How to Secure a Kayak in a PU Truck

New to Kayaking. The fish brings me to this sport. I have a Wilderness Ride. The boat is amazing. I am currently 270lbs and was concerned about my ability to get in the boat. However it is very comfortable. I am hooked. With paddling, waves, and wind I won’t be 270 much longer. My question- How do I secure this in the back of my PU truck. I have been tying straps through the hand carriers. Is this right? I don’t want to damage my kayak. Thanks

Toe Loops?
I carry my tandem canoe in the back of a pickup for short trips. It is done by angling the stern into one of the front corners of the truck bed. The canoe is then secured to the other side of the tail gate. Bungee cords work great for this. You can tie off to the cargo hooks on the truck, and to the toe loop or seat or handles, whatever works to keep the bow on the opposite side of the bed as the stern. You should have a rubber mat on the floor of the bed. Use additional bungee cords or ropes around the bumper ends and over the top of the boat to keep bouncing down on rough roads. Now, I don’t carry far this way. For long trips, you’ll want a T-post carrier and one that mounts on the roof of the cab. If you have a truck cap, you can mount a carrier on top of that. But if your boat is short enough, you can get by with securing the boat in the bed as described. If it sticks out beyond the tailgate, hang a red flag on the end if you’ll be on regular paved roads.

you need a rack of some kind
The boat needs to be in some kind of rack above the cab laying out flat. I use a system from Yakama. I have used Yakama for my rack needs for more than 15 years I’ll bet. I have used a truck topper myself on 2 different trucks. You drill mounting holes for the removeable mounts. This worked great.You can also build your own from wood if you have no topper by using the stake holes. If you just do a google search on truck racks. I bet there are several dozen at all price points that will work for your truck. Personally I’m done buying racks. Once I need another new rack I’m going to buy some kind of folding or take-apart trailer. That way I don’t have to lift the boat so high in my old age.

more details please …

– Last Updated: Nov-15-09 11:22 PM EST –

....... length of boat , type of truck , bed length , cap or not (cab. heigth cap (flush) or taller),

tow hitch or not (what size) , does a bed liner cover bed rail stanchion holes (does your bed rail have stanchion holes) , do you have tie down hooks (eyes) inside bed ,

numerous options depending on willingness to invest , distances intended to travel , ability to lift boat , and answers to those questions ,

Many times I just throw a boat or two
in the bed of my pick up.

I just do like you do and use two ties through the front grab handle and then go to either side of the front,( I use the stake holes in the side walls), but I also put two on the back and go to each side of the tailgate.

In that way the boat(s) won’t be sliding all over the place.

When I am doing it with a canoe, I just tie it to the thwarts.

Someone above mentioned bungees. That is a no-no in my book . They can and do break, and they can put your eye out if you are pulling one tight and it breaks.

If you are going to be carrying it any distance, you need to think about a rack system.



bed extender
Depends on the length of the kayak.

For my 10 footer, as mentioned earlier, front left to right rear upside down with the tailgate up. Bungee through the carry handle to the front bed tie down. Then large bungees or cam buckle strap from rear tie downs across the yak. Have gone 250 miles this way.

Longer yaks, I got a bed extender. Still do the front bungee, then attach it to the bed extender using straps and bungees. Am in the process of making some sort of cradle to attach to the extender and make the boats a little more secure. Have never had a problem, but just trying to make it easier/quicker to secure.

PU Truck
A 2006 Chevy Sliverado Crew Cab with the short box. Carring a 2010 Wilderness Ride 135 (14 Ft). I do intend to buy a trailer after I purchase my Comander 120 next year. Just looking for a temporary solution.

2X bed extender
I bought a cheap bed extender from Harbor Freight for $40. Strap the boats to it, hang a flag, good to go.

you willing to spend $250. to start ??

– Last Updated: Nov-16-09 1:04 AM EST –

...... this is not for getting a 14' boat to set in a 6' bed and keeping it from falling out or sliding around ... for that use imagination and other suggestions , and best of luck to ya . No insult intended , but I wouldn't even consider such a thing .

The $250. will get you a pair of Q-Towers , a pair of Q-Clips (vehical specific) , SKS locks for your Q-Towers (so no one can just swipe them) , 1-58" round bar w/ end caps (or a shorter or longer bar) , a pair of Aereo Saddles and a H.D. strap (sweet !!).

This is MSRP on a Yakima set up that fits "on your cab" top (carries the front half smartly) . Can be found (new) for better than MSRP at many places .

The rear half has numerous options from your own homemade ideas , to some more investment like a vertical carry stand that fits into a tow hitch . (Reese Canoe Loader - another $90. and another pair of saddles $89. is an example) .

The plus side of the investment opt. is that your boat isn't hanging a mile behind your vehical ... it's up top out of the way and your bed is still empty .

plus , ... your boat is carried in a way that is proper , safe , simple and solid (no worries = smart) .

plus , ... the same items mentioned in the investment opt. can be used on another vehical in the future (although you will have to get another pair of Q-Clips $35. specific to that vehical) .

plus , ... the same items are portable , meaning it takes 5 minutes to get them on the truck when you want to go paddling , 5 minutes take them off and put away when finished paddling . (will stay in new condition if not left on vehical all the time) .

plus , ... if you end up with a vehical that has everything you need on it already to haul your boat ... you can re-sell these items in a heart beat and rececover 50% or more of your investment .

If you need some help with understanding the Yakima line of products available to you , how they work , what people think , see the Yakima web. site , ask here about the products .

Worth every penny for ease , security , and a good proper load and hauling method .

You can sink 3-4 times that amount into carry systems , but you don't need to ... just start with the Q-Towers and Saddles and misc. mentioned ($250.) , and you'll be happy you chose smart right from the begining .

crew cab bed
That’s a 5.5’ bed, I think. I’d skip trying to put a 14’ boat in a 5.5’ bed, and figure out a roof-top or over the bed solution. Even with your tailgate down the bed’s barely half the length of the boat, right?

If you want to get out cheap, make a stake-pocket rack out of 2x3 uprights, and 2x6 cross-members bolted together.

For a few bucks there are tons of other more permanent options.

Yakama Outdoorsman
I have a F150 PU with extended cab and 6’bed. The Outdoorsman are very sturdy and can support 500 lbs, althought my SOF only weighs 45 lbs. It’s a high lift but you never have to worry about other vehicles following too close and raming your boat.

spelled Yakima

No Bungees?

– Last Updated: Nov-16-09 9:16 PM EST –

Black rubber bungees are a staple for outfitters. If you get spotted somewhere, chances are they secure your boat to their trailer with a bungee or put it in the bed of a pickup using a bungee. Sure, you can get your eye put out by lots of things, but people also drown while going canoeing, and many more probably die in crashes to or from the float.

Those are not bungees.
they are " black rubber tie down straps"

bungee cords are the stranded rubber ones with the outer woven covering- look em up!

I have never seen a outfitter using bungee cords, but you are right, they all use the rubber tie down ones which are completely different.

If you wish to use bungees, be my guest !



Short box = rack
With a six or 6.5 bed you can get away with a couple of memory foam supports on the bed, two thule compression straps, and two straps from the rear tie downs to a cicle strap wrapped around the nose or tail (depending on how you load) of the kayak for stability. With a short box, I would certainly get a rack for anything over ten feet long.

Mohawk Canoe website
The Mohawk Canoe website has a diagram of a DIY rack made out of 2x4s. Build the rack to sit down inside the bed. Don’t use the stake pockets as those can be more unstable and potentially damage your paint. If built this way, you can slide the rack in and out of the truck as you need. When not in the truck, the rack serves a way to store my boat off the ground.

I built the one shown on their website, though slightly modified, and put some foam padding on the cross beams. I can take two kayaks on the top, and I have wedge to 9ft rec boats under the rack in the bed. I drive a Ford Ranger long bed, and can transport up to 4 kayaks. Not bad.

When all was said and done, I have about $50 and 2 hrs work in mine. I put my boat on the rack and strap the boat to the truck using standard cargo straps. It is absolutely rock solid.

rubber tie downs
You can make justifications for most anything, doesn’t make it right. Your boat’s not worth the price of a couple webbing tie downs?

Any bungie or truck tie down (black rubber things) stretch that’s what they are designed to do, problem is they can stretch at the wrong time and the hook pops out and then you have a boat in the road.

Bill H.

I lace mine in, and,
have had as many as six boats in the bed of my short box Silverado’ WE leave the tailgate down for support of our 13’ SOT boats.

Our system utilzes a nylon ratchet strap with thae ratchet end removed. You run the tag end over the gunwale, down through a scupper hole, up through the adjacent scupper hole and over the opposite gunwale to the bed loops, and then replace the ratchet and tighten. A safty strap goes over the top of the boata. Each bed loop is equpped with a stainless steel quick link and jump ring.

With multiple boats, you run the tag end over the gunwale to the opposite scupper hole, under the adjacent boat and up through that scupper hole, over the gunwale to the bed loop, and tighten. you then add layers of boats this way with a new strap for each layer.

I’ve seen DIY…
racks for pick up trucks that I really like.

One was made from Aluminum ladders from Wally World, taken apart and screwed back together.

PVC pipe is another option.

E-mail me if you’d like pics.


Bungie cords…

– Last Updated: Dec-06-09 10:36 PM EST –

Black rubber tie downs/whatever..........
I love em.
Got a bunch of them.
Use them a lot.
Never bought one of them.

Found all of the ones I have on the side of roads; where they landed, after they fell off whatever load they were being used to secure. I don't even stop to pick them up anymore; I have too many of them now.
What does that tell you?

I NEVER use them to secure a boat to any type of vehicle or trailer.