I usually transport my boats (11’ rec kayak and 14’ rec tourer) in the back of my shortbed pickup. Have devised a bed extender by screwing a molded 2x12 onto 5/4" plywood cut to fit the bed and slide under the plastic bedliner. However, when travelling we usually take my wife’s Nissan Pathfinder w/ factory rack and I have always strapped directly to that. Initially with the rec boat I put it upside down and cranked for all it was worth. The hull deformations seemed to come out.
When I got the 14’ boat I decided to be smart and buy some of the foam kayak forms that fit over the rack - good so far. I also, having learned from past mistakes, tried not to tighten so hard but still have two problems I need help with:
- How tight is right? I have gradually lessened the tension but then travelling this weekend w/ strong wind gusts the bow has about 4" of motion to it. Stopped and tightened. How snug do you tighten if strappign directly to a rack?
- Downside discovered to carrying the boat deck up with the foam blocks - even though I was consciously trying not to overtighten, I have deformed the hull about 8" in front of seat. The boat has a shallow V going to a relatively flat middle (even flatter now) then a lot of rocker at the stern. It does not seem to want to work back out with just leaving it in the sun. Other tricks to try to help it remember its correct shape?
I just bought a fiberglass boat and sprang for a J cradle, but figured I should at least figure out what I did wrong and how to fix it w/ the plastic boat. Plus, hope to save someone else the error of my ways.