home made cradles?

I have a utility rack from US Rack for my Ford Super crew truck. I have been hauling 2 yaks flat on top and the other 2 in the bed. I’d like to fabricate some cradles so I can transport all 4 kayaks on their sides on top. The rack is 2" square tubing. The thule stackers and similar products just seem like so much $$$$.

Does anyone have any ideas?

On my Thule flat bar rack, I bolted down a threaded half in pipe base around the bar, screwed in a piece of half in pipe about 20 inches long with a cap on top with a eyebolt bolted thru the cap. Works great as a stacker. Been using it for 25 yrs. You could probably weld a pipe base onto your rack. The four bolt holes for the pipe base fit just precisely on either side of my Thule rack. I used a second pipe base on the bottom to run the bolts thru.

Welding shop…
you need 8 “J” cradles (2 per boat)…have the shop heat and bend 1" steel pipe into “J’s” (size about like the malone J Cradles in height and width)… then weld the pipes to the 2" truck rack…(or figure a way to temporarily Pin them in place) might try welding the “J’s” back to back to add strength…

You will need to take ALL of the boats down to the shop so they can determine the required spacing between the Cradles.

the Pipe J’s can be covered with pool noodles or rubber hose for padding…and the tiedown straps can be routed through the pipes (Make sure the inside AND outside edges of the pipe openings are rounded to prevent cutting the straps…)

1. Use the plumbing idea above and use u-bolts to attach the verticle post to your bar.

2. Buy the yellow wheel chocks from Walmart to mount on the bar about 8 inches (depending on the boat) from the verticle post. This will keep the boats from sliding out. Pad it all with noodles and what ever else you have.

This should cradle the boats well. I am using the wheel chocks to make a cradle for my boats now. They work great and are cheap.

Good timing

– Last Updated: Jun-11-07 5:39 PM EST –

Good timing on this question. I have not been on in awhile and I just decided on the stake pocket rack and was trying to figure out if I should buy j cradles or the malone j cradles or try to make something. I need to carry 3 kayaks. 2 14 footers and one 16 footer. I was thinking of 2 sets of j's for the short kayak and then the 3rd down the middle flat on the bars.

I didn't know what size square the rack bars were so I didn't know if I could use yakima or thule J's on that rack. I'll be curious to hear any other answers.

To me the nice thing about the malone j's is that small loading plastic piece, but I couldn't side load the boat from outside my truck anyway, I'd need to place it on the rack and then lift into the cradle.


Plastic wheel chocks.

pardon my girliness, but
what are those?

i ask because it sounded rather simple, and i’m going to be wanting to do some cradling for the little floaty thing one of these days.

Malone Stackers
Was in the local kayak shop the other day and saw a Malone brochure which showed stackers. Didn’t see any price but I’m sure they are cheaper than Thule or Yakima.

Any day on the water is a great day,


Wheel Chocks
They are used to keep a car from rolling by placing it on the downhill side of a tire. They are also used on trailer wheels so when you unhook your trailer it doesn’t take off down the hill.

You can find them in the auto section at Walmart. They are yellow and are about 5 inches wide.

got pics?
Does anyone have pictures of any of these methods?

I never would have thought of wheel chocks! How do you mount them? I’m sure I could figure it out, but if someone has already put them on a rack, I’m curious to see it.