Help - car rack for tandem

We have just bought an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL tandem kayak. We’re having a great time with the kayak so far but driving to and from the kayak sites has been a bit scary. We are trying to secure this beast with the ‘universal’ attachment system we bought at the store - 2 foam blocks and a bunch of tie downs - and the factory racks on a 10 year old Isuzu Rodeo or a 5 year old Subaru Outback wagon. The Subaru seemed to work OK. The Rodeo has worked fine on our way to the site but we’ve had too much movement on the way home - the blocks are shifting around and we have to snug the tie downs so much we bend the kayak to get it home safely. Since we live in the desert and have to travel significant distances to water, we need a better system. All of the instructions I have seen for Thule and Yakima racks have shown them with cute, little singles. Anyone else have a long, wide plastic beast? What tie down / car rack system do you recommend? We’re looking at Thule’s system with a J - shaped holder or either vendor’s system with four cradling pads. Thanks!!

In the past, I have used both
Yak racks with Hully Rollers in the back and saddles in the front and also Thule racks with Hydroglides in the rear and saddles in the front.

Have you been using bow and stern tie downs as well as just strapping the boat to the rack? If not, you should, and it will probably cut down on a lot of your movement.

A friend of mine uses the foam blocks and routinely travels w hundreds of miles at freeway speeds of up to 70-75 mph with a 17 foot 23 inch wide single. His boat does not move at all.


– Last Updated: Apr-10-06 9:15 AM EST –

Some simple rain gutter roof rack clamps work well ,build your own cross piece cradle out of lumber or electrical conduit covered with black foam insulation . I use the small 3/4 - 1" ratchet straps, even through both rear doors with the windows down a bit.

Always tying to bow to the bumper with a cord as 90% of the time boats " depart the vehicle " when they turn sideways or the airflow lifts the boats bow.

April: Both Thule and Yakima will work fine for transporting your tandem. Local dealers should be able to look up your vehicle and tell you what fit kit and foot pack you need, as well as load bar size if you decide to go that route. You are welcome to e-mal me and I can also look up the info for you … goodluck,kim

I had the same problem
I even had a chance to talk to a factory rep about it.

Are you using bow and stern lines. Make them form an upside down V from the boat to both ends of the bumper. This will solve the problem.

I use the same system, foam blocks on factory crossbars, with a Loon 160T.

Thule’s glide and sets.

– Last Updated: Apr-10-06 4:00 PM EST –

Thule's glide and sets are what I use. They should fit on your existing cross rails. The existing cross rails should be strong enough, if you're only hauling one kayak. Saving you the purchase of new cross rails. Here's a photo of the "glide" feet.
I have found that bringing the webing down right next to each side of the kayak, will keep it from sliding side to side.
Also, I believe you said you had an OK SOT, it should have scupper holes. So, you should be able to weave the straps in and out of the holes and around the cross rails. Doing so should eliminate any side to side and fore and aft tendencies. Of course the inverted V tie downs on the bow and stern will help too.