Another Kayak transport question

We have a Honda Civic with a narrow width roof, use Yakima racks. We have a kayak stacker but now I upgraded yaks to a CD Pachena in fiberglass and don’t wanna stack with my wife’s Old Town Loon 111. How can I fit the 28" width of the loon and my 25" width Pachena on some combo of saddles/uprights on such a narrow roof. Wife must have ease of kayak loading so she is more likely to kayak more (hates the fuss and time of strapping boats on the rack as we experienced with the stackers). I am trying the Malone autoloaders for the Pachena and have ordered the Hully rollers w/Mako saddles for the loon, but I don’t know if this will work, any other suggestions?

Longer bars
or J cradles or a combination of both.

Use longer bars
I could carry 4 kayaks easily on the roof of my Skyline ( Sentra).

I used Regular old Yakima saddles and foam blocks. Lately, I use regular foam blocks on the bars of a rack. I have transported boats about 50,000 miles the last 2 years without incident.

Consider a trailer
We added a trailer to our seeming endless assortment of stuff - but it’s one of the best moves we’ve made. The trailer can accomodate the boats (at a very nice height) as well as a cargo box and our bikes.

There’s a good selection out there, all able to be towed by your civic. Ours is a Sportsrig - quite pricy but worth it for us. More reasonable choices around. Good luck!

Go with slightly longer bars to give you a 4 inch extension of the bar past the tower and get a pair of Hullavators. It’s a chunk of money to invest but it’s a luxury not having to heave the boat up above shoulder height to get them up into cradles. Having the machine pretty much lift it up for you is great after a long days paddle.

See you on the water,


Longer bars, cut to fit…
You can cut any of the bars down to whatever size you want. A Saws-All will make short work of it, but hack saws will cut them fine also.


Are you kidding me…
the roof of a civic is like waist height. I would hardly invest $1600 for a pair of Hullavators to save me from lifting my boat to roughly chest height. If you can’t lift your boat that high, then you shouldn’t be out on the water in the first place.

Just get some longer bars or J cradles and call it good.

wow, that’s harsh…
“If you can’t lift your boat that high, then you shouldn’t be out on the water in the first place.”

I didn’t know that the ability to lift heavy boats to shoulder height was a requirement to paddle. I guess that means anyone with weak upper bodies, elderly people, people with spine/nerve disabilities, people with rotator cuff/collar bone injuries, etc. shouldn’t paddle.

Yes, I’m young, flexible, and strong enough to throw around my kayaks right now but when I’m old and stiff, I’m still going to kayak and if a Hullivator or trailer is what it takes to get me on the water, so be it.

Buy an Expedition
and put the kayaks inside. :slight_smile:


I second the advice to consider a trailer. I, too, have a Sportsrig and it is well worth the price.



I agree…
but isn’t suggesting one for a Civic a bit silly? I can understand any type of van or SUV, but I think money can be saved just by going with J cradles on a low-roofed vehicle such as a Civic.

and I would have completely agreed with that sentiment a year or two ago but since then I’ve paddled with several people with physical challenges that make even lifting a kayak onto a civic roof a real obstacle. For them, the combination of Hullivator and a kayak cart is what it takes to get them on the water. Who are we to say otherwise?

Heck, even being young and healthy, if I had spare money to throw around, I’d put a Hullivator on my short little car as well! After a good 20 mile paddle or after a full day of playboating, even the lightest kayaks feel like they’re made of lead. :slight_smile:

Another Sportsrig guy here.
I have a Toyota Corolla and a Sportsrig Deluxe. I can haul 3 kayaks and a cargo box at 80 mph!

So happy to have sold the gas guzzler!

Trailer would be great but…
I don’t want to spend even more money on a hitch and wiring the lights for a Civic that is not meant to pull a trailer. I previously had an Accord coupe that I put a receiver hitch on. Had it installed at the dealer, since Honda does not offer a wiring kit for the Accord/Civic they did a “factory Honda” wiring job themselves…ended up costing $600 with labor. Not worth the hassle/time/money in my mind to repeat this with my new Civic. I got the Hullys and Makos in the mail yesterday…will see if the Loon fits on those with my glass Pachena on Autoloaders next to it. THanks for the input.

Ditto the longer (wider) crossbars
My husband and I normally trailer our kayaks. It’s a wonderful way to go, and I can do it all myself when solo paddling–no need for a helper.

But we will be taking a trip this year that includes a couple of ferry rides. We don’t want to tow the trailer onto the ferry. So…

Today we installed some new cradles (Castle Craft) on his SUV roof rack, and let me tell you it would have been extremely difficult, maybe impossible, without the 78" wide crossbars.

I am only 5’2". But with about one foot of crossbar extending beyond each side where the cradle towers stood, we were able to carefully lift a heavy kayak directly up from the side, onto that last foot of crossbar. He took the bow and I took the stern. We did not need to shove the kayak from the rear, as many people do. Then he lifted the bow end into the front cradle while I held the back of the kayak against the rear tower, with the stern still sitting on the rear crossbar. Once the bow end was centered in the cradle, he came to my end and lifted the stern end into the rear cradle. I had to use a stepladder to strap the kayak in, and here again the extra crossbar width helped. It was there to steady myself if I needed it.

On a Civic, you will not need the stepladder. But long crossbars will still make loading easier.

Good luck. After today, I am extra-glad we have a trailer for 99.9% of our trips.