A kayak gives you a chance to get out on the open water. It is also a great form of exercise. If you rig your kayak for the necessary gear, you can use it to fish. If you are buying your first kayak, it is important that you know how to get it to the water safely without damaging your vehicle or the kayak. Fortunately, you don’t need to have a truck or a specific type of vehicle to travel with your kayak. There are a couple different methods of securing your kayak, depending on the type of vehicle that you own. If you know how to properly carry your kayak and how to secure it properly, you can get it to the water safely.
Carrying Your Kayak
If your kayak is too heavy for one person to carry or if it is awkward, you are going to need someone to help you or invest into a kayak cart. If your boat is short and light, you can do it yourself. Start by turning the kayak on its side, with the cockpit facing you. Lifting with your knees, slide the kayak up your body until the cockpit reaches your shoulder. Put your arm in the cockpit letting it rest on your shoulder. You can use that arm to hold your kayak from the inside and use your other hand to support the bottom of the kayak.
Securing Your Kayak If You Have a Roof Rack On Your Vehicle
A roof carrier or kayak trailer is the safest, most efficient way to travel with your kayak. A roof rack will keep your roof from getting dented and you won’t scratch the paint. If your car doesn’t have a roof rack and you plan to go kayaking often, you should consider having one installed on your vehicle.
- Start by sliding the kayak up on your roof rack on the right side and then center it.
- Take two boat straps and put them over the top of the kayak.
- Pull the straps under the bars of the roof rack bars and bring the straps to the other side of the kayak and then loop them under the bars.
- To be sure that your kayak is secure, tie the straps down with cam buckles.
Securing Your Kayak on Your Car Without a Roof Rack
If you don’t have a roof rack, you are going to take the necessary steps to keep your kayak from denting your roof or scratching the paint. To do this properly, you are going to need pool noodles, tie-down straps, and ratchet straps. You want to be sure to use high-quality pool noodles. The cheap ones won’t be strong enough to hold the weight of your kayak. They will just flatten and buckle under the weight of the kayak. Also, the cheaper version won’t be able to hold your kayak securely while you are driving. The cheap versions tend to slide around because they won’t have as much grip as a higher quality pool noodle.
- In most cases, the pool noodles are going to be longer than the width of your vehicle. To remedy this problem, line the pool noodles up with the width of your vehicle and cut the overhang with a pair of scissors.
- Next, put one noodle on the roof toward the front, one in the middle, and one at the rear of the vehicle.
- To secure the pool noodles tightly, run a rope through the middle of each pool noodle.
- Open your vehicle doors and tie the two ends of the rope together inside the car at the roof.
- When putting your kayak up onto the pool noodles, you want to place it upside down. The kayak’s weight will support it on both sides.
- Finally, you will need to secure your boat. With all of the vehicle doors open, throw the ratchet strap over the kayak right in the middle.
- Bring the straps into your vehicle and tighten them inside the vehicle. Be sure not to tighten the strap too much. If it is too tight, you can damage your kayak or dent your roof.
Securing Your Kayak in a Pick-up Truck
The easiest way to transport a kayak is in a pick-up truck because you don’t have to reach up high the way that you would if you have a roof rack or if you are going to use the pool noodle method. It is much easier to slide the kayak right into the bed of your truck. The first thing you should know is how to properly position the kayak into the truck.
- Before carrying it to your vehicle, you should open the tailgate. Be sure that there is no debris in the back of the truck that can scratch or damage your kayak.
- When you have it in the back of the truck, close the tailgate. This will prevent it from overhanging.
- Next, you need to position the kayak properly. Angle the kayak so that the stern of the boat is in the left corner of the bed and the bow should be toward the right side. Placing the kayak diagonally will keep it more stable while you are driving.
- Simply resting your kayak in the bed of the truck isn’t going to be enough. You are going to need to secure it with fastening straps to be sure that it remains secure. It is best to use a cam buckle strap.
- Start by running it across the top of the kayak, parallel to the tailgate.
- Next, attach the buckles to the anchor points on your trailer and pull the strap so that it is tight. You are also going to need to run a second tie-down from your bed anchor to the tow loop. You should tighten the strap until it is pulling the boat toward the rear bed wall. It is important that your boat is tightly secured.
Before heading out to the water, you need to be sure that your kayak is properly secured. Not only will it protect your kayak and your vehicle, it will protect the other drivers on the road.