Kayak Rack - Custom

Perhaps we are making too much of roof racks for kayaks. Just a few pool noodles and ratchet straps …

Think I will stick with my Thule and Yakima racks.

I used a home made rack for years on my pick up.
Made from treated lumber. My current rear rack was home made by a pro from stainless steel. I use a Yakima on the cab.

So when I first started back to paddling I didn’t have a car rack anymore. I also knew we would be buying a new vehicle in the near future and decided to wait on buying a rack… So I bought two 12’ straps, 2 foam cradles, two pool noodles, and an 8’ section of PVC 1" pipe. I cut the PVC PIPE into 2 sections the width of the car top. I centered the foam cradles on the PVC. I cut the pool noodles to fit on both sides of the cradles so there would be foam the full length of the PVC. I then threaded the straps through the PVC pipe. I used rope to tie the kayak to the the PVC cross pieces. I also always tied the front and back of the kayak to the car in the an inverted V so that the boat could not move side to side or back and forth. this is important as the rack will flex up and down without doing this.

This proved to work very well. In fact with 2 sets of foam cradles on the PVC I could carry 2 kayaks on the roof of my car. It proved to be very secure as I hit a deer one night coming home with a kayak on this rack, and though the front end of the car sustain damage the kayak and the rack did not budge.

Now that I have a nice Yakima rack I still use the foam cradles and straps so the cost of this simple rack was just an 8’ PVC pipe, and 2 pool noodles. I all ready had the rope and still use it to tie the front and back of the boats in place.

That looks like it would have worked well. The only thing I don’t like about direct foam contact is that it gets slippery as goose shyte when wet.

…and a little sand turns into a sand paper effect. …and the straps often make leaks at the weather stripping.

Used it for 2 years without any noticeable damage to the wax job or paint. I checked it for this when I was using it. Basicly immobile once tightened down. It was removed every time the boat was taken off so probably rarely ever in the exact same spot Now the strap when soaked by heavy rain would drip which happened twice in two years. The weather strip never was damaged, or leaked. It made a good temporary solution. That I would still use to transport kayaks and canoes if my vehicle didn’t have a rack. Not advocating others should use it. Just putting it out there as a solution to a problem that worked well enough for me over a two year period.