Protective covering for metal bars used to store kayak

For the very first time I am storing my Sky 10 kayak at an outdoor marina. The kayak rests on 2 metal bars about 6" in diameter. The width of the kayak is 26". I’ve already scratched the top of the kayak loading it into and to of the slip. I store it upside down. 99% of the kayaks stored there are plastic so they don’t have the same issue that I have.
I’m need to wrap something around the bars to protect the kayak. So far I’ve come up with slicing one of those pool styrofoam noodles in half and securing with duct tape.
Any other suggestions??

Pool noodle or pipe insulation are the first things that come to mind. For a little more $$$ some of the padded car rack bar covers would probably work too - they would also last a little longer. Those usually come in various lengths so you could get whatever length you needed.


Yeah, I thought of the pipe covering as I was posting but I forgot about the padded car rack bar covers. Great idea. I’ll try them.

One easy way is to use 1X6 or strips of 3/4" plywood to box in the steel pipe and then frame 2X4s into 2-3 cradles or saddles that conform to the hull shape exactly. Form 1/2 or each saddle and set the kayak on them with the other arm of each saddle pivoting on 1 nail or screw. Then pivot it to be even on the hull or deck so it’s a perfect fit, and sink the other screw. When it’s a perfect fit take the kayak off and sink 2-3 more screws in each one to hold them permanently. Easy, fast, cheap and very strong. Then if you like, cover each arm of the yoke/ saddle/ cradle ( or what ever you want to call them) with carpet.

As another thought: you can also make a storage and carry rack easily. I have done 4 of them for friends.
Think of a wood ladder laying on the floor. The ends and the sides are made from 2X4s. The rungs can be 2x4 or even 1x4. The ladder is made to set on top of a car. The 4 I did were (2) for Subaru’s, 1 for a Toyota Hatch Back and 1 for a VW car, which I can’t remember the model of.

Anyway, ---- use wood to conform to the support points for any car roof that has factory rails. If you place 4 points of contact on each long leg even light duty rails are strong enough to do the job. In most cases you’ll screws on cleats to get the fit you want. The frame needs to have about 1-1/2 of clearance between the bottom of the rack and the top sheet metal of the car. To get a perfect fit work from the front to the back or the back to the front making your mounting cleats, but don’t start in the middle.

Once you have a good fit to the car drill holes through the 2X4s in the rights places to make attachment loops form 1/2" rope. In some cases (some cars) you need to pop-rivet hardware loops on the inside edges of the car rails to tie to. By mounting them sideways they do not interfere at all with loading anything else in the future. Rails that are mounted with legs need nothing extra. You simply tie the rack down to the rails. as you would if you were carrying 2X4s home form a store.

Now, remove the rack. I placed them over 2 tires so I could keep it level and make the rest of the work easy to do.

Lay your kayak on it. Now you’ll frame 3 saddles to conform to the hull. I started with the right side. Pivot the arm to fit the contour exactly in the middle of the kayak and screw it down fast to the frame. Next make an opposite arm (left side, center) to support the other side of the hull ,exactly opposite of the 1st arm. Now the kayak can rock forward and backward, (think see-saw)
but can’t roll side to side.

Next you set the kayak with the bow up about 3 inches higher then the stern, and make a set of supports to hold it near the front. Do it the same way you did the middle. It even easier now because the kayak is held from any rolling by the middle yoke. Once the bow yoke is done ,do the last saddle at the stern, again screwing it together the same way.

When they rack is done it weighs about 15 pounds. Very easy to set on top of the car and tie down. When it’s tied down to the car you set the bow of your kayak on the rear saddle only lifting 1/2 it’s weight. Next pick up the kayak’s stern and slid it straight forward. You’ll see why you made the front 3" higher at this point. Buy having a very gentle upward angle the loading and the unloading is super slick and easy. When you have the kayak in place and it’s in the 3 saddles at the correct points it fits perfectly just tie in down. I use a line from the bow to the front of the car. Bumper, tow point or hood latch. Anything to keep it in place. Next I loop a rope from the rear of the rack going forward around the cockpit combing and back again to the rear of the rack. You tie that and it pulls backwards against the tension of the bow line. When tight tie it off to the rear of the ladder rack.
Now throw 1 or 2 loops around the girth of the kayak and tie it down. That’s it.

When you are done for the day you remove the ropes from the kayak and slide it off to the rear (again you see the reason for the 3" rise to the bow of the kayak ) Next untie the rack and remove it from your car. Place it in the location you want to store the kayak. Then place the kayak back on it as a ‘bed’ for it to “sleep in”.

I have made 4 of them form friends. It takes me about 35 minutes to make one, and the cost is very minimal.
It’s a storage bed and a transportation rack both. It’s light. strong, easy to make, fast to install or remove from a car top, and inexpensive. And it is custom made to fit your kayak exactly.
If you paint it the same color as your kayak or car and it even looks good.

I built the shed that holds my kayaks.

The working part is PT 2x4s set at an angle and with a 4 inch end riser. To that end riser and at the far end I used nylon strapping with some slack.

That cradles my boats and spreads the point where the weight sits over several inches of the boat. Haven’t had a warp yet.

That’s a great idea, but he’s keeping the kayak on a rack in a marina. If it’s anything like most marinas I’ve dealt with (including the one I live in) they would have a meltdown if anything was modified like that. Think HOA on steroids. If the OP wanted to go that route I would definitely check (more than once!) that it was OK to modify the storage space.

Oh…I see.
I have ZERO experience with Marinas. I would not have knows that.

No worries! Most people wouldn’t - I just know mine would probably not allow that (if we even had kayak storage anyway).

You could just cut an inner tube in half and slip it over the 6" diameter bars

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If you go w/ the foam and tape method I would suggest gorilla tape instead of duct tape. It holds up better in the elements.

Buy a yoga matt in the sporting section or a sleeping pad in the camping section then go to the hardware section and get Gorilla tape as suggested above. All can be found at Wal-Mart or similar. The left over material hang on to for knelling pad for the garage or garden or if you get a canoe to paddle from your knees. You can also cut a piece of it for your seat or bracing pads. :canoe:

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I have round plastic PVC pipe connecting the ends of the bars on my Thule rack. I used to cover those with pipe insulation foam, but it would degrade from UV exposure. I now just have some indoor/outdoor carpet wrapped around the pipe with zip ties holding it in place.

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All good ideas. Thanks.

Well I did it. Got some pipe insulation, gorilla tape and plastic fasteners. Did a great job . Very proud of myself. However in my excitement I didn’t notice that the pipe insulation was not very slippery, Consequently I have to bounce and push my kayak into its berth. No big deal. I thought I could just slide it in after adding the pipe insulation.

Rub a little silicone oil (sold for lubricating treadmill belts) or use a bit of silicone spray on the pipe insulation. It doesn’t take much. Avoid penetrating oils like WD-40; the solvents may not be friendly to your hull.

Just be careful as any lubricant might soften the adhesive on the gorilla tape.

ok, I’l try it. Thanks Alice .

There is a black rim that surrounds the cockpit. The pipe insulation I used is kinda spongelike . I’m afraid that the oil or spray might sink in and rub off on that rim.
I wouldn’t mind if it rubbed off on the rest of the kayak. Someone also suggested indoor/outdoor carpet. I could fasten that over the pipe insulation.
What d you think?

How about spraying the pipe insulation with a PTFE (Teflon) dry lube?