Kayak Carrier Extensions

Paddling technique, boat packing technique, anything having to do with how to use a piece of equipment (except sailing, which has its own section).

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Kayak Carrier Extensions

Post by Yostwerks »

I normally transport kayaks on my trucks as I like a wide and stable base to crade the boats. One is 5ft (152cm) and the other 6ft (183cm) between bars. My poor little Celica however, has only a 26" (66cm) span, even with an the Yakima extension, so it's not ideal for kayak transport, especially a flexible folder frame. I saw an article a while back about extensions used for hauling rowing shells, so I thought I'd give it a try on the GTS. Below are pics of the setup. The 62" (157cm) bars are 1.25" (32mm) aluminum tube, and the 10" (25cm) cross bars are 1.125" (29mm) aluminum. Together they provide a 5' (152cm) span between J-Carriers. SS bolts and clamps are used to hold it all together. I've tested it fully loaded with 2 bikes and up to a 17.5' (533cm) kayak and it seems stable at speed. Of course, steel tubes would also be a option vs aluminum especially with heavier boats.

Who says you can't take it with you :)

http://www.yostwerks.com/GTSKayak3.jpg - 13.5' X 23lb Sea Bee (411cm X 10.5kg)
http://www.yostwerks.com/GTSKayak4.jpg - 17.5' X 22lb Sea Rider (533cm X 10kg )




Post by DevNull »

Nice. What are the benefits of having the kayak at an angle like this? Is it just space saving? Does it makes it easier to load/unload?

I have been cart toping short distances, and have been meaning to build some sort of cradle to relieve the stress on my kayak.

- DN


Post by Yostwerks »

What are the benefits of having the kayak at an angle like this?
Stability for high speed driving, and rigidity. On edge is the most stable rigid based on my experience. Some have said that on edge is hard on the sponsons, but I have not found this to be the case. The Sonnets have 2 sponsons per side.

I've used foam carriers, and Thule and Yakima hull / deck up carriers, but none have been as secure as J-Carriers for "my" boats. Other boats, being larger and heavier may require a different solution. There are no absolutes, so you must find a solution that best fits "your" specific requirements.

Go to http://www.yostwerks.com/MainMenu.html and select "Kayak Transport" from the menu and use the "Next Page" key to move through the 7 page kayak transport section.
Is it just space saving?
On a narrow setup with additional items being carried it is an advantage, but that's not the reason I use J-Carriers.
Does it makes it easier to load/unload?
Not a lot of difference compared to hull or deck down carriers. In fact, getting the straps around the on edge boat is a bit more work with J-carriers.

The benefits of a wide span between bars are stability, and less stress on the frame, especially a folding kayak frame.... Mine anyway as they are lightweight and flexible. Same goes for using J-Carriers.




Post by Yostwerks »

After using the new kayak carriers for several trips to local lakes I decided that a couple of areas needed improvement. One was to allow quick removal of the J-carriers without having to remove the bars , and without having the laborious task of removing several locking nuts . The other requirement was to allow a wider opening of the Celica hatchback. Below are several pics of the modification.

http://www.yostwerks.com/GTSClevisA.html - Click "Next Page" to view all 5 pages.

BTW - The extended racks are quite stable at highway speeds when carrying an 18ft Sonnet inflatable, even in strong crosswinds.




Post by kayakamper »


That rack is brilliant! My wife came home the other day with the Yakima version for her Subaru Baja. The things just didn't fit, so we returned them to REI defeated.

The other problem, like your car, was the short distance ( just two feet ) between the Subaru crossbars. Great for a white water kayak, but not anything longer.

Those aluminum pipes are the answer.

You have solved my problem! :D



Post by Yostwerks »


I'm glad you can use this setup. I like it because it allows me to use my car instead of the truck all the time. I've been using it quite a bit lately, and yesterday (see pic) I drove about 100 miles round trip with the new removable J-carrier attachments, with some of it on the Interstate at over 70mph.


Retirement is hell :)


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Re: Kayak Carrier Extensions

Post by xeniv23 »

I set up three Yakima racks on the roof of my Westphalia. I wanted to carry my LH MK1 and/or an AE2 520 assembled for trips to fresh and saltwater around Bellingham. I was concerned about flexing the frame too much on the racks so I I used two 1"x6"x8' fir planks held together by 4 cross pieces and a means of attaching that is secure and easy to remove if I want. This provides good support for the keel of either boat and I go down the freeway just as fast as I want. I use a piece of pvc pipe that fits over the Yakima bar that extends beyond the after tower. When I load the boat I just walk the bow to the place that experience has shown me that I will be able to lift the bow and place it where the pvc pipe meets the tower base. I go to the stern and lift and push at the same time and the boat rolls up onto the rack at an angel pointing inboard. I have a small stepladder that I use to get into the cargo carrier to easily push the boat into final position and strap it down. Unloading is just the reverse. I varnished the planks and the boats slide easier. It's a long way up there but I never take the full weight of the boat this way. I'm 69 years old and I don't have any problem with this. You shouldn't either.

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