How To Haul Your Kayak: A Quick Guide

Haul Your Kayak

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Excited to learn on how to haul your kayak? Ready to spend a day on the water? You might be all excited until you think of how you would get your kayak there. How do you haul it? Here are some ways that you can convey your vessel.

1. Truck Bed

This is the most convenient transport method. Unlock your tailgate and load the vessels on. Depending on the truck type, you can load a certain number of kayaks on it. Most trucks pack two while others can pack up to four. After loading them, lift the noses so you can properly close the tailgate.

Secure the vessels using bungee cords and ensure each kayak is firmly in place to restrict its movement so they don’t fly off the truck when you drive. Tie a red flag to one kayak so they can be noticeable in traffic. If your truck has a hitch receiver, it will be easier for you to load and unload the kayak and is the most secure transport method.

Compared to a roof rack, it is affordable. Most truck models have tie-down loops for fastening, but you can purchase one at the supermarket if your truck doesn’t come equipped with it. You can use the “extend-a-truck” tool which helps to package the kayak better and to elevate it in a way that it doesn’t hang out of the truck but extends upwards.

2. Kayak Trailer

This is a dedicated transport method for kayaks. Here, you just need to attach the trailer to your vehicle using a hitch that lets you tow it. For most kayak trailers a 2-inch hitch does the job. Trailers are needed to transport kayaks and gears for a lot of people at the same time.

You must have enough experience before trying to pull your trailer as you can cause you might cause damage when reversing or driving near others. The loaded items are on low level so there is no chance of them flying off and causing damage to another vehicle’s windscreen. Just secure them by using bungee cords and tight ropes and you’re good to go.

3. Roof Rack

This is an easy way of conveying your kayak if you don’t have access to a truck or trailer. There are several rack types such as the:

a. The horizontal rack that holds the kayak horizontally while letting the bottom rest on the vehicle’s roof. These racks are aerodynamic which means they position the kayak in a way that there is no drag. They are best for use with a single kayak.

b. J-style rack also transports one kayak. You can fold them in when they’re not in use so they will always be there when you need them. This rack elevates the kayak at a 45-degree angle on the roof, so you can store an item on either side of the kayak. They hold the kayaks on their sides but using them with a plastic kayak can lead to the vessel being warped.

This rack type is preferred as you can easily load and unload the kayak by lifting rather than loading through the back. Most of these racks can be accessed using a loading system which lift the kayak from a height of 9 meters or 3 feet.

c. Lift-assisted racks are great for people who kayak alone. Most racks have hooks that easily slide down for easier attachment of the kayak to the vehicle’s roof. If you’re not sure about lifting the kayak alone, this comes in handy.

d. Vertical racks let you slide the kayak into the vehicle on its side. The name is misleading as the rack isn’t a true vertical rack. These racks can hold up to four kayaks at a time.

You can attach a saddle to the front bar of the roof rack and the back to support the bow and stern of the kayak, respectively. If the vehicle you’re using isn’t an SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) or van, you’ll need two saddle sets.

4. Foam Mount

Easy to use, the number of foam pieces depends on the model. For 2-piece models, the foam is thin and long with an inverted slope which is used as a rest piece for the kayak’s bottom. For 4-piece models, there is a slit in each foam piece that allows sliding in of the kayak’s sides.

The foam pieces aim to reduce contact between the vehicle and the kayak. For a tighter hold, secure it with bungee cords and rope. Indeed, a great model for those wanting to learn on how to haul a kayak.

Securing Your Kayak

Use the correct equipment designed for the vehicle or boat. After loading, you can attach several foam pieces to prevent abrasion and ensure the kayak lies parallel to the car’s sides. For people transporting using foam mount, place the vessel face down or use saddles.

If the kayak faces upwards, it might get filled with water, so ensure you use a cockpit cover to prevent that from occurring. You can also use nylon-webbing straps.

These secure the vessel from the bow to the stern. Tie the kayak snugly but watch out to ensure the vessel doesn’t warp. After you finish, lift the bow to check if the kayak is properly secured. If the kayak moves, make the necessary adjustments.

Then, use ropes to tie down the bow and stern, with another running from the front-grab handle of the vessel to the front bumper of the vehicle. Do the same for the back-grab handle and the back bumper.

Getting the Kayak Into the Water

After arriving, you’ll need to take your kayak to the river and for the inflatable kayaks, this is easy as you can take them to the mouth of the water and then inflate them. For other lightweight ones, you can use a kayak carrier which lets you hang them while dragging to the water, but this can take its toll on your body. The best option is to use a kayak cart to move it straight from your vehicle to the water. Haul your kayak now!

Conclusion : Haul Your Kayak

You must know how to successfully transport your kayak before taking it on the water. A safe transport method is also needed. Choose the transport method that works best for you. Hopefully, this guide has provided enough information for you to make a firm decision.

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