lone paddler getting a yak on the roof

Newbie Thoughts

– Last Updated: May-30-07 9:23 PM EST –

I am new to paddling and am looking to purchase my first recreational yak. Looks like the weight will be in the mid 40s and I am worried. I am within months of collecting social security and am not a particularly strong guy. My current thoughts are to use the Thule Hull-a-Port J-type kayak roof carriers. Seems to me that once you get the boat over the lip of the "J" you are pretty much home free. You don't have to slide it around on the rack and chance damage to both the car and the boat. Of course, getting the boat over the lip of the "J" is the problem, isn't it? Two pieces of advice in this thread seem relevant to me:

1. Use rubber backed rug pieces to protect the car.


2. Hoist it onto the open doors first (a 4-door is, of course, a must for this), and then make your second move up over the lip of the "Js."

Are there any devices that one can insert into the cockpit to provide "handles"/leverage for the lift? If not, it sounds like an invention whose time has come.

The Kayak Loader
Coming shortly is a solution to your problem.

See TheKayakLoader.com for preliminary info.

Great responses

– Last Updated: Jun-08-07 3:41 PM EST –

You guys are awesome!

To the guy who suggests using the money I save to buy a lighter kayak... your post amused me but unfortunately the monthly payments on a Prius outweigh the gas savings. ;)

The Hurricane Tampico was the cheapest lightest hybrid kayak I could find with the added benefit of being designed for smallish people. Even if it is heavier than the suggested 42, it's still lighter for the length than my 48 pound 10' pungo. :)

I was about to go buy an outrigger after work today but now I want to pore through these options and think about it some more.

yak on rooftop
im 5-9 and yes it seems for some peoples to putup yak/canoe on top of car…well here to solve problem VERY CHEAP belived most homweowner have 3 foot step ladder/stool,it very easy to use and can be taken with you when go on trip …it fold and pack in back seat or trunk…well now you have it made…enjoy the paddling…may the current be with you…smile

You should be able to–
if I can, I’d think. I’m 5’8", 185 lbs, bad shoulder and not good upper body strength. I have a 14’ kayak, 51 lbs. which I cartop on an Astro van and load and unload by myself.

I start with my shoulder in the cockpit(basically hanging the boat from my shoulder with support from my arms–I wear my PFD and use it for padding, and paddling gloves for grip). I put the prow on the top of the van, rest the stern on an old piece of carpet, and let the boat gently roll hull-down. From there I can lift and slide it up into the rearward foam block, and then slide it forward until I can lower the front end so that it’s cradled in both blocks.

My husband lifts it from the side. I can’t even begin to do that.

From the back
You’ve gotten some good advice. Sliding from the back is the best way. The bath mat is one option, it unfortunately didn’t work for me. My boat hits the rear window!

I ended up putting a foam block on the trunk to lift the boat just enough to clear the rear window.

In short, you have to fine tune the details to suit your car/boat situation. But some variation of the rear loading is the easiest.

I only need to do that at home. Once I get to the put in, there’s always someone there happy to offer to help. Of course, having a very eye catching boat (yellow on white) helps! :wink: It didn’t take very long to hook up with other paddlers at the put in so I have paddling buddies! :slight_smile:

Let me tell you this.
I may be 6’2" and 200#, but I load a 16’, 80# canoe on the roof of my Honda Ridgeline solo. Pound for pound, height for height, I’d say that’s pretty equivalent to your yak on a Prius.

That said, it isn’t easy. I use some of ideas you see here, so no need repeating them. Just know that you can find a way. I like the DIY, low-cost ideas. Large ticket items look and sound great, but I’m not sure you always get what you pay for.

Good luck!

Thanks to all your helpful advice I found a great solution. I have the Thule Glide and Set saddles on my rack, put a large bath mat on my car trunk/hatch, and just slide it on up. I just took my new boat out for the first time today and rather easily loaded and unloaded it onto my car solo.

I couldn’t have done it without you! I’m a happy paddler. :slight_smile: