let me count the ways....

…about 95% of the plastic touring kayaks I see on the top of cars are carried deck up, hull down. A few are carried on their side, but rarely do I see one resting upside down with deck in contact with foam blocks, etc.

The WS website recommends carrying plastic kayaks deck down or on the side, with support under the bulkheads. Guess they should know, just don’t see this being done much. Opinions anyone?

I use my Tempest 4-5 times a week for exercise and plain old exhilaration, and have been keeping it on my van for convenience. What’s the best way to carry it (deck up, sideways, deck down) and does it hurt to keep it on the roof racks if there is plenty of support under the bulkeads? (I’m making a cover to block UV).

We had stackers that tilted our first plastic boats on their edge, approximately, which was the recommended way to carry them and worked well. But we had a brief time later on where we had the saddles and rollers up for carrying glass boats but not the boats yet, and were carrying our plastic sea kayaks on that.

We had more trouble keeping the hulls of the plastic yaks from deforming in heat on the saddles and rollers than we’d had with the stacker and side carry for our first boats.

I think that a lot of people get the saddles for their plastic boats simply because it’s easier to load than on the decks. 16 plus foot of plastic is a lot of weight, so you want the help. But the deck and sides of plastic boats are generally more able to take stress than the hulls.

as she said
Previous car, carried 2 plastic boats deck down.

Current car, carry on their sides - not enough real estate for deck down.

I try to carry my poly boat deck-down or on the side (although the j cradles seem to dent the hull a bit also).

My reasoning is that the hull is the part in the water. I can deal with some temporary deformations in the deck…

The strongest part of you boat is
on the side at the bulkhead. Therefore a transporting a boat on its side supported by the bulkhead would be best.

I use stackers or J-cradles
and carry my boats on edge. I also have a poly T-170 and I’ve found that the weight of the boat combined with the pressure of tight straps will deform the hull when the boat is carried either hull up or hull down, especially in hot weather/sun.

The axis of strengh runs from edge to edge on the boat, so this is the best area of support when carrying on a car.

I strap my boat to the stackers, not the rack. This way, the WEIGHT is carried on the edge (horizontal axis) and the PRESSURE of the straps is carried by the deck/hull (vertical axis). This makes for a VERY secure boat when flying down I-81 @80mph for 500 miles.

For Me its a Practical Consideration
I’m all-for doing things right and learning what’s best but when it comes to car topping my kayak I lean to the practical. It’s just easier to throw my boat up on the roof of the car bottom down. It’s easier to strap it down and easier to get back off when I’m done. It makes perfect sense to use cradles and carry the kayak on the side, but then I wouldn’t be able to drive right into the garage.