Foam blocks v pool noodles

So the bed of my pickup truck is good for hauling boats, as long as its a short (sub 10’) whitewater boat. And now that I’m looking at buying a long touring boat, its not gonna want to sit in the bed. Which means I need to get a setup apt for long boats. On my truck, I’ve got a headache rack mounted in the bed that sticks up above the cab with a nice big 2"x2" crossbar to hold up one end of the boat. I’ve bought a bed extender that’ll let me create a rear rack at the same height as the headache rack, also with a nice big 2"x2" crossbar up top.

So this leads me to the big question: Those foam blocks look to be the right size that I could just set them on the crossbars, velcro strap them to the crossbar (not split and slipped over, just strapped to the top), and then set a kayak up there and strap it down. Or, instead of spending all that money on the fancy minicell foam with the v cut in it, I could go pick up some cheap pool noodles and do the same thing (and be set up to haul 2 or 3 boats for less cost than blocks for 1 boat). Does it make any difference that the foam is different and there isn’t a pre-formed v shape in it?

And I suppose as a followup, does anyone have any experience with attaching j hooks to a crossbar that big? I see all the kits sold are really meant to fit on roof racks, not a heavy truck rack. Would it be as simple as getting longer bolts for the attachment?

Pool noodles disintegrate with time, sun, and exposure in that situation. Cheap but it’ll look mangy after awhile.

Spend the $20 on a mini cell foam block and zip tie it in place.

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The Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
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minicell v blocks on 2x4. 2x4" are side blocked with minicell length plus 4" each side 1x6 using screw nails pilot holes electric drill. Prevents movement for n aft. Cross members go under bow area ahead of your feet or under a structural member: look. There maybe signs of a thickness in this area. The stern cross member goes under the last of the stern coaming or again an obvious structural member.

Use 14’ cam straps looping under cross members either side hull then double over hull. Will find image. here

The collection of images may not show diagonal 1x4 or 6 bracing for n aft movement of the wood structure. All structures have diagonal bracing, see wood house framing in Google Images

paddle net advertisers have supplies. Mcmaster Carr supplies hardware for example 3 1/2" bolts for a 2x4 frame.

Pool noodles compress and lose their memory. There are all kinds of alternatives. I wrapped my 2" X 4" supports with recycled foam carpet padding and then wrapped the foam with plush carpet. If you’re lucky, you can find a carpet place that will give you free remnants of both. I used duct tape to hold the padding and carpet together. Mine is on a trailer, but for your pickup, you could make up cross supports for your bed rack that are quick to remove if you don’t want the decoration there all the time.

Heretic here. I use pool noodles on my roof rack. 30 seconds to cut off a length and slice to pop over the bar. The stuff wears out but is cheap and having a spare length of it in the car is no biggie. Also I tie down with ropes instead of cam buckles. Easy enough to find rope if some goes missing. Rope is just as fast as tie down straps. Huge advantage, I untie at launch and leave the noodle bits and rope on my rack, slim chance anyone is going to steal it and if they do I have spare rope and noodle remnants in the car. Fast, cheap, easily replaceable. Watch a chronic tie down strap user have to make do with rope for a laugh…

1" wide poly webbing spreads the load and wear point on your kayak

Pool noodles compress, split, and degrade MUCH faster than minicell blocks. Not just a little faster! I doubt there is any cost saving.

I only used pool noodles for padding J-hanger storage hooks. They still compress but not as fast as something that is out in the sun and being slid on/off.

Pool Noodles will work IF…

  1. remember that they have a short lifetime so replace them often.
  2. buy the Good and Thick ones with a hole in the middle. Those dollar store noodles are no diff than a piece of inner tube.

They will work, but don’t expect them to be as good as a specialty foam block.