Pickup Truck Rack Modification for Yak

-- Last Updated: Feb-16-06 8:59 PM EST --

I have a set (two, front and back) of these pickup truck bars. Scroll down for pictures.


They work well and fit truck nicely, but I am having difficulty securing kayaks. The bars are round, about 2 inches (not compatible with Thule or Yakima saddles) and slick. If I put kayak hull down, I need to make some modification to prevent oilcanning; I need some form of makeshift saddles, in other words. If I put yaks deck down, they stay better with racks near coaming, but still not as secure as I'd like.

Anyone with similar problem. Archives no help. I think someone (thistleback?) had webshots of ways to create a saddle that would stay up on the bars and work. Pool Noodles don;t seem to be thick enough to allow a good solid strapdown. Thanks for your advice.

Minicel, Minicell, Minicell…
comes in 3" thickness. Doubled, or tripled up and shaped… you can have any saddle you want.


Foam blocks
I use them on my pickup rack. http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=9672143&parent_category_rn=9647564&vcat=REI_SSHP_PADDLING_TOC

I used those foam blocks also
with an identical rack. They work great even though the cutout is made for a somewhat smaller rack. Just push them on, they will stretch.

I agree AND…
I have the Outdoorsman truck rack made by Yakima and I use the foam blocks. I had the same issues with the oil-canning even with the foam pads so I got a hacksaw blade (blade only) and cut the foam block to fit the form of my kayak. It reduces the oil-canning exponentially. Stays put really well too.

All great ideas… foam.
Just didn;t look like it’d fit over the schedule 40 bars, but you all say it does so I thank you. And they didn’t look thick enough for a string tie down hull down on a v shaped boat, but maybe they are. Does anyone place boat deck down on the pads?

My setup used foam blocks
But the method of attachment only works on the T-Rac because the bars are flat and there are L-shaped sliding brackets to sandwich the blocks in.


I Have A Set…
…just sitting arround if you’re interested. Was going to put them “For sale” in the “Accessory” section and hadn’t gotten arround to it. Only reason I bought them is someone said I had to have them for yaks years ago. Used them a few times, but now I don’t worry about deformity during tie down since they all have slight warp to them anyway. E-mail me if interested. I’ll go get a pic of them in a little while. TW

Home made saddles
Span the uprights with a piece of 1.5"x1.5"x1/4" angle iron and attach with ubolts. Cut saddles to fit your hull from 1.5" wood stock. Pad the saddles and you are in business. You could also span the uprights with a piece of 2x4 or 6 and cut saddles to fit the hull into it. Attach to the uprights with ubolts.

rowing shell carrier
First post. I am essentially a rower. (i came to this site because I am looking for a two person sit-on-top to putz around the local waters.)

I have a 26 foot rowing shell that I transport on my pickup, with the same type of utility racks.

I made a home made carrier out of 2x4s and old fire hoses that pretty much does the same thing as this: http://www.noblehardware.com./Roofrack.htm. I dobn’t know what noble is charging but my entire homebuilt unit cost less than $30 plus my time.

There are other rowing shell manufacturers that sell similar units

Say, don’t you have a FS Van???
I could of sworn you had a FS van.

kfsrmn’s idea for 2x6’s is what I would do. Mount the 2x6 up against the cross bar and ubolt twice to cross bar and once to each vertical bar. Bolting to cross bar will hold the board up, and bolting to vert bar will keep it from twisting. The 2x6 will have to a little longer than the top of the rack’s width. Vee notch 2x6 to match your kayak.

I think Thule’s saddles will span your 2 inch pipe though. I have the glide and sets, and as I recall the bolts are set fairly far a part. They are also made to fit on both their racks, as well as Yakima’s racks. They have a shallow vee notch that should sit nicely on the round bars. I’ll try to remember to measure the span of the bolts on mine later next week.

Thule’s roof mounts for kayaks:





kayak saddles
I purchased these and they work well. I have a rectangular rack but they will work on a round rack also. Spring Creek.


Thanks, that is exactly what I need! Thanks.