kayaking for "seniors"

we have two old town Nantucket kayaks, 15 feet. we sold our roof rack (with the rollers) when we sold our saab. to get them on the rood we would protect the rear window and slide them up to the rollers. We now have a hyundai accent. we are able to carry the kayaks and have wheels if needed to roll them to the water but getting them on the roof was getting more difficult. we are not ready to replace the nantuckets. any suggestions for roof racks or accessories to get them up top more easily? we have looked at “special” coverings for rear windows and the power assisted lifts to roll them into J racks. I believe they are too large for an accent. Thanks!

have you considered a footstool?
You may be able to load them in two stages - first,get the front of the boat onto the crossbar, and then use the footstool to load the stern.

Amagansett Roller Loader
I can put up a 17 ft plus heavy sea kayak by myself with this thing. I am neither big nor young. A bit pricey against the price when we got ours, but way worth it.

Bathroom floor mat
rubber side on the roof. The kayaks will slide right up on the plush side

suction grab bar
There was a post a couple of months back with a video where a guy demonstrated using one of these suction mounted shower grab bars on the back roof edge of his car as a low friction protective surface to aid in shoving his kayak up onto the roof rack. I rigged something similar using suction cups and PVC pipe and it does help.


X’s two and also use Yakima…
Hully Rollers on the rear.

If my four foot ten inch tall daughter can load her yak that way, then you should be able to also.

Jack L


not sure if this is something that you might be interested in but thought that I would share just in case.

I got tired of borrowing my husband’s truck and had too much trouble trying to get my kayak on the top of my car so I bought a Malone kayak trailer and love it. I put a hitch on my Ford Escape and it pulls like a dream. It also solved my storage problem. Now I do not have to lug my kayak back and forth to the shed. I had read that the kayaks need to be stored on their sides and the J-craddles on this trailer hold the kayaks on their side.


Good luck.

Trailer here too
I put the canoe on my x-terra roof still. But I happen to ha e a small utility trailer for hauling my garden tractor on. I just find it so easy to load two kayaks on that at waist level I don’t even bother trying to get them onto my Thule rack on my suv. Pretty sure an Accent will tow a light trailer.

Sell the Nantuckets
I know you said you don’t want to. But all things change as time marches on, including hearts and minds.

You don’t need heavy 15’ plastic kayaks if you are at the stage where cartopping them is difficult. Are you planning on paddling the rough open ocean or around Nova Scotia?

Sell the Nantuckets and get two 12 foot, 13 pound Hornbeck pack canoes instead. You’re not going to get any younger, or any stronger unless you start lifting weights at the gym. Which I also recommend.


light boats are liberating
As a fellow senior paddler (just turned 64) I can second the recommendation to consider the advantages of moving to lighter weight boats. Once owned several canoes and kayaks that were over 60 lbs., but recently reduced the fleet to four boats (between 12’ and 18’) ranging from 25 to 44 lbs . It’s so nice to have a boat you can lift onto a roof rack with ease and carry to the water on one shoulder. I paddle a lot more frequently now since it’s so easy to load solo and go.

Keep moving.
Glen’s recommendation is right on.

I am seventy, and I load my 65# CD Storm on the roof of my 4X4 truck at least once a week in good weather. An old friend, WWII veteran, often said, “You have to keep moving or you rust.”. I do strength and aerobic exercises every day when I get up in the morning. It really helps.

You spring chickens are always bragging
Us older then dirt farts keep our loading and work out secrets to ourselves!

Jack L

kayak for seniors
http://www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=advice&tid=1721388 may be of help

Yakima rack n’roll
If your car can take a small trailer. We know we would not be paddling as much (about 800-1,000 miles a year)if we didn’t have our rack n’roll. It is light (150 pounds) and can carry 4 kayaks. With our two kayaks (38 lbs and 44 lbs, the longer 14 feet) we sometimes forget we are pulling a trailer. It takes up less gas (we carried a kayak on top once and found our gas consumption greater than when we used the trailer). It is also a good place to store, wash our kayaks when not in use. The trailer also folds up when not in use, except we had to this this only once in over 4 years. It’s done three cross country trips. Over sandy forestry roads in Florida to gravelly back country ones in Canada. It is pricey over $2,200, but if you want to keep paddling, this may be worth the price. Good customer service from Yakima.

Pack canoes=good idea
The best of both worlds. For durable, beautiful, great handling boats, check out Placid Boatworks. I’m a 65 year old woman who can easily lift her SpitFire onto the roof of the Forester, no help needed.


your secrets should be shared! I can’t keep up with you now, let alone that you have a couple of decades head start!


Much better kayak choices today
Some information that would help us better advise you:

–Is you Accent a sedan or a hatchback?

–What specific loading problem are you having? Is it the weight of the kayaks, the shape of the car, or what?

Since your subject is “Kayaking for seniors” I’m assuming your problem is something age related, like strength or agility. A heavy kayak could be a challenge for an older person if strength and agility are a problem for you.

Kayaks have improved a lot in the last decade. The materials are lighter, hulls better designed, seats better, and so on. By today’s standards 61 lbs for the 15’ Nantucket is very heavy, unacceptably heavy for many people.

Just for fun browse some kayaks on the internet and think about what it would be like to have a kayak weighing around 45 lbs. Examples: Delta 12.10, Delta 14, Eddyline Samba, Eddyline Equinox, etc.

On the other hand, normally two people should be able to lift a 61-lb kayak onto a car, but I wouldn’t want to have to do it very often.

If you will please give more information about your problem we’ll try to advise you.