Carrying sea Kayaks on car^

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kevr
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Carrying sea Kayaks on car^

Post by kevr » Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:17 am

Hi,

Thinking of getting a couple of sea Kayaks (17 feet), the problem is that I'm not sure if I can get them on the roof of the car. We have a Peugot Combi Partner the roof is quite short. Has anyone got a combi Partner or something similar (ie Kango or Belingo) they carry Kayaks on.

Cheers,

Kev

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:18 pm

Hi,
I have not carried kayaks on the cars you mention. Having transported canoes and kayaks on small cars of other makes, I'd say it should not be too difficult. If you tie down the bow and stern to the bumpers, the kayaks should not be able to twist. Something like this:

Image

A friend once had an Autobianchi, which was more like a go-kart for two. For hauling his kayak he had an aluminium ladder fixed to his car rack with brackets, but this should not be necessary in your case. There is also the Yakima hitch rack:

Image
The older I get, the better I used to be.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:32 pm

I'm fairly sure Cailean MacLeod has one (or something similar) and frequently carries two 18' sea boats. A friend has something even smaller, a Renault Clio and carries her 18' sea boat on it.

If the car has roof rails on it that (to my mind anyway) always helps as they give a more secure mount for the cross bars. If you use the J cradles available from KCS or KariTec (links in the Almanac / retailers page) then that helps too.

Also probably worth using bow and stern ties as well, on a shortish car, or indeed any car (!) although I have to confess I don't on my own car.

On that subject, what do folk do with regard to mounting systems / tie-downs??? (Thinking of a future article for the Almanac).

Mike.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:39 pm

Mike>
I'm fairly sure Cailean MacLeod has one (or something similar) and frequently carries two 18' sea boats.
Yes he does. Cailean's wheels are bottom right.

Douglas

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foxy
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Post by foxy » Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:42 pm

I've been transporting canoes and sea kayaks on the roof of my Vauxhall Combi van, almost the same as yours, no problem at all, I do tend to put a bow line and a stern line to the tow eyes, just to make sure. My mate also had the Peugeot Partner for ages and we often put two open canoes - 16 footers- on the roof of that, again no problem.
Nemo Malus Felix

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Vulch
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Post by Vulch » Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:03 pm

Kirton Kayaks (Crediton, Devon) sell "V" bars - two aluminium "V"s connected by an aluminium bar about 2m long. Hard to described, but sort of V_______V This is attached to the horizontal roof bars with two sort of hooped double ended bolts and a cross piece (supplied). I can fit two to my 405 and these take sea kayaks easily (my Trek is something like 5.4m long - not sure what that is in old money.) There is also no need to tie at bow and stern as I experience almost no bouncing at all. Be aware that some roof rails (running parallel to the direction of travel) are just bolted to the thin roof section of the car - this is the case with my 405. I have one roof bar attached to the roof rails and one at the fron attached to the normal site for attaching roof bars (on a car without roof rails). The front bar provides much more stability than the one at the back.

Hope this gives you some more ideas.


Vulch

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kevr
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Post by kevr » Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:48 pm

Thanks a lot, top info.

Cheers,

Kev

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:06 pm

Vulch wrote:There is also no need to tie at bow and stern as I experience almost no bouncing at all.
It's not bounching that worries me, it's the thought of the entire assembly coming off the roof! And I know two people it's happened to last year, and another where the front tie ropes on a similar V system came off the end of the cross-bar, allowing the boat to lift and pivot at speed, resulting in it lifting off, bending the rear cross-bar and badly denting the rear of the vehicle before coming off the roof and bouncing down the road collecting significnat damage while doing so. Thankfully, no other damage or injury.

That said, I maybe put too much faith in my integral roof bars (note your comment about those as well!) and the Thule clamps on Thule bars.

Not to mention the bolts securing my J bars to the cross-bars, or the straps themselves. So many potential failure points.

On which note, a well-known brand of strap I've used for years now provides straps where the buckle is only secured with one line of stitching where the strap doubles back to secure it!! Most seem to use a square or rectangular pattern, often with a diganonal as well. Which seems much better.

Needless to say, having had the single line of stitching come partially undone, thankfully spotted before the strap was used again, I'm loath to use the replacement which is made in exactly the same way. Worth a look? I've also had a strap break, although in fairness, it was an old one which had consistently been subject to wear in a specific place.

It would be interesting to understand the lifting / aerodynamic forces involved with driving at 70 (or more?) with a sea boat on the roof. After the strap incidents mentioned above, I now strap the boat to the J bar, AND run ANOTHER strap round the boat AND the cross bar.

I guess I should bow and stern tie as well, but I'm wary of paint damage to the car as a bow line always seems to touch the front of the car. Not a problem with a car with a short bonnet I guess.

Mike

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Post by Dave Thomas » Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:22 pm

I have to say that I am unconvinced regarding bow and stern lines except as a way of tethering the boat to the car (and therefore hopefully minimising collateral damage to other cars and their occupants) if the rack or lashings should fail. eg a bow line might limit the consequences of the lifting and pivotting failure you describe, Mike.

I only tend to use bow and stern lines routinely in very windy conditions. The boat is sitting on KCS polypropylene cradles, which give a lot of bounce both vertically and transversely in gusty conditions. It does not seem possible to limit that bounce significantly with a reasonable tension in the lines. But hopefully if the bars/straps were to fail, the outfit might be kept from careering along the road following it's own destiny!

I am not over-impressed with the roof rails on my Peugeot 406 estate. Having heard of a couple of cases where a rail has snapped near the front end, I have the clamps of my front bar (Thule) bridging the joint between rail and front 'foot' in an attempt to keep it coupled to the roof whatever happens!

Dave Thomas

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Post by CaileanMac » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:07 pm

Hi Kevr,

As detectives Buckley & Wilcox righty point out I am the proud owner of a Peugeot Partner Combi van. Biggest problem with carrying sea boats on it is not it's length but it's height as you will discover - it's a few inches higher than average car/van combi and you might end up with holding kayaks on your finger tips and out stretched toes.

However don't despair there is answer - loading them from the back as apposed to the side and sliding them direct into a J cradles (a bit of a delicate operation at times) or v cradles which I would recommend. Have been carrying 3 sea boats on my roof several days a week last season (7 months) without any hassle but I do have a tradesman/heavy duty roofrack from Rhino which is 'bomber'. The other roofrack options for the Peugeot partner combi weren't that great (2years ago). The Roofrack Shop (www.roofrackshop.co.uk ) were very helpful when I bought mine from them.

If that's windy that you need bow / stern lines - drive a little slower to and from your on water experiences. Less resistance = less diesel/petrol used & it's less stress/strain on your roofrack and sea kayak! Also my experiences of other people tying off your bow/stern lines is that they always do it too tight and you hear that distressing 'moaning' noise coming from your kayak!

CaileanMac

PS - So who can guess first, who the other Partner Combi van belongs in Douglas's photo - it's got a golden glass avocet on the roof! One for all the 'kayakspotters'!

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Post by RichardCree » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:09 pm

Sean Morley??

Andy Wilson
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Post by Andy Wilson » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:34 pm

I have a Berlingo and have no problem with sea kayaks.

The integral roof bars are too narrow when used in the cross ways position so I leave them length ways and have 2 Thule roofbars with central uprights. I load by hand from the side and use a small plastic step (available from any hardware store) to gain the extra height so that it isn't a struggle. The step lives in the boot of the car for just such occasions.

Alternatively buy an old Skoda and just strap them straight to the roof!

Andy

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Post by stroud149 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:16 pm

I too have a Berlingo - I too find loading from the side a pain as the roof is a bit on the high side. Loading from the rear is easier..... My main problem is the sea kayak moving sideways in the wind over the roof bars - so tie it down around the feet.

The Berlingo roof bars sold by Citroen/Peugeot are to be avoided - go Thule or somebody else.

I do tie down front and rear to reduce bouncing, but more to reduce the risk of my Orion flying off too quickly when the straps fail. (Not happened yet, TG)
I'd rather be paddling....

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:22 pm

And for those seeking a "gadget" solution to high vehicles / short folk, look at the KariTek offering here

Mind you, the plastic stool is cheaper. Mike.

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Tying the ends down

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:26 pm

A couple of people have suggested that it's not important to tie down the ends of sea kayaks. I nearly always tie mine down.

Several people have lost boats in this situation, in some cases due to breakage of the roof rack; no amount of care in tying the boat to the rack will help if the rack breaks.

The instructions for most racks point out that long loads should be tied down; certainly Thule's do. A boat which is lost at speed is usually wrecked; if the rack instructions haven't been followed, both boat and car insurance will refuse to pay out. More seriously, there is a significant chance that a flying sea boat will injure or kill somebody. A nasty thing to have on either your conscience or your bank balance.

Chris

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ChrisS
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Post by ChrisS » Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:32 pm

Its worth bearing in mind that if you drive at anything over 72mph you are creating conditions on your roof equivalent to Beaufort Force 12 (hurricane). I've been on two trips in the last year or so in which a boat has flown off the roof of another car. Now I tend not to rely simply on two straps if I plan to travel at motorway speeds.

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Post by Owen » Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:48 pm

On anything but local trips I put two long straps around the boat and them through the car; so that the ratch is inside the car. You need a 4 door. They don't get in the way when driving and the boat is strapped to the car and not just the rack.
I have a friend who has a Berlingo he puts the rear rack right at the back of his car. He has a very flattened out V shaped cradle set, he can put the front of his boat on the rear cradle and slid his boat straight on. Very handy for loading solo.

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councildog
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Post by councildog » Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:04 pm

I once saw two full size open canoes on the roof
of a Toyota Yaris side by side. My god they looked massive.

Vole
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Post by Vole » Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:19 pm

If you transport a long boat, either a sea kayak or open canoe, then I believe that you must tie the ends of the boat to the front and back of the car. This helps to stabilise the load in a cross wind, and from buffeting from lorries etc.

If the towing eyes are on one side of the car, then you need a pair of posts or other upright attached to the roof rack to stop the boats from being pulled off on that side of the car.

The end ties have several overall jobs
1) stabilise
2) keep the boat down (don't forget the widscreen creates up draught)
3) the lines assist you locating the ends of the boat while reversing and other manovers.

Lastly...

DON'T FORGET A RED FLAG ON THE END.
If the boat extends bejond the end of the car, you need to make other road users aware that it is there.

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Post by RichardCree » Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:15 pm

I nearly lost 2 brand new kayaks from the roof last year, the Thule roofrack broke at the foot, the boats still on the rack then went upwards, i braked hard and they slammed down as i pulled in to the hard shoulder. i now always tie down kayaks at the front, or use the trailer.

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jayno55
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Post by jayno55 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:30 pm

Cailean

Here's a gadget that might help you with the height and tieing down problem if your chariot is van-shaped with no rear side doors to open and give you a sill:

http://www.prolineracks.com/step200-tire-step.html

Looks like it would be simple/cheap for any local welder to make. Though thinking about it, it would be as easy to carry a simple footstool around with you.

John

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active4seasons
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Post by active4seasons » Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:50 pm

John,
I hope you are not suggesting Cailean is vertically challenged!

I have a feeling anything secured to a vehicle should have two independent tying systems, also nothing should extend more than 3 feet (old money) beyond either end of the vehicle without some warning flag?
Can't be bothered to check the validity of this but I would make sure that your insurance covers the damage caused by any flying objects from your vehicle!
I have seen plenty of unsafe loads whilst driving so better to be safe than sound, it only takes an extra five minutes at most to tie a bow and stern line.
As a note of caution make sure the line comes vertically down to the eye or hitch as otherwise you may be creating further stress.
Ollie
Developing Desire for Adventure!

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foxy
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Post by foxy » Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:24 pm

One of the major advantages of vans is that you can bolt the roof rack/bars straight through the roof with a big washer and nut and bolt - bomber!!
I was intrigued by the idea of straps passing through the doors inside the car - I had an incident recently where the tail of a strap was trapped in the door, during the night it rained heavily and water wicked into the car down the strap - soaking the seat of the car (which I had borrowed). So if you do put straps through the car be aware that if it rains there's every chance you may get dripped on!
Nemo Malus Felix

Owen
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Post by Owen » Sat Jan 07, 2006 6:30 pm

Foxy,
It must depend on what your straps are made of mine seem ok (touch wood) they only get a bit damp. My car's so old and full of holes that it wouldn't make that much difference anyway.

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Post by andreadawn » Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:29 am

The height problem is easily solved with a short ladder. Mine has a block of wood covered in foam padding attatched to the top so I can just lean it against the side of my campervan (8'6" high) to tie the boat on.

To load it, I just slide it on from the rear. I've not had any problems doing this on a windy day. A piece of closed cell foam covering the bar helps to stop the boat sliding off sideways.

Andrea.

tenboats1
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Post by tenboats1 » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:09 pm

We have a Kango car to which I have bolted an extra long roof bar, using a custom foot. The bolt goes into the roof at the manufacturers fixing point.

This puts the bars quite wide appart compared to most cars.

The extra wide bars allow 2 open canoes side by side.

I had a crash some months ago, nothing too serious. The canoe and roof rack stayed in place no bother.

I use ratchet straps and tie the ends of the boat back to the roof rack rather than the bumper area. Works for me, but I don't drive above 60 with 2 opens.

Kango; great paddlers car if you cn cope with the height for loading. Which I can for sea kayaks, but not for open canoes, hence it will be sold next month.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:18 pm

Ideas, hints, tips and illustrations for tieing boats on cars here

Mike.

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Helen H
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Post by Helen H » Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:21 pm

Thanks, Mike. Perfect timing for tips for tying kayak to roofrack. We fitted one to our car last weekend.

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Clamping a pair of uprights to aerobars?

Post by Jonathan. » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:57 am

After a bit of a battle I got the money back on my Skoda-supplied v-bars after a spring popped out, and now I need replacements.

I've found someone who makes uprights that clamp round aerobars, and wondered if anyone else has tried this system?
I thought the point of aerobars having a slot was so accessories could be slotted in - avoiding the need for clamps. So I asked the maker about the practicality of clamping steel to hollow section aluminium.

His response -
"The type I make fit most types of roof bars and are I believe safer as they clamp around the whole bar. I have never had any bad feedback about the clamping method".

I'm wondering if a pair of these uprights are worth the £25 (plus £8 carriage) asking price, or if I should spend more than twice the price on a pair of j-bars from the likes of Thule or Karitec.

Thoughts anyone?

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:16 pm

Well, I'd rather transport a glass boat in nice wide padded cradles than resting on a 2 inch wide steel bar, even with foam round it.

That said, uprights do work fine as well and my personal experience has never shown any problems with clamping to an alu box section. I have to say I'm not a fan of aero bars as the rounded profile worries me a little. Unless whatever you mount sits absolutely square (and I've always had to angle them a little to get them parallel to each other owing to the sloope of the roof) then there's a risk of them coming loose as one "side" of the mount will be lower than the other and with a rounded top section they could slip more easily than with a square section.

It's also worth checking that whatever you buy will actually fit the bars - some of them are quite wide.

Most canoe shops stock uprights - if you have one local then save the postage!

Mike.
Last edited by MikeB on Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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