Rack Installation - Driver/Passenger?

I just bought a Yakima Hull Raiser for my Subaru Forester. I plan on also using my roof-mounted bike rack this summer, so my question is - does it matter what side these things are loaded on?

Would your kayak hull help or hurt
your vision and eye comfort if it’s on the driver’s side? Sometimes I have found the shade of benefit. For those of us carrying canoes, this is more of an issue, as a canoe can block our line of sight to traffic lights etc.

The only other consideration I can think of is whether you prefer to unload your boat or your bike if you are parked right by the edge of the road. On the other hand, to unload from the passenger side, you might be standing in a ditch.

All things being equal, drivers side

if all things were equal
it wouldn’t matter, would it?

No, but…
you might want to think side walk side just in case you are unloading where there is one, so you want have to worry about that big 18 wheeler wiping you and the boat out.




– Last Updated: Apr-17-09 11:18 AM EST –

I load my boats from the side and while I can put the 11 footer up there without hitting the antenna (on the passenger's side), I pretty much have to load the 14 footer from the driver's side.

I load passenger
When carrying single boat I like to load passenger side.

I usually use bow/stern tie downs, when the boat is on passenger side bow tie down interferes less with the view.

Right Handed?
DO you load your boat solo? Do you load from the side or the back?

I use Land Sharks on a Sedan and load my boats solo from the side, the Drivers side. Being right handed I find it much easier to solo carry my kayak on my right shoulder and it is A LOT easier to load on the drivers side than on the passenger side. If I am carrying a boat over there I usually ask for help loading and almost never do on the driver side.


I concur with the right-handed / driver’s side issue. I find it easier to load that way. My antenna is in the center, so that’s not a consideration.

However, the main reason I like the driver’s side is that I can crane my neck out the window and visually verify that the straps are in place just before I start driving. It also means the boat is in easy reach if you need to pull over and quickly check or tighten something on the side of the road.

driver side
I would put it on the driver side so if you want to stop to tighten straps you dont have to walk around to the passenger side. But it is probably safer on the passenger side because your farther from traffic.

Drivers Side - Mirror Issue
To load my kayak from the side, I have to fold in my side-view mirror. I finally started loading my boat on the drivers side after one too many times driving away without putting the mirror back in position. It’s an easy fix on the driver’s side, but impossible if I’m alone and the passenger side mirror is folded in.

Just a suggestion - when I’m loading a boat on the passenger side, I pick it up backwards and load it on the car facing the rear, so I can do the loading right-handed.