Can't kayaks be transported upside down?

I’ve ordered an extend-a-truck hitch extension for my pickup. I plan to make two saddles to fit my kayak under the bulkheads for transporting with this hitch in the back of my pickup.

Why do all the carriers seem to hold the kayak rightside up or on the side?

Wouldn’t an upside down carry help keep rain out?

are generally built stronger than decks…especially in composite

How about for a Perception Carolina plastic yak?

inverted carry
Hi, as other person responded, hulls are generally heavier, sturdier, etc. than a deck, However, I carried boats in a similar configuration for many years. Best to place the rack carriers as close to bulkhead as possible. Upside down on carry is nice for rinsing inside of boats…hose it down, let it all drain out. Care must be taken not to cinch down overly tight…but that’s another reason for proximity to bulkhead.

When you make the saddles, have most of the support on the chines. That’s where its strongest. Look at the Yakima and Thule saddles. They support the chines with nothing in the middle.

Not only does it keep out rain…
But it is also stated in “most” if not “all” kayak owners manuals to:

“store & transport your kayak either upside down or on it’s side”

I still haven’t figured out why so many people question the “storage & transportaion”, when it is clearly stated in the owner’s manuals of each boat.

The following has been cut & pasted from pages 9 & 14 of my owners manual:

“Use a roofrack appropriate for your kayak. Carry your kayak upside down or on it’s side.”

“Store your kayak away from direct sunlight. If possible, store your kayak on it’s end. Otherwise keep it on it’s side or upside down. Do NOT hang any kayak by it’s grabloops.”

Paddle easy,


me too
I have also wondered why there are so many asking about storage and tranport when it is covered in the owner’s manuals. I think that a lot of folks are buying used boats and must not have manuals to read. If thats the case, I would think a manufacturer would send you a manual for the asking. It would also cover other questions boat owners may have.

kayak owners manuals??
Who in the heck has one of those?

A lot of us regular folks buy used, therefore we have never seen a owners manual.

LMAO!! Now I have heard it all…
People buying “used kayaks”, but paying $200 for a hammock & $90 for a hat… HAHAHAHA!!!

Just kidding!!! giving alittle humor back at ya…

You can call the kayak manufacturer & ask them for a copy of the manual…

Paddle easy,


It’s more fun
to ask questions of fellow paddlers - thousands of them - on this board than it is to order a manual from a manufacturer. Quicker, too. Generally more informative as well.

Not true at all
Go ahead and carry your boats upside down. The various deck features (shaped) create strength in the decks even though some manufacturers have lighter lay-ups on the decks. Ever see how the manufacturers carry the boats? How they are stacked inside truck trailers? On padded bars stacked on their sides, or upside down. There’s a whole industry created to have you buy a bunch of crap to hold your boat, and it’s mostly fluff, except some set ups help weaker solo folk load boats. I’ve carried hundreds of kayaks over the last 20 years on padded bars. Almost always upside down, or on edge. Never a broken boat. Always try to carry poly boats upside down with bars corresponding to bulkheads, coaming features etc.

Opinions were wanted
I wanted real life wisdom gleamed from people that have done this.

That’s why I posted a question here.

What else is the forum for? :wink:

My dagger manual (boat is long gone) sez rightside up. I agree that unless the boat is unusually light you should be able to carry either way. Don’t get sucked in by all the unnecessary Yakima and Thule fittings.

Right on, baby
I’ve always transported my plastic yaks upside down on padded racks. I’ve never had a problem. Just be sure not to over tighten the straps. A lot cheaper than paying for extra saddles and rollers.

The manufacturers of recreational kayaks (like Perception)which don’t have bulkheads or reinforcement, reccomend transporting the kayak hull side up or on its side to stop oilcanning.(Getting a dent in the hull)

Upside Down
I transport ours upside down on the truck rack, and one in Hull-a-port and one upside down on our Ford Escape. Another benifit to upside down is I have the combing just behind the rack and this makes the Yak less prone to move (actually, impossible to move forward) on the rack. Plus, as mentioned, keeps the water out. I have only plastic yaks, though. WW

Yea, and since…
no two answers are ever the same, you throw them all into a hat, pick out one and then still do what you originally were going to do.



My Carolina,…
Upside down, foam blocks under the bulkheads, 2 hull straps, bow and stern lines, 75 miles an hour, no problems.

I resemble that remark!

depends for me
My Scrambler SOTs are always carried stacked top-up.

When I carry my Mallards SinKs, I tie them deck down to keep the rain and bugs out of them.

But when I carry my Mallards AND my Scramblers, I load the Scramblers deck-up side-by-side then nest my Mallards inside the Scramblers and tie them as one unit.

I’ve never had any problem no matter how I tie them.

My only concern is that if they are deck up, I can toss my gear bag inside and leave the back seat of my car for lunch.

But if they are deck up, anything falling from the sky (rain, bird droppings, rocks tossed by a truck) can settle inside.

I have a Gemini that is thinner plastic which warps if I carry it deck down but a block of styro-foam shoved inside gives enough strength to fix that problem.