We are very happy with our 25+ year old Kiwi single and tandem plastic recreation kayaks. But I’m getting tired of putting the tandom on the roof (our current vehicle will not handle 2 singles on the roof). I’m thinking of getting modular kayaks to make it easier to drive and launch. We prefer 2 solo kayaks, although a single tandem would be OK. Would we be happy with modular kayak(s)?
Why won’t your car carry two singles?
If it is too narrow to carry two on the roof do you have enough cargo space for modular kayaks?
It’s a PriusV, for which there is no manufacturer’s roof top carrier and I found the aftermarket Thule roof top carrier to be unreliable and difficult to use for 2 kayaks. But, the Prius has sufficient cargo space (with the rear seats down) for most modular kayaks that I have looked at.
Do you have experience with modular kayaks?
Have you considered folding kayaks? Pakboat still makes one that can be converted from a tandem to a single. It can be carried in a duffel bag.
Experience with small cars. Most Prius I know use a trailer.
I don’t have personal experience with modulars, other than a guy who had a Point 65 at one of my local put-ins let me watch him assemble it and let me take it on a short “spin” on the lake to see how it felt. The sections filled the entire back area of his compact SUV. So though they fit inside, he had little room for other baggage or gear.
While I admire the engineering of them, modulars are bulky and take up a LOT of space in the vehicle, even nested. I was looking at the Pakayak Bluefin 14 modular at Mountain Man Outfitters in Saratoga Springs last summer and though it is a cool design, it is a monstrous 57 pounds and even nested the volume of the carry bag is humongous. Because of all the extra plastic needed to seal each module individually as well as the hardware needed to fasten them together, modulars tend to be heavier than standard rotomold boats of similar dimensions.
In contrast, the photo below is of my 12’ Pakboat folding kayak in a carry-on sized rolling duffel 32" x 14" x 16". The kayak itself is only 24 pounds (all the boat parts are on the left in the “unpacked” shot) and I had all the gear I needed for a trip packed with it including a paddle, spray skirt, PFD, float bags, inflatable car roof rack and all my clothing. The full weight of all that stuff was 49 pounds and it was half the volume of a nested Pakayak.
You could easily carry an assembled 24 pound folding kayak on the roof of a Prius, by the way. Bottom pic is a Citroen Cactus.