Kayaking is the right mix of exploration and enjoyment. It allows you to explore nature and explore yourself. Kayaking can open a whole new world to you. This is why you need to learn how to tie your boat on top of your car properly. It will help keep your kayak boat safe and secure. Transporting a kayak may look daunting at first. However, you can learn this art with our detailed guide.
If you love kayaking, you must know how to transport a kayak before buying the boat. It is not an ordeal. However, you should learn how to load your kayak on top of your car. It can help avoid any costly consequences. Keeping the boat secure on top of a vehicle is important. Kayaks come in different shapes and dimensions. This is why understanding the core factors will help you gear up properly. Once you understand the requirements of security loading a boat on top of your car, you can transport your kayak with ease.
There are some elemental things that you need to know before moving forward with this guide. You need to learn about the different roof racks, kayak trailers, and truck beds. These will help you transport your boat from one place to another. So, you need to understand the different mediums of transportation.
One of the easiest ways to transport your kayak is a truck bed. It requires minimal effort. Truck beds are built to transport heavy-duty items and luggage. Therefore, a truck bed is ideal for transporting your kayak. You will only have to throw your kayak into the truck bed. Next, you can tie it down with a couple of ropes. If your boat is bigger than the truck bed, you can leave the tailgate down. It will help you with extra length.
So, truck beds are ideal for transporting a kayak. There is always enough room for a big boat. If you want extra support, you can also get helpful products that can extend your truck bed. Extend-A-Truck is a prime example of this. You can slide it into the hitch receiver of your truck bed. It will help you enjoy extra support for your boat. A truck bed is an easy and economical way to transport your boat. It is also among the safest methods of transportation.
Roof racks are also safe and ideal for transporting your kayak. These are built for heavy-duty transportation needs. So, you can get any of the following roof racks for your car and take the kayak with you.
J-Style Kayak Roof Racks
If you are looking for top-notch security and stability for your kayak, a j-style roof rack is your best option. You can quickly install this on top of your car. Additionally, it comes with pre-built rope hooks for an easy loading and unloading process.
Horizontal Roof Racks
A horizontal roof rack comes with secure anchors. You can quickly install this with screws. It will offer a stable place to transport your kayak without issues.
Vertical Roof Racks
You can install vertical roof racks with existing roof railings. These are meant to stand upwards and stop the kayak from falling. These are easy to install and can hold multiple boats simultaneously.
Lift-Assisted Kayak Roof Rack
If you wish to load your kayak on top of your car easily, a lift-assisted roof rack is your best bet. These reduce the weight of your boat, making it easier to load. Moreover, lift-assisted roof racks are sturdy and durable.
Inflatable Roof Rack
These roof racks offer a temporary place for your kayaks. Once you are done, you can take these off your car. These come with a quick installation method. Inflatable roof racks are also inexpensive.
If you want to take the extra step to ensure maximum protection for your boat, a kayak trailer is your answer. These are made specifically for transporting your kayak. Kayak trailers are sturdy and can be quickly attached to your vehicle. These trailers eliminate the need for roof racks and complex loading processes.
Kayak trailers offer a minimalist construction at your fingertips. Just load the kayak into the trailer, strap it down, and get ready for water exploration. There are also kayak trailers for carrying multiple boats simultaneously.
How Can You Transport A Kayak?
There are various methods of transporting your favorite kayak. These methods bring unique sets of pros and cons to the table. Therefore, let’s explore these in detail. It will help you find the best method of transportation according to your needs.
Transporting A Kayak with A Truck Bed
Your priority should be cleaning the truck bed. You should remove any hardware from your truck bed. Any hardware can easily damage your kayak. Once you have cleaned your truck bed, you can lay down a durable rubber mat on the bed.
This rubber mat will serve as extra padding between your boat and truck bed. The rubber padding will reduce the amount of friction during transportation. Therefore, it will protect your boat and truck bed from any damage. You can also use other padding materials for this.
If you think you can single-handedly load the kayak onto your truck bed, that’s up to you. In general, it takes two people to load a kayak properly. The first person holds up the front. The second person takes care of the rear end of the boat. You can take help from a friend.
Lower the tailgate and ask your friend to get up onto the truck bed. This person can hold up the front while you lift the rear end of your kayak. You can also lay down a rubber mat on your tailgate for extra padding. Keep moving forward until the front of your kayak has reached the end of your truck bed.
If your kayak is longer than the truck bed, you can leave the tailgate open. Some people try to close the tailgate with ropes. This can damage the rear of your kayak. So, you can leave the tailgate open without any issues.
Now that the kayak is safely in place, you can use ropes to tie it down. This way, your kayak will not keep sliding during transportation. It will further minimize any friction and damage to your favorite boat. You can also add a red flag or a sign to alert other drivers behind you.
Learn how to use a truck bed to transport your boat by Ricky Jones:
Transporting a Kayak with Roof Racks
Another popular method of transporting a kayak is the roof racks. You can either load your kayak by yourself or take help from a friend. Either option works fine in this case.
Loading The Kayak On Roof Racks by Yourself
If you think you have the strength to load your kayak by yourself, you can try these methods.
- The first method you can try is using a lift-assisted kayak rack system. These are meant to ease your burden and lighten the load of your boat. Such lift-assisted rack systems slide down on the side of your car. Therefore, you do not have to lift your boat too high. This way, you can load the boat on the side of your vehicle and strap it down with ropes. Next, you have to lift the rack system with the button or push mechanism. That’s it.
- Another method you can use is the rolling wheels and a standard rack system. You will have to lift the front of your kayak and place it on the rear end of your rack system. Once the front of your kayak is in place, you can push it forward. The rolling wheels will help it slide into place.
- Lastly, you can try placing a rubber matt or a towel on the rear end of your car. You can place the front end of your kayak on this towel and push it forward. Once the boat is in place, you can remove the towel and strap down your boat.
Loading The Kayak on Roof Racks with A Friend
If you do not want to load your kayak by yourself, you can ask for help. This will help ease your burden. Moreover, an extra set of hands will add more security to the loading process.
- Ask the other person to lift one end of the Kayak while you lift the other. One person has to be on the side of the vehicle in a parallel position. The other person can stand at the rear end of the vehicle. The bow of the boat should be towards the front of your vehicle.
- Now that you are in position, lift the kayak above your heads. Make sure to lift with your legs. Otherwise, you will throw out your back. Some boats weigh a lot.
- Now that the boat is above your heads, you can place it above the rack. Make sure to gently set it down on the rack without any sudden moves. The roof rack of your car will decide the proper position for your kayak.
- Once the kayak is in place, you can strap down the boat with ropes. Make sure to tighten the knots firmly.
Here is a helpful video from Perception Kayaks for loading your kayak on top of your car:
Transporting a Kayak with A Kayak Trailer
Kayak trailers are built specifically for transporting your boat. This is why these trailers require minimum effort. You only have to choose the right kayak trailer for yourself. The dimensions and design of this trailer will depend upon your boat.
All you have to do is pick up your kayak and slide it on top of the trailer. Since these trailers are very low to the ground, you should not have to lift the boat too high. It will ease your burden. Some trailers also come with rolling wheels. Therefore, you can place the front end of your boat on these wheels and push it forward.
There are multiple styles for kayak trailers in the market. If you want to carry multiple boats simultaneously, you can get stacked trailers or extra-wide trailers. This way, you can transport multiple boats simultaneously. However, you will need to take help with multi-kayak trailers. These trailers will require you to lift the boat above your head.
Learn how to transport your kayak with a trailer by Chad Hoover:
Properly Strapping Down the Boat
Just because you have loaded the boat on top of your car doesn’t mean your journey ends here. Properly tying down your boat is an elemental step in ensuring maximum security. Your boat will be vulnerable to jumps and friction during transportation. This is why you need to learn how to tie down your boat to your car properly.
You can use cam straps for maximum security and stability. These come with powerful buckles. You can easily use these buckles to strap down your boat tightly. This way, you will not have to deal with unsecured knots.
- Before getting started, you need to ensure that the kayak is in the center of your roof rack system. The boat should run parallel with the car.
- The first cam strap should be towards the stern of your boat. You can position the buckle in such a way that it rests gently on the side of your boat.
- The other end of your cam strap should go over the stern and towards the other side. You will loop it under the crossbar of your roof rack. Now, throw it back to the other side.
- Make your cam strap go through another loop underneath your roof rack. Now, cinch it down using the buckles on the strap. Make sure that the buckles are tightly in place and the boat is not loose.
- Repeat the process for the read end of your kayak.
- Now, make sure that the straps offer a snug fit against your boat. The straps should not be too tight. Otherwise, the straps will damage the boat during transportation.
- You can also add a safety strap in the middle of your boat. However, it is only necessary for bigger boats.
Kayaking lets you explore water bodies to your heart’s content. However, you have to get the kayak into the water to start exploring. This is why you will need to transport your kayak from your home to your favorite beach.
You will have to use your car or truck bed for this process. You can also take advantage of the kayak trailers for transporting your boat. All these methods offer security and stability if you understand how to load and strap your boat properly. This is why we have listed the different methods for your consideration.
You can ask your friends or load the boat by yourself. That choice depends upon your strength. In addition to this, you can use multiple products from the market for securing your boat. You can also use products to extend your truck bed for maximum support. If you want to transport multiple boards simultaneously, you can use kayak trailers or vertical roof racks. This will allow you to transport multiple boats simultaneously.
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My name is Bryan and I’m the chief editor of kayakiye.com. My goal is to share my experience with readers of kayakiye.com. Here I tell you how to choose the perfect kayak for fishing, camping, and traveling. I share reviews of the best kayaks on the market. I hope that my blog will be useful to Kayakers and Fishing folks.