How to use a Kayak Roof Rack Properly – Tips & Tricks

Do you think that using a Kayak Roof rack for transporting your boat is more complicated then kayaking? Many people think just like you, but that is not true. It is not very difficult if you are using the right equipment to tie the Kayak boat and loading it without damaging the boat and the vehicle. If you are going to transport your Kayak for the first time, then here are some essential and useful tips and tricks for you. Just follow the process and tricks; you will be able to transport it very quickly on the Kayak roof rack. 

How to use a Kayak Roof Rack

Carry it The Right Way

The first thing that you need to know is how to carry the Kayak to the car. If you have a helping hand, then each of you should hold the grab handle of the stern or bow from each end. This way, you will be able to carry it very quickly. But if you have to do it alone, then you will have to stand on the left side of the boat and lift it by holding the edge of the cockpit of the boat. Lift it till your arms and then start moving. 

The Right Equipment

You will need some equipment for using the Kayak Roof rack in the right way and moving your Kayak. You will need the crossbars and of the cars come with installed crossbars from the factory and for some you may have to install them. It depends on the vehicle that you are choosing for moving the Kayak Boat. 

The next essential equipment is the padding or the roof rack. You will be able to find Kayak specific roof racks in the market. You can easily attach them to the crossbars of the boat. They cradle the Kayak boat in a V-shape or J-shape. This is the most secure way to carry the Kayak. 

You will also need 12 feet long cam straps, which will help hold the boat down, without moving. You need to get two straps. 

You also need a waterproof and non-stretchable rope to tie the Kayak more securely. Ratcheting lines are better. 

Load it Properly on The Rack

Now you need to load the Kayak boat with a lot of care. If you have helping hands, then it is not going to be a tough job. But if you are not having someone to help you, then you some other help. You can use the lift system, which comes with Kayak roof racks. These lifting systems will slide down from one side of the car, and you will be able to place the Kayak on that and lift it. Once you are done with the loading process, you can pull it up. You can make use of a big and thick towel. You need to place it on the rear edge of the car and then try loading the Kayak boat. It is one of the most affordable options for you. 

Tie the Kayak to Roof Rack

The next step is to tie the Kayak to the Roof rack. After lifting the kayak boat to the roof of the car, make sure that you have placed the boat at the centre of the roof. If it is not placed in the right position, there is no point in securing it tightly. 

Now take the cam straps and place the buckle of the strap on one side and toss the strap to the other side of the car. You should loop the strap under the crossbar and then toss it to the other side. You will have to repeat the process and then tie the ends below the cam buckle. If there is any extra rope, that can be tied to the crossbars of the car. The rope should be tight enough to hold the Kayak in position but not overtight so that the Kayak will get damaged due to the cracks. 

Now you will have to take the ratcheting line’s one hook and tie to a secure point like grab handle of the Kayak, and then the other end of the ratcheting line should be attached to the car. Make sure that the ratcheting line is tight and snug. You will have to repeat the same process with the stern end of the Kayak. This step is ignored by many people when they are using Kayak Roof rack for moving a Kayak. But if there is a lot of wind on the way, then there are chances that the Kayak gets damaged. 

Some Useful Tips and Tricks

  • You should always keep the knots simple. You may use some tough and unique knots to tie the Kayak to keep it safe. But it is safer if you keep it simple and do not complicate the process. 
  • When you are tying the cam straps, it is always good if you add a simple twist. There will not be any vibration in the straps when the car is moving. 
  • If you are short or the car is too tall, then it is always good to use a small ladder when you are tying the knots. You will be able to tie them better when you can reach them properly. When you are unable to reach the rope, then how will you make a perfect knot that is tight enough to hold the Kayak boat?
  • Use locks for cam straps. It is always safe to lock and have the key with you for the cam straps. Even if you want to pull over the car and go to a store on your way, you will be able to do it without any fear in your mind. It is not safe to leave it on the road without any key or lock for the straps. Anyone can open the knots and take the Kayak.
  • When you start your journey, you will have to stop after a few minutes and check the boat to be sure that it is in place and safe.

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