Vehicle Boat Racks
When you purchase your new kayak or canoe, you want to make sure that you have figured out how you will be transporting it to the water. A vehicle boat rack is probably the most forgotten piece of equipment for new boat owners, so let's make sure that you don't make this easily preventable mistake. Here we will go over several different options for hauling you new boat on your vehicle.
A common rack option for carrying a single kayak or canoe would be a temporary rack set-up. These types of rack systems are popular for cars that don't already have crossbars or side rails to attach the crossbars to. These could be foam blocks and straps that go through the doors or windows of your vehicle like the Riverside Cartop Carriers Universal Kayak Roof Rack or the NRS Deluxe Canoe Roof Rack. Or you could have pads or bars that you strap down to the vehicle and then strap the kayak or canoe to the pads or bars, like with the Malone HandiRack Kayak Roof Rack or Versa Rails. And when these types of racks aren't in use, they can be easily stored in your trunk or backseat.
If you already have crossbars on your vehicle then you have a few more options. You can decide between carrying your kayak on its side, in a J-cradle, or in saddles with its hull down. If you are wanting to haul several kayaks on your roof and they are relatively light weight and shorter than 12ft you can stack them on their side with a Malone Stax Pro 2 Kayak Roof Rack or the Thule Stacker Kayak Roof Rack. If you want to make it easier to load, but still keep the kayaks on their side, you will love a J cradle like the Yakima JayLow Roof Rack or the Thule Hull-a-Port Aero Kayak Roof Rack. If you are hauling no more than 2 kayaks and you want to keep them hull down, like for a fully loaded fishing sit-on-top kayak, then saddles would be the way to go. The Yakima SweetRoll Kayak Roof Rack or the Malone SeaWing Kayak Carrier with Stinger Load Assist Combo might be your preference. No matter which style you choose you'll want to make sure the kayak rack is compatible with your crossbars as well as a great fit for your kayak(s).
You have similar designs if you are hauling a canoe. There are special vehicle racks that allow you to strap your canoe with the gunnels against the crossbars. You'll see the Yakima KeelOver Canoe Roof Rack, Malone BigFoot Pro Canoe Roof Rack, or the Thule Portage Canoe Roof Rack as some of the most secure racks to haul canoes. No matter which one you choose, don't forget your tie downs! Tie Downs offer you the ability to see if they're any issues with your racks or the strapping you did. If those tie downs get loose or straps start flying, you know that you need to pull over and check your rack!
If you are planning on transporting your new boat in the back of your pickup truck, know that you don't have to just toss it in the bed and have it slide around and get jostled about. You could suspend it over the truck bed with the Malone Tradesport Truck Bed Rack or the Yakima OutPost HD Truck Bed Rack (HD Bars not included). For a low-profile bed rack, the Malone CrossBed Truck Bed Rack can't be beat. Keep your boat secure with a rack system, and save your truck bed for the rest of the gear. You might just have enough space that way to even bring your BBQ!
There's a perfect rack for your boat and your vehicle. Whether you're carrying 2 sea kayaks or 4 whitewater kayaks, or your new family canoe we've got a rack for you. If you need help deciding what would be the best choice for your specific situation, just give us a call. Don't buy your new boat without having a way to get it to the water.