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Bay Area Sloughers Message Board › Transporting a canoe or kayak with no rack

Transporting a canoe or kayak with no rack

stephen
happybrahma
Group Organizer
Newark, CA
Post #: 28
If you're thinking about renting or borrowing a vessel for an event, but you don't have a roof rack, don't be discouraged. You've got options. It doesn't matter if your car is small. Smaller cars are actually easier to car-top, as you don't have to lift or climb as much when loading and tying down.

You can purchase a car topping kit that is made up of foam blocks and straps. The blocks that you need are different for a canoe versus a kayak, but the straps are pretty much all the same.

Just search google or amazon for "canoe car top kit" or "kayak car top kit", and you should find some very affordable options.

If you already have some ratcheting or camming straps and some hooks, you just need foam blocks rather than an entire kit.

If you are good with knots, all that is really needed is rope/straps and the foam blocks.

Here are some videos:

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Some tips:


  • Unless you are quite burly, this requires two people to load/unload.
  • obviously foam blocks right on your roof could damage your paint. Make sure your roof and the blocks are clean.
  • Always use middle, front, and rear straps.
  • The middle strap (I prefer to use two middle straps) will likely go through door openings of your car. Put them on with the doors open, rather than putting them through the windows.
  • Put some clean padding where the middle straps come in contact with your car's paint.
  • Make sure the front and rear straps are attached somewhere solid under the bumpers, such as to tow hooks/loops under the car.
  • Place some padding where the front/rear straps come in contact with the bumpers.



For strap padding, some foam pipe insulation works pretty well. You can get it for a few dollars at most hardware stores.
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