Car-top carrying

I’m a newbie, glad I found this board…be gentle with me, please!

Trying to lessen the financial trauma of kayaking, I am buying bits and pieces now, from time to time, before I buy a boat.

For several reasons, I’m looking at buying a 'yak holder for my roof rack (VUE), before buying a boat. I am leaning towards Thule’s Hull-a-port. Problem is, I have read so much in the past month, I can’t keep track. I seem to remember something about composite boats not doing well on J-style racks??? or am I confused?

I’m not certain it will be an issue, 'cause they’re pretty pricey and I am leaning towards poly, but just in case a ‘fantasy deal’ appears…



I have Thule hulaports…
…and then don’t hurt our kevlar yaks or our poly yaks.

With that said, here is my take on them: I have them on Yakama round bars, and I have had to drill holes through them and my bars and put bolts through them to keep them from twisting if I slide the yak on from the back. If I put it on from the side there is no problem.

I also replaced the phillips head machine screws and there little knobs with hex head bolts, nuts and washers.

I wouldn’t buy them again.

I also have some twelve year old Yakama saddles which are perfect.

I have a bunch of different situations where I am constantly changing back and forth from the J cradles to the regular saddles.

If you are just carrying one or two yaks, I would get saddles before the J cradles.



Thanks, Jack
Since my VUE has fairly large oval cross-bars, I likely won’t have to worry about the ‘slipping’ issue.

Although there will likely be only one boat, we do a lot of cycling, and are trying to avoid having to put on/take off the double bike rack already on the roof…there’s just enough room for a J-style rack beside it…also, it’s quite conceivable we will one day want to bring both bikes and the kayak…


Lots out there
Once you make your mind up to buy a hard rack carrier, your basic choice is Thule, Yakima or Malone.

We use Malone because they were less expensive and I really believe better quality. just my .02 worth.

Foam blocks work fine
on a rack

I see Jacks point about the slipping
but I like that because I lay them down against the roof when not in use. They have not bothered my poly yaks in 4 years of using them.

How do I stop
the foam blocks from flipping over off the rack as I push the 'yak on? I’m sure someone has this figured out…I’m thinking duct tape!

slits in em`

One drawback to the Hull-a-port is that you must remove it before putting a vehicle like the Vue in the garage. If you don’t have a garage, then it’s a non-issue. We have a Carolina 13.5 and a Dagger Cypress, and we transport them using a kayak stacker, which can be folded down when not in use. Obviously you’d never want to use a stacker for anything other than a poly boat.

As a newbie—it is not obvious to me why I can’t use a stacker with a rec boat. How do I know if my boat is poly or something else. I can’t find on the Perception site what these kayaks are made of. (2003 Carolina 14.5 and a 2005 America 13.5)


Read my post above…
…for the fix.



Your question is not to clear…
…to me.

Our first kayaks were little plastic rec. ones, and we used Yak stacks to transport them.

I have plastic, and composite ones, and I can and do transport them with any and all methods.

If someone told you that you can’t, I think they are misleading you.

The only thing that I would never use is foam blocks, and I think if anyone is using them they have not been transporting there boats for a long enough time to realize that they are not as stable as a hard rack.



Clarification of ?
The person above stated at the end of the post:


Posted by: gnatcatcher on Aug-03-05 3:20 PM (EST)

…Obviously you’d never want to use a stacker for anything other than a poly boat.

That is why I am asking. Thanks

Gnatcatcher I leave my hullaports on all

– Last Updated: Aug-03-05 10:14 PM EST –

the time. They will lay flat and only stick up about 3 inches when you lay them down on the roof. I should add that I have mine on round bars.

poly boats
I guess what I am saying is that poly boats are cheaper, and stackers are designed for them. I’d never carry a composite or wooden boat on them, as I’d want to cradle them more carefully. I’m not sure, though I may be wrong, that it’s even recommended to use the stacker for anything but poly. Anyone out there know for sure?

I’m so sorry if I didn’t make myself clear in my first post! It’s a problem I have. :slight_smile: Most Perception rec boats are made of poly of some sort, unless they’re the newer Airalite models. The ones you mention are most likely poly. If you go to the Perception website you can see the visual difference between the poly and airalite models. The stacker should work fine for those boats. I just don’t know if they’re recommended for use sith the airalite models.

Ohh OK
Now I understand what you mean—I might have been reading it the wrong way. Thanks

lots of info, thanks.

We do have a garage, but I get the ‘hairy eyeball’ if I refer to it as such; it’s a workshop :slight_smile:

As for the foam blocks, the ones the rental place loaned me had a groove, but didn’t curve around the bottom, just sitting on top of the cross bars…think I’ll see if I can get me some foam…

Gnatcatcher, how do you like your Carolina 13.5? On specs, it’s at the top of my short list; I’ve got a rental booked for next weekend.

Carolina 13.5
I love my Carolina. It’s a 2004, and I hear they’ve improved it for 2005, but I got such a deal at the end of last season that I couldn’t pass it up. We installed a rudder, but I must say I hardly use it. It responds to a lean and tracks well without it, but I’ve not yet been out in hairy weather, though. I mostly use the rudder when I’m watching wildlife, to control the direction of my drift. There are probably other boats out there that I could be happy with as well, but this boat so far has done everything I’ve asked of it, and it puts a smile on my face every time I step into it.

BTW, they claim the Carolina 13.5 is designed for small to medium paddlers. I’m 5’3" with size 7 feet, and it fits me well.

gnatcatcher…I’m 5’5", so it may be a good fit for me too…can hardly wait to try it…