How to Transport a Kayak

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So you’ve bought a kayak. Now, how are you going to get it to water so you can use it? Obviously, the best way to do it is to have kayak racks on top of your vehicle. These racks have curved cradles that allow you to make sure that the kayak is secured and protected.

A rack system is ideal if you have a whitewater kayak, but if you don’t have a rack, there are still ways you can get your kayak to the lake or river. Read on to learn more about how to transport a kayak.

Transporting A Fishing Kayak

Use a Pickup Truck

If you are lucky enough to own or have access to a pickup truck, you don’t need to bother with a roof rack for your kayak. But, of course, this is not always the best option, depending on the length of your kayak. A pickup truck is ideal for a shorter kayak, but it may not fit inside the truck bed if you have a longer sea kayak.

If you are transporting your kayak in a pickup truck, make sure that it is properly secured. It should fit snugly, so you may be required to use cam straps or even ropes. If you don’t have either, bungee cords will work just as well.

A cam buckle or a ratchet strap is ideal for securing a kayak on a pickup truck, and you can buy these at most hardware stores. By ratcheting these straps tightly, you can be sure that your kayak will stay put until you are ready to unload it. You will likely need to have up to five sets of straps to secure your kayak in a truck.

Use a Trailer

If you can get your hands on a kayak trailer, you will easily be able to transport your kayak pretty much anywhere. Even a car can easily tow a lightweight trailer, so you don’t necessarily need to have a truck. In addition, these are relatively small and less expensive when compared to other trailers.

You will need to have a hitch on the back of your vehicle to use a trailer. Generally, a two-inch hitch will do the trick, but it is always best to look at the specs before purchasing a trailer. If you have never driven with a trailer attached to your vehicle, you may also need to get a bit of practice before taking it out on the road.

One of the best things about a kayak trailer is that you can haul more than just the kayak. You can also fit in many other items, including cargo boxes and even bicycles. So, if you want to transport more than one thing, a trailer might be your best option.

How to Transport a Kayak

Put it Inside an SUV

If you own an SUV, you may have enough room to have your kayak inside the vehicle. While this is not the ideal situation, if it is the only way you can transport your kayak, for the time being, it will have to suffice. To keep the kayak safe from dings, it is a good idea to put a rubber mat on the floor before loading the kayak inside.

The kayak should be placed upside-down in the SUV, and you will want to make sure that it is strapped down, so it doesn’t move around while you are driving. The biggest problem is going to be security. There likely will not be enough room to strap down your kayak, and this could end up causing a dangerous driving situation.

Another problem is that a kayak may block your view from the back window or the rear-view mirror. Then, there is always the chance that the kayak will damage the interior of the SUV. If this is your only option, you will have to make do, but if you have other options available, err on the side of caution and use those options.

Make Your Own Roof Rack

Pool noodles have so many interesting uses, including that they can be used to make a roof rack for your kayak. You will need the pool noodles, along with ratchet straps or cam buckles. The pool noodles should be the thickest ones you can get – the larger, the better.

After all, you want to make sure they cover the roof of your vehicle. You can find instructions online for making your own roof rack.

One Final Tip …

If you are going to be transporting a kayak, chances are it will be much longer than your car or truck, and it will extend beyond the back of the vehicle. Be sure to look into the laws in your area about this. You may need to have a red flag or marker that can easily be seen by the driver in the vehicle behind you.

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