Best position for kayak on roof

Hi all, I’m looking for info on the best placement of a SOT kayak on the roof of my van. I have factory roof rack on a 16’ van with a 12 1/2’ SOT kayak. Is it better toward the front or more toward the back? Right now, if I center it, it’s about 3" past the front and back of the top.

Also, same question regarding a Sit Inside on a car without a rack.

Thanks for any info


What really matters are two things:
1. Where is the boat positioned relative to the rack (centered, forward of center, rearward of center). Forward of center on the rack supports will make the boat catch crosswinds and traffic turbulence much worse than if it’s centered, while rearward of center will greatly reduce those effects. This is a huge issue with canoes, but less so with kayaks. It’s still worth considering.

2. Where is the boat supported relative to any strong places, like internal bulkheads. It’s best to put at least one of the bulkheads (if there are any) over a cross bar.

Between the two of those issues, figure out where you want to put it. Forget about where the boat is relative to the rest of the car.

several positions in your driveway, then try to move the boat with your hands. The most secure position is the best. On a large van roof, the position of a small kayak will have minimal effect on handling.

Sideways. It will act like a wing and
give your van some positive lift.