12' boat in 6' bed? Paddle upriver?

I’m mulling over buying a fishing kayak; I had and sold a Mad River canoe in part because it was a hassle to portage and load atop a truck and to arrange shuttles. If I get an 11 or 12 foot kayak, can I safely transport it in the bed of an extended cab 1999 Toyota Tacoma? I think the bed with the gate up measures a little over 6’.

And, to avoid shuttle issues, is it common to put in, paddle upriver a ways, and float fish back down to the put in site?

The river in question would almost always be the French Broad in the vicinity of Asheville, NC.


Of course

– Last Updated: Aug-05-16 3:01 AM EST –


That link has many images ...click see more...the one linked is a new idea for us....

You need to read NC law on carrying loads longer than the bed. Try: NC State law extended truck loads.

Many poly hull yakkers load bow onto cab roof ...how support the bow varies from a bed mounted wood frame to a cab roof rack to a blanket.

Leaving an unflagged stern unsupported hull loose in the bed is common. Tho this carry looks damaging, it may not damage on short hauls. Prob not leave that parked in hot sun.

Yes and maybe !
On carrying it:

Put the tail gate down and slide the yak all the way in.

Tie off the bow to a place on each side at the front. Then tie either from the cock pit or the stern two more places. One on each side to the tail gate struts or some other some other solid point.

I have down this many times with a 14 or 15 foot canoe in my full size pick up.

On the river: We live not too far from Asheville, and every year race the French Broad Classique and know the river well.

It all depends on how strong the current is. Yesterday and today it would be way too strong to paddle up river, but on other days it is easy.

If you don’t have rain for a long time it is very doable.

Jack L

Thanks for the responses. I have a shell on my truck that I want to leave on there, but the suggestions y’all have given make it seem doable. I was thinking of maybe modifying the shell top to reinforce it and provide tie downs towards the back and use foam blocks over the cab, though I’m still leaning towards just using the bed.

If the river was up like now, I probably wouldn’t go out unless it was a shuttle float. I have visions of dry Junes like this past one and beautiful, cool Fall.

Thanks again!

Same Situation
I purchased a “truck Load Extender” for $70 on amazon and use it to haul my perception conduit 13 and perception carolina in my F150. Works great. I also paddle upstream and back down in the metro Atlanta area. Works fine. Good luck!

You didn’t give a profile…
so I don’t know your experience, but if you are fairly new to paddling please don’t do a “shuttle paddle” when the river is running high and fast like now.

It can be very dangerous, with sweepers and downed trees that you could be swept into.

They just today postponed tomorrows Dan river Boat race over in Madison because of dangerous high and fast water, and many of the racers in that one have lots of experience.

jack L

Thanks for the reminder. I tend to err on the side of caution, particularly when in the outdoors. I drove over Smoky Park Bridge today, and the FB was too high for my liking if I had had access to a boat.

Ditto on the bed extender.
I carry a 16’ boat on mine with no trouble. As stated, make sure you meet your state’s requirements. In SC the vehicle’s tail lights have to be visible and a red flag attached to the furthest point back.


– Last Updated: Aug-08-16 11:29 AM EST –


Tape a skateboard to the middle of the hull and tow it, but keep it under 100.