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J bars and strapping down

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:49 am
by bob notts
Hi folks, I have two perception kayaks and a Saab 9-5 estate. I usually only use one kayak and can get it in my Saab or on my roof bars but I am looking into J bars to put both my yaks on my roof.

In the pics I have seen the kayaks are strapped to the j bars which are then bolted to the roof bars with bolts with plastic heads you tighten by hand. Myself as a retired engineer am cringing at this set up and I am wondering if people put the kayak on the j bars but strap to the roof bars instead as a stronger and more secure option?

Many thanks. Bob.

Re: J bars and strapping down

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:34 am
by Mrstratos61
Strap through j bar but secure to roof bar is what I did for precisely the reason you give.

Re: J bars and strapping down

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:57 am
by Chris Bolton
…bolts with plastic heads you tighten by hand. Myself as a retired engineer am cringing at this set up…
I haven't seen those, but would also cringe.

I don't see the point of J bars; uprights are all you need, and strap down to the roof bar. Kayaks are robust enough to sit happily on edge on the roof bars. Unless the J bar is custom made the profile is unlikely to match the boat anyway. You have to lift the boat higher to get it onto the bar. With two boats, you need two pairs of J bars but only one pair of uprights.

Re: J bars and strapping down

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:33 am
by davebrads
Uprights are the way to go. You can get 3 or 4 boats secure on a rack with 1 pair of uprights depending on the length of the bars, you usually can't get more than 2 boats on a rack with the type of J bar the OP is describing. I have my uprights set up offset to one side of the car so I can get my boat on easily close to the end of the bar, I can then put up to 3 boats on the other side when necessary.

Re: J bars and strapping down

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:12 pm
by Jim
Sound like very badly designed Js.
I wanted to carry my sea kayak in Js, but never really found any that fitted properly. I would suggest you measure your rack space and ask to try any Js against your boat at that spacing before you buy to make sure they are going to fit sensibly, otherwise as already said, you will gain nothing over straight uprights. In the end I custom built cradles for my sea kayak and WWR K1, I keep meaning to do some for my WWR C1 but it sits against uprights more happily than the other 2. My slalom boats just go against uprights, as do PE boats.