Kayak Transport -

I’m taking one of my kayaks on a 7-1/2 hour road trip and need to know how to best secure it to the top of the van. I bought two foam blocks and two ratchet straps. How do I secure the kayak to the front and rear-what should I use? Going to Rapid River, MI to do some paddling.

Best way
You did ask for best way. Here is how it is done:


You need two load bars across and two cinch straps. If your vehcile doesn’t have factory load bars, you can get them from Thule or Yakima to match your vehicle. Ratchet straps may overtighten your boat. People normally use cinch straps with 1" or 1.5" webbing:


If you’ve already bought the unversal foam blocks like these,


you may use them on the cross bars as instructed.

Finally, you need a pair of bow and stern tie down to keep your boat from rocking at highway speed:


May not be the best but it worked
I really new, however, I drove from Seattle to Las Vegas with 2 SOT yak’s on a Thule rack. (Tacoma Extended Cab). I used the Thule cradles for my wife’s 9 foot Viper without bow or stern ties. (Marked a spot on the boat with a sharpie to see if the yak moved backward at all)

My 11 foot Pelican I used foam blocked, tied to the rack AND bow and stern tie downs. I experienced no problems. We’re heading back to the Seattle area on the 10th of Aug to camp and paddle and will use the same set up.

Generally do not use tie downs
I use foam blocks on a steel rack bolted to my camper shell. I drove from Reno to Wisconsin with 1 or 2 18 foot kayaks on the rack ( kept one in the cab sometimes)and back with an 18ft Nordkap and a 16ft glass sit on top. No problems.