2 kayaks on VW Golf roof rack?

I’m thinking of buying a new VW Golf with a roof rack for kayaks. Does anyone have experience loading 2 17’ seakayaks on a Golf hatchback? All the photos I see on the internet and in VW brochures only show 1 kayak, and often just a river kayak.

no problem. I have carried three up there… and could probably carry four if I wanted to.

I once traveled from Vermont to
Allagash ME with three old town trippers on a VW Bug.

Only two, but still…

– Last Updated: Feb-28-16 3:29 PM EST –

V-bars on a short roof..


NYC to Cape Breton and back.


– Last Updated: Feb-28-16 1:23 AM EST –

From a string 9 years ago on this very forum, here's a shot of a much smaller VW Lupo (predecessor to the VW Fox) with a a 19' tandem sea kayak on the roof. Carrying boats sideways on J-racks or stackers is a good way to do it with longer boats and closer and narrower rack spacing.


I would definitely advise checking the weight bearing limits of the rack with the dealer. Just to be on the safe side.

Wow willoleaf
I thought my 18 foot kayak on my 2015 Versa Note was a long setup but that tandem on that even smaller car beats me. Heres my Versa, the rack a Thule Slipstream holds the kayak better as it spreads were the kayak touch’s the rack farther out that the cross bars themselves. http://www.pbase.com/dc9mm/image/161947166


– Last Updated: Feb-28-16 3:29 PM EST –

Slipstream & v-bars both support kayaks closer to the bulkheads which is preferable.

From experience I know that the flat orientation of this type of carry is better than an edge-mounted boat on J-racks or stackers. When flat, the aerodynamic load is symmetrical and the boat is less susceptible to side winds.

J-bars and stackers make sense to carry multiple boats, but V-bars can carry two boats flat on a small roof pretty easily if that's the most you need.

BTW, which QCC boat is 18 feet long?

bow and stern lines
I never carry boats on j-racks or stackers without having them both lashed directly to the cross rack AND fastened to both bumpers with stern and bow lines. In fact I lash front and rear no matter how I am carrying. My preference for long kayaks on short roofs is deck down directly on the rack, for the reasons noted above. My 18 footer on my new Mazda CX-5 has quite an overhang due to the short roof but I have not had trouble hauling it deck down.

Yes! "Deck Down"
Is preferred when transporting my “plastic fantastics,” surfskis and OC-1s with high aspect ratio rudders that I like to keep pointing up instead of down.

cockpit cover
For long distance high speed trips I also make sure I have a snugly fitted (and leashed) cockpit cover on the boat or boats – I think it keeps some of the turbulence and wind resistance down, though that may be a delusion on my part. Also deck down is preferable for hot weather – less chance of oil-canning the hull on plastic boats.

as stated above all manufactures have ratings on there racks. Then it has to be evenly distributed. Rack manufactures like THule and Yakima all have ratings.

QCC 700x
QCC 700x is 18 feet long.

Deck down?
Your just using foam blocks or no foam at all just directly deck down on cross bars? I guess you can with plastic but not a gelcoated kayak. Seems to me plastic directly deck down would be more likely to deform (unless some kind of carries deck down) So what type of kayak carrier are you using that allows deck down?

Well duh
I think I knew that but was remembering 17’, nevermind…

The Usual Common Garden Variety
Cross bars with wrap around foam, padding, insulating tubing, etc. Occasionally improvise with rolled up remnant carpeting, towels or noodless. Secured with straps and cam buckles or bungee.