Reply to Question #2
– Last Updated: Apr-05-14 9:13 PM EST –
The earlier answer about using padding is on the right track but it doesn't address what happens when you drag the boat toward the car (the tail of the boat slips off the pad and you are right back to having the same problem for which you want an answer), but thinking ahead solves that part of the problem. There is absolutely NO reason to drag the boat on its tail during loading.
Learn to know how far behind the vehicle the tail of your boat will be touching the ground once the boat is leaned against your loading apparatus. Once you have that part figured out (for my boats, "three steps" behind the rear bumper is a close enough measurement - you don't need to be very accurate with long boats, but you'll need a bit more accuracy for short ones), lay a little piece of padding on the ground at that spot. I usually use the cheap, loaner PFD that's always in my car, but anything will work. That bit of padding is your "target" that marks where the tail goes when you set the boat down, but now you'll need to line up the boat diagonally away from the direction the car is pointed because that bit of padding is less than a boat-length away from the car (THIS is the thing no one wants to do, but not doing it is the very thing that creates the necessity of dragging the boat in the first place - so don't do what everyone else does).
Once you've set the boat on the ground in the proper place so that the tail sits over the bit of padding (and the boat is diagonally offset from the way the car is pointed), all you need to do is pick up the front end and pivot it toward the car and set it down on that rear bar. Bingo, you are done, and the tail of the boat didn't go anywhere at all - hence, no dragging.