof, let alone two. You'll really need a second person to do a decent job. Use plenty of camstraps and run them through hard points on the kayak and the vehicle. Lash the yaks together with a couple cams, then lash the yaks to the vehicle with a couple more. Bow and stern straps aren't optional in this case. Drive a couple miles, then stop and tighten down the straps again before you get underway. Don't be an asshole on the road (that is, drive in the right lane, go the speed limit) and remember you're top heavy on turns. Besides looking like the Beverly Hillbillies you'll be fine.
    Nice Cherokee... I used to have one and I miss it a lot. Yes, I understand its a PITA to load and unload kayaks. When I fish alone, I have a Hullavator. If I take a second kayak, someone is going to help me load it.

    How did you get your image so big and nice on the post?

    My Cherokee at Assasateague...
    AI+(42).jpg

  7. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSer View Post
    The feasibility will depend upon the length of your bars and the style of your carriers. I also have Thule cross bars mounted on factory rails. On a recent trip to Florida, I hauled 2 boats (not something I routine do) and had no issues. I have extra wide bars for my car and made sure that neither of them were on their side to minimize the sail effect. The most important component was the use of solid bow lines to mitigate upward draft. Cross bar weight ratings are for loads pressing downward. Introduce the effects of upward wind streams coming off the hood and you are asking a lot of a system designed to bear weight coming from the opposite direction. Legally, you can install bars as wide as your sideview mirrors.

    Good luck

    IMG_1179.jpg
    Yes. Right now I have a 58inch bars, but I'm trying to see if I should get the 75 incher and cut it down.

    I really like your double bow tie downs. I will try that on mine as well.

    Looks like there are two options:
    1. With longer bars, I will plan to carry the two kayaks upside down with hull straps, double bow lines and stern tie down
    2. With shorter bars, I will carry one kayak upside down, the other with Thule J cradle - hull straps, double bow lines and stern tie down.

    My preference is option 1.
    Last edited by Seasalt; 04-21-2017 at 09:09 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    My guide in Tampa leaves two kayaks on his roof racks all the time. When he has three clients for a trip, he adds a third kayak on edge between the other two. He has an old Dodge Caravan with wide racks.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Cape St Claire
    Posts
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    The bars pictured are also 58". It is tight but doable. It all depends on the width of your hulls. There is a Thresher 155 and Tarpon 120 on my roof in that pic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seasalt View Post
    Yes. Right now I have a 58inch bars, but I'm trying to see if I should get the 75 incher and cut it down.

    I really like your double bow tie downs. I will try that on mine as well.

    Looks like there are two options:
    1. With longer bars, I will plan to carry the two kayaks upside down with hull straps, double bow lines and stern tie down
    2. With shorter bars, I will carry one kayak upside down, the other with Thule J cradle - hull straps, double bow lines and stern tie down.

    My preference is option 1.
    Bruce

    Wilderness System, Thresher 155

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    153

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    Absolutely horrible, but I used to carry two yaks, a 16' and a 14' on my Subaru factory racks and my Jeep racks all the time. One in a J cradle, the other deck down. I did it from chincoteague to Kipto pretty regularly. I don't condone it, but I did it in my youth until,, I don't know, last year when I started reading kayaking threads,,,,, I also a own survival suit and ePirb now. ; )
    13' Sand Revo
    16' Yellow Tarpon
    10' Red Ocean Tandem
    Old Red Cherokee

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