Carrying Capacity of Car

Hi there,

Not a new paddler per se but recently considered getting a tandem Kayak for me and my fiance to enjoy. She’s a fan but is too scared to go at it alone (go figure) and always prefers to go together. Till now always rented tandems but with how things are at the moment (byebye planned trips) am considering getting a SeaBirds Designs Tandem.

Only problem is I might have underestimated how large they get. Was looking at the Nordr L2 and whilst we both loved it we are concerned with how easy/difficult it would be to carry onto the car. We have a Seat Arona Crossover which is approx 13.5 feet long. The Nordr L2 is a healthy 21 feet long.

Anybody can give advice if this would work and how to best load/unload/carry this thing to the beaches safely? PS: No motorways here :slight_smile:


I had never heard of a Seat vehicle before. Cool! Fun looking that up.

It appears your vehicle has elevated rails so a Thule 450/450r Crossroad Foot Pack or Thule Rail Evo footpack will attach crossbars to your tails. Thule bars will be rated to 185lbs,/83kg. But the mfg rails may be less. Either way you will be good for the 37kg of the Norse L2. Also the rails will give you a good spread between the forward and rear crossbar so carry the 21’ tandem. Use bow and stern tie downs as well as a flag off the stern as there will be a good bit of overhang past the rear bumper.

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Thanks for the comments! Yea I suppose Seat might not be as common over there - but since I am living in Malta I guess certain brands are more common.

Good to hear that is can easily and safely done. I just never carried anything over 15ft before so was a bit concerned if it is an issue!

I have carried canoes over 18 feet for years on top of my pickups, some as small as a Ford Ranger.
For an old wood and canvas canoe that weighs 90 pounds I use a small trailer.

Not so good for windy roads in the woods or crowded city parking lots.

I’ve heard of Seat, wish they sold them in the US. Very long hulls can be carried successfully on V-bar racks. The V-bars are held at the ends of long central bars - here’s a 17 ft boat on a 12 ft Mini. They worked well with this hull that had no bow/stern tie down points. Kayak Pro makes them, and Goodboy.

PS there are no bungees or straps shown in this picture, but I use one of each at the bow and stern V cradles. Also, for boats with tie-down points, I use those too. It is a very solid system.

A 17-foot boat on a 13-foot car.

They should do a retake of that photo… He still has the canoe (at least he did last fall) but now has a Honda Insight to put under it. I wonder if the tires would clear the wheel well…

My friend whose teen daughter was in the Olympic trials for kayaking used to haul her girl’s 22’ training surfski on the roof of a SmartCar. Not at high speeds on the highway, mind you, but for trips under 25 miles to local waters. I’ve hauled my 15’ to 18’ kayaks thousands of highway miles on a small-roofed Mazda CX5.

When I saw Carl last Fall he had some kind of weird vintage race canoe on his Insight and was excited because he knew no one would know what it was. Not that he’s eccentric or anything.

None of us are.