alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Kayak roof mount
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Author Topic: Kayak roof mount  (Read 282 times)
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JasonGotaPenn
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« on: June 08, 2021, 03:16:57 PM »

Does anyone have one of the soft kayak mounts that go on a car without a roof rack? And if so do you like it? I'm not gonna commit to a full time roof rack that will only be used occasionally. And if it comes down to it pool noodles and bungie cords would likely work in a pinch. But I'd like to do something a bit better if possible.

Looking at reviews but there's so much fake feedback out there that a pile of splendid customer reviews on their own are not necessarily proof of anything. What a time to be alive.

What I normally do is read the one star reviews, where you learn that everyone hates everything. But I tend to look for patterns to see what failures are common. But in this case, other than all the inflatable ones failing, its difficult to discern true product faults from user error, because there's a ton of user error in that category.
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 05:01:37 PM »

Yeah. Its all about selling it, huh. If possible, I tryn look for products/companies that have return customers.

I gave up up on the fancy-schmancy stuff from Hobbie or Yakima, prolly good, but so expensive. Buying the yak and transporting it home, showed me that packing foam and straps will work, but Id need help to get it up there without scratching the paint.
I fashioned my own outta galvanized pipe with u bolts and those pre-made cushions for surfboards. However, my Subie came with factory roof rails to attach the pipes to. I can lift it up there myself, but you godda be careful of your lower back.

A welcome-mat with rubber on the bottom works well for protecting the paint on the edge of the vehicles body, when pushing it up there.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 06:01:19 AM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 07:15:15 PM »

There are no good solutions except permanent racks.  None of the soft racks or clamp-on racks are dependable enough for highway driving with a kayak.  There is too much wind resistance and you could kill yourself or someone else.

What kind of car?  Many vehicles have a rail for attaching racks under two plastic strips that run the length of the roof.  They look like trim or rain gutters and you would never know they are there until you peel back the plastic strip.  If your vehicle if offered with roof racks as an optional accessory then the rails will already be there.  

I have fabricated numerous sets of permanent racks using aluminum tubing and the existing rails or by just drilling holes in the roof for attachment.  My wife freaked out the first time I did it but then her friends in the canoe club wanted me to do the same for them.

If you drill holes in the roof then you want to first find the cross members lying between the velour head liner, foam insulation and the sheet metal roof.  The cross members will give you a firm attachment that does not bounce on the highway.  Find the cross members by sticking a needle through the velour headliner and foam.  Use EPDM or neoprene gaskets on the outside to keep the water out.  No welding required.  More details available upon request.

New vehicles don't have proper rain gutters and do not accept clamp-on racks very well.  You'll destroy the door gasket material.  If you go with clamp-on or soft racks then be sure to put straps from the bow and stern to the front and rear bumper.  That will at least reduce the chance of a catastrophe if you take it easy.  Some people just use towels or a door mat to protect the finish when sliding the kayak up onto the noodles.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 07:37:55 PM by oc1 » Logged
foakes
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2021, 07:57:37 PM »

For me, I would not even consider a temporary soft roof rack.

The cars and SUVs today are made of a metal similar to a soda can.  A thumb will dent them a kayak with wind resistance will at least scratch, dent, cave in or slide off the roof into other traffic potentially causing a disaster that you would be responsible and liable for.

I built a kayak trailer from one bought at Harbor Freight for a couple of REI 12 footers.  Got the kayak mountings from Amazon for $40 a pair (2 kayaks).

If set on a roof mount consider going with universal cross racks that fasten to the inside door roof jambs.

They can be removed and installed easily.

So for $100 plus a set of compression straps and a tie-down line front and rear you are good to go with no risk.

Best,

Fred


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« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 07:59:25 PM by foakes » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2021, 12:21:34 AM »

If I do go the soft route I'm honestly looking at it as padding, for a kayak that will be secured by tow straps  that even Fred would describe as overkill. I definitely don't think any of the straps that come included with any of the sets I have seen so far would meet my expectations.

I'm open to a hard rack though. I just wanna get off the shore.

07 4dr honda civic (the Si not some DX BS), for reference.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 04:13:32 AM by JasonGotaPenn » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2021, 03:45:20 AM »

Fred is correct about soft racks.  I have seen people with straps going in through the right rear window and back out through the left rear window.  Talk about inconvenient.  But, you do have a very tight and firm belly strap.
 Combined with bow and stern lines you might even get enough stability for residential travel.

If you go with the Thule-like clamp-on then thoroughly research whether the feet will fit your car.  
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 03:50:51 AM by oc1 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2021, 05:33:31 AM »

Heres what I had before I got a van to stick the yak into(not gonna put the kayak back up on the Subie, if I can avoid it). Pic.2)
the U bolts holding the cushioned pipes. Pic.1) pipe foam cushioned moderate duty crank-straps that hook onto steel rings.
Now, I never had to slam on my brakes, nor was I rear-ended, or did I hit anyone else, so I dont know in case a something like that, if the yak would stay put. Force = Mass x Velocity, so, I drove pretty slowlyeasy to do at 4:30AM here and our max. Island Speed is 50mph. Worrying about that, though, I did have bow and stern straps the first 20 or so times I transported it.

Your deal might be how to cross strap the yak. Can you leave the windows cracked and bring the strap through? Can your roof handle the weight? Mine weighs ~70lbs.


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« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 06:03:34 AM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2021, 08:04:29 PM »

Lots of horror stories on other fishing forums of  kayaks ripping roof racks off on the highway.  The yaks can generate a lot of lift with a lot of leverage, especially those wide, long, extra stable SOTs used for ocean fishing when  mounted right side up on the rack.  It seems that the common thread in the failures is not using well secured tie downs from the bow and stern to the front and back bumpers.  Don't know how practical this is if your yak is long and your car is short.

-J

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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 12:53:10 PM »

I am meeting someone today to get the thule roof rack (used, at a price comparable to what I'd buy an amazon POS for) that is made to fit my car. It'll likely be used for a lot more than just a kayak (mostly things smaller than the 'yak but bigger than my back seat), but when it is used for a kayak or anything else with a lot of surface area it'll be attached to hard points on the frame of my car, bow and stern, with an oversized tow strap (and if I can't find satisfactory hard points I will create them) and will be additionally be tied down by paracord that goes around the kayak and through the front and back doors to tie crosswise. And I will not take it on the highway unless I absolutely cannot go a different way (there's certain bridges that are unavoidable but other than that...)

Though i may initially take it on the highway when it's empty at like 2am for a test run so i can feel good about it at non highway speeds.

I know that attaching anything to the roof of my car involves risk, and some of that can never be mitigated by anything other than not doing it. But that can be said about a lot of things. I mean heck, I literally had a wheel fall off a few months ago. Nothing about driving is safe. How many horror stories are out there about boats disconnecting from trailers or trailers coming off hitches? In theory those chains don't do anything, until something goes wrong, and thats why people use them. We are responsible for the consequences of our actions. Even if not legally, at least morally. I think this can be done reasonably safely. But only if it's done right.
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2021, 02:15:48 PM »

I think you made a good decision, Jason

Best, Fred
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2021, 02:48:01 PM »

Yup. I dont have a yak, but as I recall you are moving into a new place, and likely those hard racks will come in handy to transport something there, be it wood or whatever. or a rod carrier.
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JasonGotaPenn
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2021, 03:45:46 PM »

Yup. I dont have a yak, but as I recall you are moving into a new place, and likely those hard racks will come in handy to transport something there, be it wood or whatever. or a rod carrier.
You, my good sir, have hit on the exact description/excuse I gave my wife for why I must make this purchase right exactly now.

And it's getting its first test run tomorrow morning with a ladder.
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2021, 03:53:07 PM »

BAM. cheaper than a new truck. by about 58K.
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2021, 06:32:38 PM »

I am meeting someone today to get the thule roof rack (used, at a price comparable to what I'd buy an amazon POS for) that is made to fit my car.

that really is the best bet. I got the cheap universal racks for my Sport Trac, after pricing new Yakimas at about $800. The cheapos worked OK until driving canoes through high winds on the plains of CO, the bars started to slide out of their clamps.. lucky I had the fore and aft tiedowns on as well.
After that I found some old Yakima clamps on ebay that work with an old Yakima round bar from my old minivan, much better.

Don't worry about highway with the yak on your new racks. I've done over 300 000 miles with assorted canoes on assorted cars, Yakima racks, high speeds and bad weather, never had an issue.
NRS straps are the best.
One of the advantages of a front and rear tiedown, is you can see these ropes while driving, can easily tell if the boat is shifting..

Looking at reviews but there's so much fake feedback out there that a pile of splendid customer reviews on their own are not necessarily proof of anything. What a time to be alive.

made me laugh, thanks ;-)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 06:34:53 PM by DougK » Logged
Gfish
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2021, 07:49:35 PM »

Alright!  Most important to me, would be to just cruise slowly around and away from traffic to test/check stability, then gradually build up to hwy. speeds, especially testing on curves and cross winds.

I needed to get that kinda behavior into my thinking/actions when Is younger. Based on my own youthful mistakes, Im trying to get my Daughters husband to approach outdoor stuff like that. Kids just like I was, charges right into stuff, only hes marriedto MY daughter!. My days of youthful folly were before Is married. You took MY DAUGHTER whitewater rafting with no training, guide or experience, and she fell out!!! He prolly knew how Id react, but I think I ruined the end of his vacation here, so I guess it was good that he/they showed-up, but the times Ive seen him since then, he wont look at, or talk to me. Little brat daughter snuck-up on us and video recorded it. Ah well, his bruised ego is collateral damage, as long as he remembers.
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