Hauling Kayaks

I am building a kayak trailer to haul my kayaks around in, we currently have 4 and are looking for a 5th kayak. Typically we are only hauling 2, maybe 3 at a time, but when we are going to meet friends we take all of them. Our trailer design is pretty simple there are 2 - 1.25" bars welded across the trailer (like luggage racks on the car) and we are going to attach J-racks to put the kayaks in. There should be enough room for 4 and maybe even 5 sets of racks, which will prevent us from having to add a second level, although this is an option for a later date if need be.

Ok on to the question. Is there a best way to set up the racks in the trailer?

A V pattern?


An upside down V pattern?


All the same direction?

\\ or ////

I think I’m leaning towards all the same direction as that should allow me to get the most on 1 level, but I don’t know if there are any benefits to hauling them another way. Thanks for any help in this matter.

Most folks I know who carry more than 2 boats switch from J racks to just using a stacker type carrying method (so kayaks are totally on their side). if the trailer is specific for kayaks, you can also not have a horizontal bar, but put the bars on a slat toward a center point - this would help hold kayaks in place.

If you stick to Js, just set up so you can get boats in/out easily. if the rack deck is pretty low, can be anything If high, then getting kayaks on to the inner Js will be a challenge no matter what direction you point them.

I must be missing something ??
How on earth would you get kayaks into upside down J cradles ?

Jack L

Not upside down
The 'upside down V, would be the way the kayaks look from the front or rear of the trailer depending on which direction the kayaks lean.

Already have j-racks
Since we already have all but one set of the J-racks, from hauling them around ion my truck and my son’s suv. it makes sense, budget wise, to stick with them, but I will look into the stackers. The trailer is low to the ground.

2nd the stackers
J racks take up a lot of space, not really the attachment to carry multiple boats efficiently. You can even fit more on a bare crossbar.

Get em up.
I would definitely mount whatever racks you choose at least at chest level, so the boats are very visible to following traffic.

I’m kind of wondering how wide your trailer is, or how shallow your kayaks are. My trailer is five feet wide not counting the wheels and fenders and there’s no way I could squeeze six boats in one layer on edge, or any other way without mashing them against each other and that just ain’t going to happen.

The cross bars we added are 5’6". I’m doing 4 kayaks to start, I don’t think I will manage 5, there is probably room for 5, but one of the welds will prevent us from mounting a rack in the middle. the top of the highest edge of the kayak will be between waste and chest level, also the kayaks are very brightly colored. If we need to do more than 4, we will weld a center bar and do a second level, or we will do our own version of stackers.

extra boat
You can always put a piece of pool noodle on the cross bars in between the two inside kayaks on the J bars and just strap the extra kayak on top of the cross bars. I’ve done it on several short trips on my trailer, we had 8 kayaks, 3 on the roof too.

Bill H.

Hauling Kayaks
I have a Malone trailer and I can haul up to 8 kayaks on it using J cradles in the upside down V you show. My trailer has a post in the middle of both cross bars so it looks like this //I\.