Another car top question

So this August me, Wesd, and Packmule are heading to the BW. The difference this year is three solo boats, three guys, one pickup truck. What are the thoughts on cartopping 1 Magic in Kevlight, 1 Magic in White gold, and 1 Merlin 2 in White gold.

My current idea is to replace my 66" crossbars on the Chevy Colorodo with 96" long conduit and mount the boats gunwales down. We have 3 sets of gunwale brackets so they should stay put pretty well.

We also played with stacking them 2 on bottom and one on top, or putting one in the middle and leaning one on either side. Figure the drive is 16 hours and speeds will be up to 75 mph. Also I have no access to a trailer and don’t plan on buying or begging one for this one trip.



Three side-by-side?
Wouldn’t that run you afoul of the law? My understanding is that you are probably illegal in most states if your bars overhang the mirrors.

I would go with two down, lay two 2x4’s across the keels parallel to the x-bars and lash them down with trucker’s hitches. The third boat would then ride on top, lashed to your heart’s content.

This is an old trick, and has been used to haul many boats many miles. Of course, the frontal area is significant, so your mileage WILL vary!


Why not an extension hitch support
You could put a hitch extension in your reciever, adjust the height to the bottom of yak for support. Then just lash em all down.

The law?
May be right on target about the bars overhanging the mirrors but…

I’d say that so long as you don’t exceed the max vehicle width permitted (which I think is either 8’ or 8’-6" in most states) you’ll be alright. I can say that I’ve owned several vehicles about the size of the Colorado with really wide bars and never had a problem.

If you do stack the boats, might want to add some padding to the 2x4 idea and then make sure the kevlar light boat goes on top. I wouldn’t turn those boats up on their sides though unless you made some sort of cradle that fits the hulls really well.

Three abreast
I’m anal about such things but with three composit boats I would definitely want the gunwales making contact with the cross bars on all three. If the Magic is in the middle, as far forward as possible and the two Merlins on each side as far back as you dare I doubt you would need more than 80in. of bar, maybe less. If you have round Yakima bars 1/2in. iron pipe will slip through your 66in. bars a hose clamp on each end will keep them in place, quick easy extentions.