No roof rack - need to haul a tandem Kayak - please advise! [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: No roof rack - need to haul a tandem Kayak - please advise!


EB03
06-18-2010, 03:36 PM
I have searched for more than an hour but have not been able to find any information about hauling boats on the roof of the E sans roof rack. My wife hauled her kayak from Virginia to South Carolina on the top of a Camry using just a couple of foam wedges... I am hoping that we can do the same with an Old Town tandem kayak on the top of my E.

I figured I would come to the forums to find out the best way to secure the sucker to the roof, but alas have been unable to even find one reference to hauling a boat on the roof without a rack. This concerns me because the boat is freaking heavy, and I have a hole in my roof (sunroof). I imagine that it can be strapped to the roof the same way you would strap a boat to any other roof sans rack, but not seeing anyone else on the forum doing it is a bit concerning.

The primary question here is should I do this. We are driving about 3 1/2 hours from St Simons Island in GA to Charleston SC. I figure it will be okay, and then will be nice motivation to go get a rack, but would like to have a bit of reassurance. Thanks!

It's an Old Town Loon 160t (74lbs)

paulj
06-18-2010, 08:41 PM
First, is the sunroof the factory, rear one, or an aftermarket up front? The rear one should not affect the load capacity of the roof.

I have not seen rack-less carry discussed. A canoe/kayak shop would be your best place to get help. I think you need the foam blocks designed to cradle the boat. Nonslip mattting such as that sold for soft-carriers would be good. Or a pilotus mat. I'd also wash the roof before mounting the boat.

With that length, secure bow and stern lines are a must. While many kayak users attach bow lines to bolts under the hood, a long kayak might work well with lines to the tow loops under bumper. Also use the tow loop in back.

As for straps across the top - you may have to pass those through the doors and across the ceiling. I don't know if there are hooks that would fit the door frame.

ElementFanatic
06-19-2010, 12:16 PM
For straps on the top could he get some 6 metric eye hooks and bolts them in where the rack would go, giving him tie downs on top without a rack?

I dunno its just a thought....probably not a good one since im tired :P

paulj
06-19-2010, 01:34 PM
I've wondered about using the rack mounting points without the rack, for things like a trap in camp, but haven't come up with a neat solution.

It may be hard to find 6mm eyebolts to fit the mounting points. Cutting and drilling a short length of angle (i've used 1 1/2" angle aluminum) to bolt to the car (2-3 bolts per corner), and hooking the straps to those might be the strongest.

Carrying a tandem kayak a few miles from shop to home with a jury rig is one thing. Driving several hours at highways speeds (or winding country roads) is quite another. And since a boat like that may cost $2000 or more, $200 for a Yakima or Thule rack wouldn't be a bad investment.

mkh
06-21-2010, 07:23 AM
This is done all the time. There are several companies that make foam-block systems just for bare-roof Kayak carrying. Check with a Kayak shop - they should have a good selection in stock. And they are very inexpensive - most are under $30.

http://www.prolineracks.com/riverside-kayak-canoe-foam-blocks.html

EB03
06-21-2010, 08:17 AM
Yeah it was pretty easy. Just grabbed the standard foam blocks and a couple of straps and some rope. Was solid as a rock all the way home (even going 80 on I95, though I generally kept it at the speed limit). Here's a couple of pics of the yak and E safe at home! It had about a centimeter of space between the yak and roof at the closest point, and not a scratch at the end of the trip.

The only reason I posted originally was because I was somewhat amazed that this has not been discussed at all on the forum (which was what led to my concern) ...I guess it's with good reason, as it's pretty simple :P

Hondamade4dogs
06-22-2010, 06:43 AM
Just invest $300 and buy a Yakima or Thule rack...and your YAK will be safely hauled..and others will not have to worry....Have you ever seen a kayak launched off a roof at 65 miles an hour ??

Hondamade4dogs
06-22-2010, 06:45 AM
Oh...and some Malone saddles for $80 will haul seakayks, tandums, and long boats

ElementFanatic
06-22-2010, 10:43 AM
Looks to me like everything went smooth and was snugged down. Why buy a rack if his setup works? They wouldn't sell the foam blocks if it wasn't a safe way to transport.

paulj
06-22-2010, 10:55 AM
When it comes to safety, it isn't the blocks, it's the tie down options. At worst the blocks will dent the roof. If the boat isn't tied down properly it can come off.

A couple of years ago while returning from a camping trip I saw a car on the freeway with a kayak askew. I ended up getting their attention by pulling ahead, putting on my blinkers and slowing down. Once they pulled over I continued on my way.

I don't recall the details of how it was secured. I'm pretty sure it wasn't on a rack, and it may not have had a bow line. Once a boat like that gets at an angle, the wind force on increases, and could easily turn it sideways, or tear it off.

I wonder if kayak or canoe shops allow their employees to help tie boats on the roof without a rack. Some hardware stores supply twine, but do not allow employees to help with securing items, presumably to limit their liability.

joebh
07-17-2010, 08:13 AM
When your straps loosen slightly and your foam block and strap thru the doors mounted kayak blows off your Element on the highway, hits the car or motorcycle behind you, and kills some one, you may reconsider whether your idea was a good idea. Your hold down rope/twine is probably attached to plastic eyestraps riveted to the hull which will rip out.
If you don't go to jail for negligence ( or stupidity) , their lawyer will find your posting and sue you for all you have .

A person I worked with was knocked off his motorcycle on Rt 95 near Daytona when a surfboard flew off a car and hit him. He was very lucky he wasn't killed

Buy a good rack and tie down system for your kayak or stay off major high speed highways so you don't kill someone.

boley
07-22-2010, 01:29 PM
When your straps loosen slightly and your foam block and strap thru the doors mounted kayak blows off your Element on the highway, hits the car or motorcycle behind you, and kills some one, you may reconsider whether your idea was a good idea. Your hold down rope/twine is probably attached to plastic eyestraps riveted to the hull which will rip out.
If you don't go to jail for negligence ( or stupidity) , their lawyer will find your posting and sue you for all you have .

A person I worked with was knocked off his motorcycle on Rt 95 near Daytona when a surfboard flew off a car and hit him. He was very lucky he wasn't killed

Buy a good rack and tie down system for your kayak or stay off major high speed highways so you don't kill someone.

While it is certainly easier to haul a kayak or canoe with a roof rack; I don't feel that a roof rack necessarily makes roof top hauling of anything instantly safer. Quite frankly a knucklehead securing a kayak to a roof rack is just a hazardous as the same knucklehead securing something to a couple of foam blocks. For that matter I have seen roof racks come loose many times. I have witnessed two racks fall completely off a vehicle due to improper or poorly maintained mounting practices.

This is why we should always secure the load properly with a few straps, a bow line, and a stern life if applicable. http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?37

Personally I just assume the boats are going to fall off the roof (mine never have). This is why I always use a bow line and/or a line hard point. Not just a strap thrown across the boat, but something actually through part of the boat or a handle. This way if one ever falls off I will end up with a loose boat bouncing along beside the car, as opposed to a kayak in someone’s windshield.

mkh
07-22-2010, 02:33 PM
While it is certainly easier to haul a kayak or canoe with a roof rack; I don't feel that a roof rack necessarily makes roof top hauling of anything instantly safer. Quite frankly a knucklehead securing a kayak to a roof rack is just a hazardous as the same knucklehead securing something to a couple of foam blocks. For that matter I have seen roof racks come loose many times. I have witnessed two racks fall completely off a vehicle due to improper or poorly maintained mounting practices.

This is why we should always secure the load properly with a few straps, a bow line, and a stern life if applicable. http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?37

Personally I just assume the boats are going to fall off the roof (mine never have). This is why I always use a bow line and/or a line hard point. Not just a strap thrown across the boat, but something actually through part of the boat or a handle. This way if one ever falls off I will end up with a loose boat bouncing along beside the car, as opposed to a kayak in someone’s windshield.

Exactly. It's all in the tie-down, nothing to do with roof rack vs. foam block. I've seen knuckle heads who strapped their boats to their roof rack six ways from sunday, but didn't use a bow line - and had the roof rack literally pull the mounting channels right off the car and launch the boat and rack along with misc. pieces of car roof into the wild blue yonder. Have friends who have kayaked almost every other weekend for 15 years - and used foam blocks the whole time - with never an issue.

Grn Goblin
09-27-2010, 08:42 PM
Found this thread while researching racks...We have a 70lb Tandem Kayak without a roof rack...Here is our temporary solution untill we get a rack...

Went to Target and bought an extra thick 6' pool noodle (actually have various colors and was able to get on that closedly matches the kiwi paint)....

Also bought 5 ratcheting tie-downs...

I cut the noodle in half and using a razor, cut a slit lengthwise through to the hollow center....

I ran a tie-down through each of the noodle (one tie down each noodle half) and set each noodle on the roof and ran the 1st tie down through the vehicle near the front of the front door frame. The second tie-down/noodle i put on the rear part of the roof and ran through the rear jamb by the rear of the backseat doors...

At this point I now had 2 pool noodles secured to the top of the truck just about where the OEM cross bars would be....

Now we place the Kayak on the roof upside down...

We used the 3rd tie down to go over the kayak and throgh the door jambs.

The 4th & 5th tie downs were used for the front and back of the kayak and secured under the bumpers using the factory anchor loops.

Three times now, we have used this method successfully. The tie-downs must be tight. We even went about 5 miles down a highway once.

ANYWAY, I'm not reccomending this, but it was a good temporary solution for us that worked (for us).

With all this said...Any OEM racks for sale???? :-)

paulj
09-27-2010, 09:03 PM
Here's a review of an inflatable roof rack set
http://playak.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1279:review-handirack-inflatable-roof-rack&catid=1150:Accessories&Itemid=43

As with any temporary rack, it is held on with straps that run through the door frames and across the car's interior. That's not ideal, even with the Element's extra headroom.