Bit the bullet on a kayak, question

After driving myself crazy and changing my mind and not being able to figure out car racks especially

I went to a store to look at car racks and ended up coming home with Yakima saddles in front, hully rollers in back attached with mighty mounts to my factory racks.

As it turned out they had a used Loon 111 which I was sort of looking and also a used Marvel which actually was lighter to pick up and nicer I was going to buy it but turns out it wasn’t for sale so I came home with the loon 111.

So the guy helped me strap it on and I’m going to leave it on there overnight, take it out tomorrow morning and then put it in a friends garage (I’m in an apt, hope it doesn’t get stolen)

So my question is - while its on the car in the sun - I’m assuming I should loosen the straps?



I wouldn’t, because I have the
attention span of a gnat and would surely forget to tighten them and drive off with them loose.

I’ve left a plastic rec boat on my racks for days on end in the Florida sun without loosening the straps, and it was fine.

Lasso security cables are great for keeping the boat safe from theft while on your car.

Congratulations on your new kayak. You’ll have fun!

leaving it on car
Straps need to be tight, not ridiculously cranked down. S/be tight enough that rocking the kayak will rock the car slightly.

If the guy at the store knew what he was doing he made the straps tight enough but not overly tight.

Ask someone who has some experience kayaking to look.

Generally overtight straps and day upon day of beating sun are not kind to rotomoulded plastic kayaks. If the kayak warms up too much and dents, some come out as the kayak cools, others need some extra TLC, e.g. weights on a hot day or some time w. a hair dryer. Some dents are like tattoos, easy to get, hard to get rid of.

If you loosen the straps and think you might forget to re-tighten them, take off one of the small Mako straps and wrap it on the steering wheel as a reminder.

P.S. Does that Loon need float bags? IIRC it doesn’t have a bulkhead. From pix here is no hatch cover, so I am guessing no bulkhead. If it needs bags they will last longer if you don’t store them longterm in the kayak, dry them out betw. trips, and leave them partially deflated til you launch. The WW guys here can tell you more.

I agree with Sissy
I leave mine on and tight off and on for four months in the Florida sun.

I also leave them on and tight on many overnight trips throughout the rest of the year.



on the new boat! If you’re in the Ohio area, check out our meet up group at and come out and paddle sometime.

for the info. Good idea about the reminder.

This is the polylink stuff so…not as deformable?

No it does not have float bags (or any hatch space) but I wasn’t planning on getting any…? I plan on mostly lakes and slowish rivers.

float bags

– Last Updated: Aug-08-09 9:22 PM EST –

first time you capsize you will want some. I hope you are not thinking you never will.

The more empty space,the more space for water. One gallon of water = 8 lbs. Your kayak can get really heavy even partially full. Fully flooded it could sink. Well, it prolly will sink.

whether Polylink3 (which is a foam inner core sandwiched in rotomoulded plastic) provides enough floatation when the boat is flooded - well, 20 gallons of water is 160 lbs. and that's not even filling the boat. If you are in the boat or trying to climb back in, add your weight to that.

Test it out for yourself before you go paddling. Flood the boat in calm water, 3-4 feet , see how low it sinks, and try hauling it around. Have a helper avail in case it gets interesting.

Now, imagine the water is deep enough and you can't stand up. Then add just a little current making it a little harder to cut over to the riverbank.

I would be very happy to be proven wrong bec. it would mean you would be safer.

Who sold you this boat & never discussed floatation? I don't mean by name, but were they a locally owned paddleshop?

floatation - Loons
from a pnet review for Loon 100 (the Loon 100, 111 both lack bulkheads))

One word of caution, I purposely capsized Mr Loon 100 in 4 feet of water to see if I could flip it back upright full of water, unlike a canoe, it doesn’t work. The best I was able to do was get the boat 1/2 empty and attempted to get back in, which I did with no problem. But at this point the boat became completely unstable and continually rolled on either side with paddle horizontal to water it dumped me out every time. I always wear a PFD, but incase of mishap I always carry 4 extra cushions I wedge 1 in the Bow and 3 behind the seat for extra flotation in an emergency. If you dump along ways from shore and want to stay with the boat until help arrives, it won’t sink just grab onto the bow or stern handle and just relax. The Cushion behind seats works great for throwing to a swimmer or boater in trouble as well.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GET BACK IN, and as for trying to Pull or Tow the boat to shore while swimming, just remember there is 400-800 pounds of water in it preventing this from happening.


from Tom Haltey’s well regarded site TopKayaker. He is discussing the shortcomings of this type of recreational boat in T rescues, it applies even more so in solo rescues -

recreational (short) sit-in kayaks - right: Old Town Loon 111 - that rarely have bulkheads or even floatation bags. For this reason I cannot stress more the need for bulkheads or proper float bags in any type of sit-in-side kayak. Ask your sit-in buddies if they have them, and encourage them to get them if necessary. (Look for more about rescue of “no float bag kayaks” and other rescues here in the future.)

We have two Loon 111’s and they’re a favorite of my son and his friends. Especially those that are long legged as this boat has the seat attached to side rails making it easy to move the seat forward or backwards according to leg length of individuals.

Very stable, tracks well, easy to exit and Polylink3 is a very durable material. We’ve had ours for 8 or 9 years. Always stored in a garage.

I too would recommend bow and stern bags for this boat, which can be purchased from the “OLD TOWN” website. Though it may now be under Johnson Outdoors.

Have a great time!!!