Recommended car-topping gear for 2 kayaks

Got confused by forum robots - reply to rnsparky

Do you then pad the rails with noodles or something - sounds like a pretty simple solution - have you tried it with 2 boats?

Right, get the larger diameter noodles, not the $1 ones. Cut to fit on the bar inside your rails, save excess to slide over the ends Go with the round 78 bars if you can, been doing this for 15 years. Two boats fit great. You can even get pipe to fit inside the bars as a loading assist.

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I do something similar to the pool noodle approach using some foam and it does work fine. But the kayaks aren’t well restrained from moving from side to side. A wind gust or the wake when passing a semi-truck can can slam the front of the kayak sideways. Once the kayak is a bit skewed on the roof, the continued pressure on the side keeps pushing it. So you need to rely on very good bow and stern tie downs to minimize that movement and ensure that the kayak is secure.

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Second what Wolf said. I am sure that Sparky uses them, especially bow tie downs. But upside down a boat represents an opportunity for the wind that is less so on its hull. Absolutely need tie downs to counter that.


At this point I think we will probably end up getting the 58" Malone cross bars and two sets of the Malone SeaWings with Stingers, but I’m still watching the thread for further comments.

Yakima round bars with pool noodles can secure two boats at 75 mph past 18 wheelers using cam straps over the boat and under the bars Tying each boat correctly and separately, The boats will not move.

Since you don’t have a kayak yet, you have no way of knowing how the kayak may sit in the SeaWings. They obviously are made for flat bottom kayaks. You may need to add some padding on the side to keep them from rocking if they are narrow. That could be done with pool noodles cut to fill any gaps and tied on to either side of the rack. Been there, done that. Whatever you do, do add lines at the front and back. Not only do they keep you kayak from bouncing, but should your racks ever come loose, they could save your kayak from flying off. It does happen.

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Thule and Yakima have waay too much of my money. If you can’t tie a boat on your roof dont kayak anywhere near me.

No promises.

I’ll echo that, I bought a pair of Sea Wings and they just did not match the hull profile of any of my boats, so back they went.

I had a friend’s J-racks on the car for a minute - a microburst blew them flat while we were crossing Jamaica Bay to Broad Channel Queens. Pretty alarming, but the bow line kept the mess from leaving the roof, lucky we were only going about 30 mph. I wouldn’t use them again, just too much lateral windage.

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Right, the Seawings I’m planning to get come with bow and stern lines and I’ve been looking at the hood and trunk anchors for them.
Thule 530 Quick Loop Strap

I will also have extra straps and rope… sailing habit.

@micstan I like the idea of matching the cradle fit with noodles - that makes a lot of sense, even if the fit is pretty close.

I’ve been using the Seals version under my hood. My car has a tow hitch on the rear.

Better price than Thule and work just as well. Mine are four years old.

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I have done something since our first fiberglass kayaks that was recommended by the person who sold us the boats. In fact he was taken aback when we arrived to pick them up unprepared - he sold extra straps that day.

I use two straps at each of the normal points, where the boat is secured over a saddle or glide pads or even the Hullivator cradles, for serious (longer) drives. Granted it means I trust the racks, but it also means I don’t need to worry about a catastrophic failure of a strap. I can lose one strap at a given point and the boat is not going to get loose. I run the second strap on the Hullivator in a way that reinforces the hold of the cradle on the cross bar, so I am not relying solely on the clip to keep it from getting bounced loose from the catch.

I have yet to go paddling with anyone else who does this. It is a little surprising since I have paddled with a lot of people who also bought boats from this person. But apparently my husband and I took it more seriously than some.

It does increase the time needed to get boats ready for a long drive. Between the double straps and the extra strap over each cockpit cover getting ready to drive to Maine with two boats is time I need to plan. But it is more than worth it for the peace of mind when I point the car to the cabin.

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Well I don’t use two straps, but do double up. My V-bar carriers came with strong bungees which I use as intended, but I add an NRS strap around the boat and cradle at each end.

I would never travel with just the bungees, but they are a good way to secure the boat on a windy day so it doesn’t blow off the rack or while moving the car away from a ramp - they only take a second to put on. They are also a good fail-safe if a strap broke.

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