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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wanting to borrow my dad's kayak.

It's a 14' sit on top, I don't know much more about it, but hopefully its enough info to get my point across.

My E has the Honda roof rack and I was wondering if I can carry the kayak on the roof rack without having to buy the Kayak attachment.

I'd be real happy to buy the attachment, but 1) I'm just borrowing the kayak from time to time and 2) they're damn expensive for how much I'll be using it!

So, an I just turn it upside down and strap it to the crossmembers directly?

I'm assuming I'd need to also tie it down to the front and rear?

What's the best place on the front to tie it down? I'd hate to crack the paint on the bumper by putting too much stress on it. For the rear, I'll just use the hitch.

Thanks!
 

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No, you don't need any holders. Just strap it down.
Under the front, about a foot behind the foglights, are steel tie down loops. I use those to tie the front of the boat down, which you definitely want to do. I once got in a hurry, didn't tie the front of a windsurfer and lost it at 65 MPH.
You don't need to cinch the front real tight if you did a good job strapping it to the crossbars, just tie it snug as a safety precaution.
 

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If it's a sit-on-top, then it's probably plastic, which would be fine to tie on top without holders. If, by some chance it's fiberglass (slim chance), I wouldn't tie it directly to the rack without some kind of padding.
 

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for my plastic sit-on-tops, i've placed the sort of foam that is used to insulate house water pipes, black in color, around the cross bars of the rack on my kayak carrying vehicle, which is not an Element. this works well because the cross bars are round. such foam is inexpensive and could be duct taped around a non-round cross bar, if you're concerned about damage to the kayak, which i would be if i were borrowing it. of course, i don't drag my kayaks to/from the water either, i carry them, 1 at a time, and gently place them in the water before getting in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool. I appreciate the help.

Yes his kayaks are plastic

yes I would like to not damage them so I appreciate te tip about the foam. I was thinking I'd use some kind of towel to protect both the car and the kayak (more importantly the kayak!) I'm just hoping they're not too heavy to load alone. I'm 6'3" 185lbs so I should be able to handle it but getting it on top of the car will be interesting I'm sure. Lol.
 

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Cool. I appreciate the help.

Yes his kayaks are plastic

yes I would like to not damage them so I appreciate te tip about the foam. I was thinking I'd use some kind of towel to protect both the car and the kayak (more importantly the kayak!) I'm just hoping they're not too heavy to load alone. I'm 6'3" 185lbs so I should be able to handle it but getting it on top of the car will be interesting I'm sure. Lol.
Hints-

Use the pipe insulation foam suggested above. It is cheap and if duct taped to the crossbars will stay on at speed. Towels will flap in the wind and may blow off.

Use a small step ladder when loading and unloading the boat. It will make it a more trouble free experience.:)
 

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If you are going to load the yak by yourself ...

I'm just hoping they're not too heavy to load alone. I'm 6'3" 185lbs so I should be able to handle it but getting it on top of the car will be interesting I'm sure.
You may want to consider building a PVC kayak load bar similar to => http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?p=685530#post685530. I used towels held down by old magnetic signs initially, which worked OK but over time I still scratched the top of the rear hatch.

I'd also recommend you get a small folding stool. I'm 6'2" and use mine often. Cost about $25 at Northern Tool or Harbor Freight.
 

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Thule Slip Stream XT

I bought this model for to carry a 55lb. kayak on my 2005 Element (bought 2 weeks ago); saddles are adjustable so they would a sit-on kayak also Overall I like the set-up but with the kayak/carrier, the Honda factory roof racks see-saw or bounce. I have been told the Thule foot/bar combination doesn't move at all but my problem is that I can't remove the original racks. The bolts seem to be corroded. :x Any suggestions?
 

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Grndhog

$500 for a rack for occasional use would be out of the question for me also. If you invert your father's kayak, it might be more aerodynamic than upright. Either position, there is about 26" of space between the bars which is 2" more than the minimum distance recommended by some rack manufacturers; always use 4 straps (loped around the bars) instead of 2 and you might be able to dispense with the bow/stern tie downs and avoid scratch the bumpers. At least cover the factory crossbars with some sort of padding or use the inexpensive foam saddles - you want to avoid "oil canning" or denting the hull; to avoid roof scratches I lay a small piece of carpet above the hatch (for loading from the rear). The only problem is that the factory crossbars flex too much.
 

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Thanks

I'll give it a try - since the bolts are recessed I think the vice grips might not reach them. Last resort, since I just bought the vehicle used, I might ask the dealership to remove the racks.
Update: The service rep. at a local Honda dealership mentioned the factory roof racks are rated for 165lbs! I don't have much money to burn, so I will use the Thule Slip Stream XT with the original Honda racks and save $300.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for the tips and the insight!

I was a little worried about the factory bars being too close together, but I suppose as long as it is tied front and rear I should be okay.

definitely will get some foam for the bars

and never even thought about denting the plastic...I'll definitely be careful about that! I won't be traveling long distances, 30 minutes at most, but most trips would only be about 15 minutes.
 

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Homemade kayak saddles

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Honda element

Don't take this as a suggestion but these are homemade saddles, reborn. They never dented any of my kayaks, even on 175 mile rides. I used them on the Toyota Tacoma I drove for over 10 years and recently traded towards my used 2005 Element. I was desperate to go kayaking so I screwed the old saddles to a piece of plywood, made cushioned notches underneath the plywood to sit on the crossbars. No clamps, no screws - the kayak slid up from the rear and 4 straps held it. Stiffer plywood would eliminate the bend.
Close up of saddle Vehicle Kayak Yellow Boat Water transportation
 

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I have an 11' sit on top I used all the time in Hawaii.

I never used any straps on the front or rear. Not quite sure what that extra 3' would do though.

As far as getting it onto the rack, remember not to try to move the thing with quick jerky movements. I had no problem throwing my SOT around. Of course it didn't hurt to be 6'4" and 265 lbs. :)

Just take your time. Move the thing around like an elephant. Nice and slow.

I would always get next to the E with the 'yak over my head, holding on to both side handles of the yak and then just sort of do a tip and slide thing onto the rack.

Then get a nice ratchet strap on the side that's going to have the most empty rack space, go under the crossbar, throw both ends over the 'yak (careful with the ratchety end), go under the other side of the crossbar, ratchet everything down.

The foam insulation stuff is a good tip. I actually bought pads that were basically foam insulation covered in a nice nylon fabric to go over my bars.

Keeps things from sliding around. If you keep the yak nice and straight though with the front of it facing the front of the car you shouldn't have any issues.
 

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If you going to slide your 'yak from the back onto your racks, get a section of old carpet or towel to protect the roof paint during the slide.
 
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