kayak upside down on roof?

I don’t have a kayak now but may be getting one. When I had one before I carried it on a roof rack upside down. It was a plastic CD storm. Is there any reason not to do this? It seems I never see a kayak carried like this.

Both Ways…
…work fine. We usually carried ours inverted for years, then started putting them upright - can’t really see much difference. Only problem we ever had was that the front peak of the cockpit rim on Chris’ Cape Horn 15 tended to press against the roof.

I have a Prijon Kodiak
and with the shape of the hull, it almost has to go upside down on a roof rack. There’s just not enough flat bottom to ride right side up. I can’t see how it would hurt either way provided you don’t over tighten, and you make sure that the bars of the rack aren’t deforming the hatches or combing of the boat.

on whether it is raining or not since I don’t have a cockpit cover for my 139 OT Adventure XL.


My boats, canoes and kayaks, all ride upside down.

No sense filling them up with rain.

Which leads to the question; with nice cradles to protect you finish, why do most kayakers carry their boats with the open side up?

upside down
This year i permanently switched to having my Elaho and my river kayak upside down. since the deck is flatter than the hull it sits better on the foamies and the strap applies even pressure on all around the hull so it doesn’t deform. and it’ll never fill with rain. and i actually think it catches less wind this way

I think you’re right
My OK has to be right-side-up and it feels like it wants to take off, fly away. My WS travels upside down and seems glued to the roof.

Also, have Hull a ports. Don’t use them much. Really feel it on windy days. Like a sail.


– Last Updated: Sep-04-06 10:49 PM EST –

We carry all our 6 boats downside up: our SOTs -poly Scupper Classic, Scupper pro TW, Scrambler XT, glass Knysna Isthmus; or our SINKs -poly Perception Eclipse, Trylon Hurricane Tracer.

It's epecially good for when we're 'singin' in the rain' -as we don't (yet) have cockpit covers, and downside up helps keep water out of the boats.

We've done it this way for years, and so far, no oil canning, no problems, and I even sold one of our surplus Yakima racks to Bazilbrasil with saddles -which he happily uses.

But we've found noodle-clad racks and good cinch straps work just fine to get the boats to & from where we


-Frank in Miami

good to know…
I’m not missing something too. I’ve been thinking of asking this same questions to since I’m getting new kayaks which I won’t be able to strap directly to my roof like my old one; so I’ve got a rack now. It always seemed to me like they should be carried upside down but when I drive down the road it seems nearly everyone I see has them right side up (not many kayaks around here). I thought maybe there was something I was missing, but I guess not.


How wide is your car?



I think either way works fine…
…but you have to admit it ‘looks’ cooler right side up

Neither and both

– Last Updated: Sep-05-06 8:34 PM EST –

On my vehicle, my kayaks ride on edge -- on a Malone roof rack. On my trailer, boats go hull up or hull down, depending on hull shape and deck shape.

The convention used to be: fiberglass hull down, plastic hull up. My guess is this is because rack systems were less forgiving and didn't conform to the shape of the boat the way modern rack systems do. This also helped prevent damage to the deck of a fiberglass kayak (the deck is usually thinner and more susceptible to damage than the hull). This also helped prevent damage to the hull of a plastic boat, which were "softer" and more susceptible to developing "wonks" than more recently manufactured kayaks.

With the improvement in rack systems and in fiberglass and plastic layups, you can have it your way -- and not worry about doing damage to your boat.

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I’ve been considering carrying my
fiberglass Sea Lion upside down in order to keep the rain out of the cockpit, since I dont’ have a road worthy cockpit cover yet. I just bought it Monday and have been carrying it hull down. My rack spacing is 41" and the bars are just a couple inches on either side of the cockpit, so, the problem carrying it upside down would be what to do about the significant point in the foredeck just in front of the cockpit.

I don’t have saddles yet and have been using the V shaped mini cell pads on the load bars.

…how ide your CAR is -it’s how wide your BARS are!

Look at Brazilbrasil: he carries 3 boats atop his skinny lilltle ole Toyota Echo Echo echo echo…

And I think I saw a car with 5 yaks atop the rack.

SPeaking of a lot over your head -how did Ernie treat you guys in your section of western NC? Did you have a lake at your front door?

Well, back to the rack: Recalling our trunk, and the back of your pickup, I just wonder where in the world they put all the OTHER gear -the paddles, PFDs, pads and stuff -IN the car as they tote their boats to


-Frank in Miami

Kayaks upside down?
I have a multi purpose trailer. I can put racks on which will hold 6 or even 7 canoes, upside down. I can get about 10 kayaks on with these racks, some on edge, some upside down.

With the single racks installed, I can take 2 canoes or kayaks upside down, or 3 kayaks on edge.

The spacing on my racks is such that I can usually rest the rim of one or both of the hatches on the crossarms when loading upside down. They are approx. 7.5’ apart. It seems to me that with the hatch coaming, this should be a strong area of the deck. The crossarms are well padded with a couple of layers of old carpet.

I’ve trailered lotsa boats over lotsa miles, but none of them with the boats right side up. I have not noticed any differences in the boats, whether trailered on edge or upside down.

The kayaks range from 11.5’ to 14.5’. The canoes are all 16’ to 18’.

We have one or 2 more paddling trips this fall, but summer is winding down. I can’t complain, I’ve done lots this summer, but I still hate to see it come to a close.

cYa, Jim from central WI

My Loon is up on the truck rack pretty
much 24/7 from March until late November. It rides upside down. With a cockpit that size, I’m not comfortable with a cocpit cover keeping the rain out without sagging and holding a lot of water, eventually coming off. I guess the solution is to put battens in it to keep down the sagging, but it does well bottoms up.

I carried my Kayak on my car roof rack either ways-placing it upright or inverted. However, my experience is placing it upright on the roof and carrying it is more convenient than placing it upside down.

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