Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

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Corum
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Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Corum » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:26 am

I have read the regulations about the overhang at the front and back of your car for a load carried on the roof rack. I have a short car (modern mini) and have worked out that the longest kayak I can fit on the roof is approximately 14 feet (using the regulations).

Sea cannoes start at about 15 feet and are usually longer. I have an eye on a plastic (financial considerations) sea kayak over 16 feet although I need to try out a few alternatives and spend a lot more time on the water first.

Is anyone using a sea kayak at roughly 14 feet? Alternatively is anyone carrying a kayak longer than this on an equivalent car? What are the options for someone with a short car I would be keen to able to move the kayak on my own when needed?

Bards
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Bards » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:20 am

I store a few mates' boats at mine (one of them used to belong to me, in fact) and a couple of them (Perception Carolina and Dagger Charleston plastics) are I thought 14ft? I still use them at times in preference to my 17foot fibreglass, and they are perfectly credible as sea boats. Not sure what standard you intend them to perform to in what time scale, and whilst they are not the most freely edgable boats out there, I've been out in some rough stuff and initially learned to roll in the Carolina and I wouldn't get too hooked up on length (the actual functional waterline length is probably not so huge...) or plastic/glass issue.
I still tend to do some paddling in them, especially if trolling for fish at the same time due to their better hands-free stability. If you are looking for a boat as an intro/intermediate level then I'd get a S/H plastic 14footer for a good price, knowing that you'd always get your money back for it if planning to upgrade later, or even if it turns out sea kayaking doesn't fit as well as you thought...; no need to kayak-complicate your life too much too early ;-) After all, if you get the full-on bug, you might be chipping in the Mini and getting an estate/T4/Bongo in due course anyway - you know you'll want to! ;-)
Any issue relating to road insurance legality always has scope for landing you (and more importantly a Third Party potential claimant...) in the poop, and your apparent circumspection there is a credit; plenty of paddlers would disagree, but not this one...

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:34 pm

The Mini is a great car for transporting sea kayaks. The genuine Mini roof rack which is a bolt on fitting onto inserts in the roof is totally solid. You can bounce the cars suspension by putting weight on the bow of the sea kayak, it is completely solid.

I use some fluorescent streamers on the bow and stern. These photos show a full size Cetus and an Alaw Bach on my Mini. I have driven all over Scotland, had it over the ferries to the islands and driven to Poole and Weymouth on my way to Jersey.

No one has ever said anything including the time I was directed into a layby for a random road check by Police who were checking tax disks, tyres and probably drinking, because some drivers in the queue got breathalysed.

Image

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My daughter took these photos when she was mucking about with a new camera at Christmas.

Douglas

PS my dear Bards, please allow me to disagree, I consider I have the sea kayaking bug but I would be seen dead in an
estate/T4/Bongo
:o)

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adrian j pullin
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by adrian j pullin » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:37 pm

Or buy a grown up car? :-)
Cheers

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tannys
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by tannys » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:07 pm

I use my Perception Carolina 14 on the sea all the time with no problems, Any around that length should manage well but obviously won't be quite as good as the longer slimmer sea kayaks, for going in a straight line etc, The slightly shorter length means I can if I wish go onto river more easily than i could with a longer boat

Can't help with the car, we have a Skoda Octavia which just happens to be around 14 ft long
"Paddle solo, sleep tandem"

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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Bards » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:21 pm

Yes, I thought that comment on vehicle choice might provoke comment ;-)

Could I just point out I've never as yet succumbed to this DarkSide, and thank God I've now been duly pulled back into line before I debauched myself by a proper-thinking Caledonian 'Closet Kraut'. Just in time, Douglas ;-)

The juxtaposition of 'Mini' and 'Bach' has a strange, linguistic/cultural appeal, though I feel a similar take on a horsedrawn 'Romany' would get a few looks ;-O

Right, I've got to cycle off and collect my daughter from school... on a Dawes, incidentally, which despite it's panniers (no hinges...) would struggle a tad with even a small folding boat (though these types seem to have it sorted!!!

Bards

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:39 pm

Sorry for being a wind up!

A full size kayak on a Mini is perfectly legal. A big kayak like a Cetus is 5.5m long. On a Mini (by that complicated 60% calculation) you are allowed 45cm overhang in front of the front bumper. The Mini is 3.7m long so the total overhang is 1.8m and the rear overhang is 1.35m long. The regulations say that for a rear overhang of between 1m and 2m you must attach a visible marker (it does not have to be a board, a bright hi-vis cloth will suffice, assuming it's a fair size). If it's during lighting up times, then it will need to be lit. I use a bike rear LED light at night and fluorescent streamers day and night.

So you can drive a Mini and paddle a proper sea kayak. It's a Mimi adventure!

Douglas

Mark Steel
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Mark Steel » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:03 pm

I thought I read on another forum that the regulations were for commercials and not private cars, but could still run into probs if deemed unsuitable to be on the road by the police officer involved, so I used to carry my tahe marine reval 18'2 on my metro, never had a problem, still got the boat but not the metro.

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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by mick m » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:39 pm

Have a close look at the dager Alcamy, its got the same lines as the Mariner Coster, a 14ft boat that reached colt statis ,My F1 skin on frame is a direct copy and the best boat iv paddled in years, and I can load it up for 4 day trips, role on the short boat revalution , I think P&H may have a new short boat to ?

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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by chrism » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:On a Mini (by that complicated 60% calculation) you are allowed 45cm overhang in front of the front bumper.
I've missed that reg - did somebody have a link? Not that it's an issue - even with a long boat I tend not to overhang the front that much on an estate car, given the load distribution is better with more rear overhang (also means people are less likely to bump themselves on your boat if you reverse into a parking space).

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:11 pm

Regulation 11 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 refers to the permitted front overhang on certain classes of vehicles:
Heavy motor car and motor car - the maximum overhang is 60 percent of the distance between the transverse plane which passes through the centre or centres of the foremost wheel or wheels and the transverse plane which passes through the foremost point from which the overhang is to be measured.
No internet link, only available in print form from HMSO.

Douglas

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MikeD
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by MikeD » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:30 am

Not a mini... but I know the feeling...

Image

This was taken just two days after buying the car, we were just finished packing for our summer trip to Sweden. A Cetus LV & a Quest LV, no problems...

Mike

Corum
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Corum » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:50 pm

Thanks for the help, it does not look like its a big an issue as I thought.

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maryinoxford
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by maryinoxford » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:24 pm

I'm sure someone once posted a photo of a Mini loaded with several sea kayaks, I think on the Isle of Mull. Island police are probably more easy-going than on the mainland, so best not to take it as a precedent, but it was interesting to see what can be carried.
Not in Oxford any more...

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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:47 pm

Hello Mary,

That was probably me at the 2006 Mull storm gathering. When I got stopped by the police random road check, it was just outside of Glasgow but as explained above, carrying a full size sea kayak is perfectly legal on a Mini, if you stick to the front overhang, as outlined in the regulations. I am not 100% sure Mike D's lovely Quest LV quite fits the UK regs but I am sure Scandanavian regs are more generous! :o)

Douglas

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Mr Ed
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Mr Ed » Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:55 pm

I've got a VW polo and in the manual it state the weight limit on the roof bars to be 25kg. I only have one boat but was wondering if it would be an issue to load two. Has anyone had any problems over-weighting their roof with two or more kayaks on a small car?

Cheers

Mr Ed

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:46 pm

Hello Mr Ed, did you see that series of clips with a Reliant Robin going round corners on Top Gear recently?

Image
Despite its name, the Mini is actually quite a big car (on the outside) and its roof rack load is 75kg. Even so, sometimes even a Mini is not enough.

Douglas

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Mr Ed
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Mr Ed » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:47 pm

I see!

So it's more about altering the centre of gravity and handling rather than the weight on the actual roof....

Hmmmm. Probably not a good idea to be putting another boat on there then!

Thanks for the link!

Cheers

Mr Ed

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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by horis karloff » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:57 pm

Maybe a long kayak cradle from ebay would help

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... :MESELX:IT

car in pic is a Corsa, kayak 17 1/4ft

chickenshed1
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by chickenshed1 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:16 pm

Mr Ed: I used to carry my racing kite buggy (aprox 40kg) on a special frame (aprox 15kg) on the roof rack on a Polo. I could drive at 70mph without it causing any problems other than massive fuel bills and as long as I took it gently round corners I was perfectly happy driving. I regularly carry a canadian canoe on the roof now, sometimes with a kayak as well.

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usuallycrocked
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by usuallycrocked » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:40 pm

I had this made for me by Karitek
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Though my car is quite big (a Honda CRV), the bars are only just over 2 feet apart and in a fixed position. It's a bit of a beast to attach to the bars, but once it is on I can also load the boat over the back of the car.
Image
The bits sticking up in the background are my Thule carriers- it fits on beside them. I'm definitely happier at normal driving speeds when the boat is on this.

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Northern Kayaker
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by Northern Kayaker » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:57 pm

I know I'm a bit late to this thread but I have read it with interest - I never knew there was a rule about the size of boat you can carry on your car and I drive a Nissan Micra!!!

I have been all over Scotland with said boat and car and no one bats an eyelid!

My friend sent me a link to this thread because I am currently trying to work out if I could get 2 sea kayaks and 2 river boats on the roof! I'm also planning to get T bars so I can take 2 canoes (don't worry, I won't be going very far!).

Here's Jimmy in action:

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Mary

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PeterG
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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by PeterG » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:53 pm

You can always be prosecuted for an unsafe load, so it is good to tie them down well, so they don't look insecure.

We have had two incidents in our club over the years. In one case a pedestrian, crossing the road behind a parked car with a kayak on the roof hit their head on the kayak hard enough to need an ambulance. It didn't have a flag of any sort on the overhang and indeed might not have been thought to need one since it didn't exceeded 1m on the estate car; however, the paddler was prosecuted and fined a small amount for carrying an unsafe load. It was not clear if a flag would have helped. A long boat on a small car might be more visible and hence safer in this regard.

In the other case a bus hit the end of the kayak overhanging the road when 'chevron' parked, damaging the car more than the kayak, though both need first aid. The kayak did have a flag on it and eventually some compensation was forth coming, though the bus driver who was very probably speeding in a 20mph urban zone was not prosecuted and argued that the kayak was at fault.

However, this is the lot in many hundreds of thousands of miles driving over the years. Careful parking seems to be the answer.

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Re: Carrying a sea kayak on a mini roof rack

Post by heel-R » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:24 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Regulation 11 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 refers to the permitted front overhang on certain classes of vehicles:
Heavy motor car and motor car - the maximum overhang is 60 percent of the distance between the transverse plane which passes through the centre or centres of the foremost wheel or wheels and the transverse plane which passes through the foremost point from which the overhang is to be measured.
No internet link, only available in print form from HMSO.

Douglas
So, when do you need a red cloth or any kind of sign (reflective or not)?
In this case it seems a yellow strap, in both tips, bow and stern.
Image

Here is an Internet link
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1986 ... on/11/made

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