My girlfriend has an Oru Bay which she likes and which we have taken from the sea to lakes. We always unpack and pack it at the kayaking site, but I’m wondering if anyone ever does that at home instead and then car-tops it. Can you cinch it down tight enough without damaging it? Will it bend against the wind pressure?
Yes, the point of the Oru is its easy foldability. But sometimes, it would be nice to do that in the garage instead of a rocky/sandy lake shore. Thanks.
Me thinks car topping is not a good idea
I don’t think you can tie it down tight enough without crushing it.
If it was possible, which I doubt, it would defeat the purpose of buying an Oru in the first place.
They fit their niche nicely, but that is not about car-topping.
I understand your point, but it doesn’t entirely defeat the purpose of the Oru. The compactness is necessary for her small living space. Ferrying it to and fro was a secondary consideration.
But yes, car-topping seems perilous.
There was a pretty long thread about the Oru foldable kayak about a year ago that started out about Oru advertising practices that show them in use in what many here felt were questionable circumstances. Big water and such. It would be a good thread to find and read thru hearing some folks way more knowledgeable than me giving their opinions.
Here is how I kind of think about the subject. If you believe a kayak or canoe because the Oru is pretty open and doesn’t support a spray skirt as far as I know, isn’t strong enough to be strapped to a car top or survive a trip on a car top, is it then strong enough that I want to be out in the ocean or doing open water crossings with. There was a lot of concern also as they lack any kind of capsize flotation that most of us here feel is important for much more than pond paddling. Most cheap rec-kayaks fall into the no flotation category although the better ones have at least one sealed bulkhead and some have two. those of us that don’t have built in flotation have added it with air bladders and such.
Actually if an oru was put together at home and then fitted with a bow and stern air bladder inflated it might be able to be car topped at reasonable speeds double strapped and bow and stern lines. It would indeed be much safer when put to use IMO.
You’re probably thinking of Oru’s rec models. The Oru Bay has a metal coaming and Oru makes spray skirts for it. They also make float bags that you insert forward and aft of the bulkheads during assembly. Based on what I’ve seen on YT, self-rescue is the biggest challenge to open water paddling with this boat.
Definitely not going to get into a long discussion over the merits and capabilities of Orus; as noted, that’s been discussed elsewhere. I will say, however, that the Bay St. is a very capable and sturdy kayak that performs quite well in lakes, reservoirs and sheltered areas of the SF Bay. It tracks well and is decently fast. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I’ve seen. I’d never recommend my girlfriend take it in the open seas or rough waters, or paddle alone. But I might recommend her model over some of the large cockpit hard-shell rec boats that are out there. Cheers.
I see that now. I took a look and see they have several upgrades to the Bay St where you get air bags and they also sell an optional spray skirt. Looks like they are moving in the right direction. If it is as tough as the manufacture states and the OP says then why not strap it on the roof. It should see much more punishment in the water than on top of the car. It is hard to tell from their website how large the float bags are or how they are tied into the folding design. Maybe the OP can tell us if they add any support to the hull shape when blown up.
It looks like it would need to be carried right side up on a cradle.
Give it a try.
She doesn’t have the float bags. I didn’t know Oru made them. I’ll recommend that she get some. Not sure about added support. But maybe.
The float bags are just thin nylon bags with an inflation tube you blow into. They can’t hold enough pressure to provide structural support.
Perhaps you could get away with driving it short distances at low speeds only. But I suspect you’d have to fabricate something custom to carry it on the highway without damage.
My girlfriend’s dog crate once flew off the top of my car on the freeway because of a malfunctioning strap. I hate to think what she would do to me if something like that happened to her Oru. No car-topping.
I hope the dog wasn’t hurt.
Hmmm. Never occurred to me to put him on the roof.
Why not just build it over a towel or two? It would keep it cleaner. The Oru only takes a few minutes to put together just as my sea eagle takes a few minutes to inflate.