I’m planning to get one of the new Pungo 120 Ultralites. Not easy to find yet, but I’ve found one near my home in Ohio and one near my vacation spot in Michigan (which is where I want it to end up). The better deal is from the dealer at home, but it means I’d have to haul the thing 500 miles to my vacation spot. The farthest I’ve ever carried a kayak on my roof is several miles. Since my experience in transporting is limited, I’m somewhat hesitant to tote it 500 miles. (I know HOW to do it, I’m just not sure how easy or difficult a long trip will be.) I have a Honda Civic and I am investing in a rack. Having the kayak delivered would certainly be easier, but I’ll have to wait on it longer than I’d like, and the deal is not as good as the one here at home. Are there any good reasons for or against hauling my new kayak this far? I don’t mind if my gas mileage decreases some, as long as it’s not drastically lower. Will I be able to drive at 65MPH or faster? (I usually drive considerably over the speed limit–around 75 or 80 once I get out of Ohio and into Michigan…fewer cops. No lectures, please.) Thank you for helping me make the best decision!
If you have a proper rack, good straps, and at least a bow line you can go normal highway speed (may not be best to go way over the limit though). If you’re not sure it’s tied down good maybe the seller can help when you load it. I’m sure many here have transported kayaks quite a bit further at speed.
Recheck Straps From Time to Time
If you have the appropriate rack and have it tied down properly (on a highway, I’d use both bow and stern lines), it should be OK. I’d recommend rechecking your tiedowns from time to time during the trip to make sure they haven’t loosened or the boat hasn’t shifted. If nothing else, it will give you more peace of mind.
Dont over tighten
I have seen boats seriously distorted from over tight tie downs.
I’ve driven thousands of miles with yaks on the roof, with proper racks it’s really not a problem. I’d look at a cockpit cover, if you hit rain the kayak gets heavy really quick, also the cover streamlines the boat so the gas mileage doesn’t suffer as much.
Btw, bow and stern tie downs are a safety, hold the yak to the roof if the rack were to fail, they do not have to be real tight, I’ve too seen yaks broken because someone over tensioned these lines.
Buy in Michigan
Sort of a different take here.
I’m from Michigan living in Ohio. Both states have suffered economically but Michigan far longer and more deeply.
Buy “local” AND save yourself the risk and trouble.
I would like to buy a future retirement/now vacation place up north but honestly we didn’t have the money to go up when I was small and since then I’ve moved all around.
If you would like to give me some opinions on good (for me that means somewhat quiet) areas, I’d love to hear them.
I have a 2000 Subaru Legacy Wagon with Yakima Stackers. I have carried 2 Necky Manitou 13’s with bow and stern lines over 420 miles at speeds in excess of 80mph with no problems.
It’s no big deal at all …
Every year I drive 1000s of miles with my boats.
Just make sure it is tied down properly, check the straps and retighten after the first half hour and when you stop for gas. Keep it under 80 mph, watch for signs of strong cross winds (trees moving strongly in wind, grasses swaying) a strong cross wind can hit the boat and move it violently on the rack when you go around a turn and the wind hits it broadside. That’s about the worse thing that can happen if its secured well. Two strap tie downs, and stern and bow lines, learn to tie a truckers hitch for the stern and bow lines and keep them taught but not so much that they bend the boat. A rec boat will travel better tied upside down on flat rails but saddles will work fine if you have someway to close off the cockpit.