Kayak on Toyota Corolla

I’m hoping I can get some advice on a new kayak I was lucky enough to win in the contest on this web site. It’s 15’8" and I’m worried about being able to transport it on my Toyota Corolla.

I’ve got Thule cradles and I’ve always just strapped down my Necky Manitou Sport without bow and stern tie-downs. I realize I will have to do that with the longer boat. But the boat is so much longer than the car that I wonder if even that will be safe. Has anyone carried such a long kayak on such a short car?

Thanks so much for any advice.

I am thrilled to have won the yak – which I won’t see until sometime in April, I guess, and I’m trying to figure out how to deal with it. Storage is going to be an issue too. I’m not sure I can get it into my basement and I don’t have a garage. Any advice about how to store it in my backyard would also be welcome.

I have done it…
I carry my 18’ Impex on top of my Civic. I think it’s close to the same lenght as a Corolla.

I use bow and stern lines in conjunction with Yakima cradles, and have had no issues (other than wind gusts from the side).


don’t worry about it

– Last Updated: Mar-19-08 2:56 PM EST –

I drive a 99 toyota corolla and have cartopped my Tempest 170(R) 17' 1", 63 lbs more times than you could count(I've owned the boat since Nov 2003) I have yakima j racks and never ever use bow tie downs---I also have cradles for those occasions when I haul two boats. The windiest time was driving back from Ottawa On to Brewer Maine in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. About 500 miles with high winds and rain without any problem whatsoever---if you want to use bow and stern tiedowns, be my guest but if you have j racks with cinch straps you really don't need to.

If it’s too big…
Just give me the boat you won!

(Heck, I’ll even trade you MY Manitou Sport

for that bigger yak. Then you can have two

boats the same size!)

I’m just kidding – Congratulations on your

good fortune. This is a great website!

And Corolla’s are a great car with great

gas mileage (which comes in handy, these days.)

Excuse me, for not helping on that cartop “problem.”

Re: backyard storage
Easy to build a rack for a single boat, but build it for 2, just in case.

Use 4x4 for the uprights and 2x4 for the cross pieces so they look like a chair profile. Make it long enough to support the boat at the 1/3 and 2/3 points. I store mine upside down and on their sides.

To go further, Home Depot sells Tyvek house wrap you can cover it with. I just use 303 on mine 2-3 times a year.

Kayak on Toyota Corolla
Thanks for feedback. I also have Malone J racks. Would they be better for carrying such a long skinny boat (23" wide)?

I realize I am lucky to have this problem.

BTW-- I got the Corolla last August after someone ran a stop sign and totaled my Prizm with me in it and I am very disappointed in the mileage-- about 26 mpg, split between highway and local driving. I am probably losing some mileage because I left the Thule rack up all winter. But it was so hard to get on --my friend’s son had to help me – that I was afraid I would not get it back on it I took it off.

backyard storage
keep it off the ground, out of direct sun. There are beautiful folding kayak stands or you can make your own from PVC. Or just put it on rollers from 6-8" vent pipe, like I did, and pad the topside of the pipe.

Keep it on soft support (cradles). Storing it on its side is best, however, I have stored my FG kayak on rollers hullside down for two winters with no deformities. For a second kayak I installed J shaped brackets, with padding, into a brick wall. That kayak is mounted on its side directly over the other one, with cockpit covers on each and a tarp over the whole thing. It’s against the wall and protected by a roof eave and landscaping.

Home Depot, Lowe’s and similiar places have J shaped cradles with long padded tips which can be mounted on a wall with proper anchors. You can make these yourself, but at under $6 each I find buying them already made acceptable.

Buy a cockpit cover. Buy a full boat cover made of UV resistant marine fabric if you want to go whole hog (these covers can also double as travel covers with a few extra straps.

A UV resistant tarp is good too. Just get a cockpit cover in any case to keep critters out.

Store with the hatches on loosely (slightly ajar).

Oh yeah, buy a contractor’s grade cable lock (MasterLock sells a great one, thicker than Kayak Lasso and much thicker than dog tie outs) with a big palooka of a hardened steel double chambered padlock (harder to pick)

Thread it through the seat hangers and through something solid like a meter post or tree, or humongous cleat deeply cemented into a wall or fence. It’s a deterrent but a good one.

congrats and enjoy the new boat!

Backyard Storage
Yes, a lock is important. I live in NJ with other hosues all around me. I’ve left my Manitou Sport out on the deck under a tarp all summer without it being stolen but I think I’ll worry a bit more about this one.

Bow and stern tie downs
Good idea for both of your boats. Especially if you ever take the car on the freeway. Boat flies off at highway speeds and kills another driver, and you are in a heap of trouble. It’s just common sense to use both.

if you do decide to use bow and stern
tie downs, do not cinch them really tight—in a rotomolded boat this will warp it out of shape if you keep it on for anylength of time in the hot sun----remember the front and rear tie downs are for back up only in case the two cinch straps fail—they don’t need to be tight–just to keep it on long enough to stop the car.

Bow and Stern Tiedowns
I had a dramatic demonstration last July that the tiedowns are not needed --at least not with the Manitou Sport or the Pungo 100.

When my Prizm was hit last summer my hubby and I were coming back from a gorgeous afternoon of kayaking on a reservoir where we could pull ashore and pick the ripe raspberries. Both of the boats were on the roof, the Manitou in the Thule cradles and the Pungo in the Malone J-cradle–and there they stayed even though both cars, which hit in the front at an angle, were totaled.

The boats were still on so securely that the tower loaded the car onto the truck and started driving down the high way without first removing them. But the boats started sliding forward because one of the footers for the rack had pulled off the car so he had to pull over onto the shoulder and and remove them in the dark. I was amazed that the boats were so secure in the holders.

The raspberries were puree.

Tie downs
I am using the Thule Glide and Set for my Q700 on my Accord. They are a little expensive but come with everything you need to completely secure the yak on your car. The ropes have a nice racheting pully you just need to pull to tighten. Very easy and secure. So far I like it…

No Problem
No problem. I transport many boats on the top of mine. Including 18’ kayaks.

Check out this picture: http://www.bryanhansel.com/?p=541

Wrong lesson
First, if a strap can fail from wind shear getting under the boat at high speeds. Your example didn’t test that. Second, straps and tie downs is as sensible as having a second parachute. One fails, you’ve got the other. A defective or jammed cinch/cambuckle that doesn’t grip properly, or a sun bleached strap that fails? You have the tie down as back up. Roof rack failure (it happens)? The bow/stern tie downs are secured to the vehicle, not the rack.

Tie down on the Corolla
I drive a Corolla and have carried my Independence-15’8" so the length for your kayak should not be a problem.

Under the front of my Corolla there is a ring that was used in transporting the car from the manufacturer. Great tie down-very strong.

There have been some great examples
reported here of straps only boats dancing down the highway. Use the bow tie-downs at a minimum.

I saw a dramatic demonstration
that they are.

When I was in my 20s a group of us drove up in a short caravan to the Poconos to a cabin there. Canoes were already provided so we weren’t transporting any.

My friend was in the front passenger seat in the lead car. They were a few car lengths behind a station wagon toting a canoe without tiedowns. I don’t recall the speed, maybe 35-40 mph.

Because I was in the last car and the road was somewhat curving, I didn’t see how the canoe came dislodged, but it did.

It went thru the windshield and decapitated my friend.

I can’t even convey how sickening and horrible it was. My friend Ricky was brave and pulled her out of the car and covered her. Blood and glass shards all over the front seat.

The station wagon driver’s face I will never forget. We found out later from the responding officer that the man had tiedowns in his vehicle, he just didn’t use them because he thought he didn’t need them going only a short distance back to his home.

I volunteered to call her parents and the PA state police. There were no cell phones then, we had to drive to find a payphone at a little market. I remember shaking trying to get out of the car, walk to the booth, and dial the numbers.

I remember her mother came first to the phone.

Please always use bow and stern tie downs.

Where are you getting your logic? …and your fear of the process of transporting your boat to waters you wanna paddle…??&#^$%*$&???

oh my god
How horrible. I will use tie downs here on out.

– Last Updated: Mar-20-08 8:10 PM EST –