How far would you take your 17" kayak on

How far would you take your 17" kayak on your roof, woithout a real roof rack? I have 2 countoured foam blocks, a belly strap and bow and stern lines. An a toyota corolla. Think this is good for higways for 700 miles?

i wouldn’t hesitate to travel with it on blocks. one thing you might consider would be to turn it over (deck down). would decrease the chance of deforming in the sun. -harry

The setup you describe is good for 699 miles max.

Any further and everything will be ruined.

For non-short trips, I add a second belly band, and I use two independent bow lines (as opposed to one triangular line). I have twice had a line fail at highway speed, abraded from the constant vibration, and both times the boat was solid, because I had backup lines on.

– Mark

Use two straps…not one.
Stop after the first half hour and check straps, tiedowns and tighten as needed. Be careful not to overtighten with plastic boat.

Get your credit card ready it was $4.69 a gallon when I got gas this morning.

A 17" kayak
would fit in the trunk :wink:


i usually place
my most recent model on the dash of my car so i can study it while driving. i like to build a 1" to 1’ scale model before building a boat. my most recent model is an 18" x 8" hawaiian outrigger sailing canoe. i’m hoping it will soon manifest itself (with some help from me) as a full size replica! : )

Took Two Kayaks…
…Newfoundland to Nova Scotia and back, with a ‘rack’ made of two pieces of rolled carpet duct-taped around pool noodles. Anchored two belly straps to the four grab handles in the 4Runner, tied ‘em off with a truckers’ hitch. Rigged nose and stern lines, of course. Nothing moved, 'cept some paint from the roof after a couple of more seasons of using this setup…

blocks & straps
this reminds me of my first kayak

Foam blocks work but you must be responsible to lash a secure setup.

They will ruin the paint on your car.

Use two belly straps, & make sure to put a hitch in them to back up the buckles.

Cut slits in 4 tennis balls and thread onto the straps, one on each side of the yak, or, twist the straps. Either of these measures will help cancel out vibrations which can be the death of straps on a long highway trip. Stop often to check your rig. Stop if you hear any odd noises. Stop and tighten if you go through rain and your straps are nylon–it will loosen if wet. I would err to tighter rather than looser. Dents in a poly yak will come out once the pressure is off and it sits in the sun a bit. Definitely strap it upside down to put the strain on the gunwales. A cockpit cover :: may :: help gas mileage over long hauls, not sure about this, but it stands to reason. Leave yourself extra following distance – any evasive actions you might need to take could be bad. You surely do not want to have to slam on breaks and thus test your rig hard. This happened to me once, following traffic through a town, the car in front of me wrecked when a vanovershot the stop sign on a side street – I did have to stop hard, in drizzle-- thank goodness I was not tailgating.

Good luck, and safe trip!

how much do you weigh??
I dont think a 17" kayak could hold my weight. I think the kayak could rest on your lap while you drive. :wink:

go for it

A 17 incher probably
doesn’t have room for the blocks, a belly strap, and bow/stern lines. If there’s no room in the car, just hold it out the window and you can let the wind carry it up and down, up and down, up and down. Wheeeeeee!

Or maybe rubber band to attach it to the antenna.


Why no rack?
Seriously, people have done the not-a-rack thing and gotten away with it. But it requires more diligence to set up and much checking along the way, especially if you are talking the roof run of Toyota’s smallest sedan rather than a wagon or other longer roof line.

Is there a reason you wouldn’t be considering a full third party roof rack at some soon point anyway, since you have the boat? It’d also make you life easier for local runs.

18" outrigger canoe
heres my latest model of a proposed 18’ sailing outrigger canoe. [URL=<a href=“” TARGET="_new"></a>] heavily influenced by gary dierking’s book ‘outrigger sailing canoes’

Here’s my 17" kayak
Here it is on the water…

And about to be rigged on my roof rack…

Sometimes I take this one…


For me, it’s expense.
I have a recreational boat that I paid less than $500. Between paddle, PFD, safety gear- I’ve got quite a percentage of the cost of the boat into “secondary” items.

I just can’t justify $200 or more on a roof rack for a $500 boat.

So, I’m stuck doing the “foam pads & straps”-thing.

Oops - 17" not feet
I really should not do too much in the morning…

niiice! nm

So, you can justify losing the kayak
and possibly damaging other vehicles? You are looking at the rack thing all wrong. Its an investment you’ll have long after you’ve moved on to another kayak. I’ve had mine since 1984, pays for itself with peace of mind that may kayaks and canoes stay where they belong.

One foot
might fit in a 17" kayak. I will stick with my 17’8" kayak where I can get both feet and my butt in.