Carrying a kayak on car roof

Does anyone know if it is safe to haul a 15ft kayak on the rook of a Mazda 3 hatchback?

But, you can definitely carry 16 footer

How do you plan to affix it?
The car/roof can carry it, but without info on what kind of rack system or alternative you plan to use (including bow line etc) it is not easy to answer this.

However, if you want to carry a 17 footer, you’ll have to get a smaller car:

22 foot on an Accord
My son carries his 22 foot racing canoe on his Honda Accord and only uses foam blocks. Looks pretty strange up there but it works.

Or a faster car

Long boat on short car
At the 2010 Downeast Sea kayaking Symposium

Yes & it depends
whether your car has Fixed Points then the Thule 460 Foot Pack will allow for 165lbs of load or if it is a bare naked roof with no factory anchor fixed points then the 480 Foot Pack and 135lb capacity.

Add saddles or foam blocks and you’re good to go.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

foam blocks
I used to carry canoes on a Nissan Sentra using the blue foam blocks. We once went from L.A. to New Orleans with a 15 footer and never had to so much as tighten a strap.

good luck,


Mazda 3
You can but if you have a sun roof the foam blocks may not work - you will need racks. Make sure you also have a place to tie down the ends. I remember hauling an 18’ canoe on our old Mazda Protege - looked pretty funny.

big boat on a little car
Somewhere i have a pic of my 17’ kayak on a smart car.

I have a 2011…
…Mazda 3 sedan, which I bought primarily to carry my 17 foot kayak.

My “3” has fitting points on the roof under little black plastic caps. The Yakima mounts screw right in and the Thule 887xt carrier clamps on nicely to the Yakima cross bars.

I use one tie down utilizing the tow bolt for my bow line and use both of the under car tow mounts for the rear. Works very nicely.

VW Bug
I once drove a VW Beattle from Vermont to St. Francis ME with three 17 foot tripping canoes on top and 4 guys inside. Not really a recommended procedure.

I used a Thule rack (with saddles)on my Chevy Impalla and am hoping the rack fits the Mazda as well. I may need a new rack.

I have a Mazda 3 hatchback
and have transported a 19’+ WSBS EFT kayak. Thule roof racks are sturdy, but the spread is short. A better setup is using the front roof rack with a “goalpost” type rack attached to a receiver type trailer hitch. The spread is much better. I also have foam blocks placed on the racks shaped to match the hull contour. The blocks improve the security even more. Buy some straps designed to be secured under the hood and hatch for securing the ends of the boat.