Small boat, fit in car, lake exercise

I live near two lakes and I have a hatchback car. I am trying to find a small boat, 6 to 8 feet, that I can just throw in the car (maybe bungie it down), take to the lake to get some exercise. I’d be interested in either a short kayak or a small dinghy/rowboat. Looking for suggestions. From what I’ve read, whitewater kayaks would likely not be good for my intentions. Any ideas would be appreciated.

You might consider a folding boat.
Take a look at his google page:

Bic Yakka 80

Inflatable or Whitewater Kayak
Check into an inflatable.

Also an older whitewater kayak that is about 8’4" would be fine for exercise. If you don’t care how fast you are going. I go for coastal paddles in my Necky Jive quite a bit, more interesting because I can stop and play in the waves, and caves and rocks but it would work fine for throwing in a car or on a car and going for a paddle. It takes some practice to make it go straight but once you learn how you can move along fairly well, you won’t be racing any seakayaks for sure but it’s not as bad as some people would have you think.

Any one of those rec boats that you find
in all the discount stores should work if you don’t mind leaving the hatch open and your rear seat folds down.

I have a couple of nine foot Keowees and have carried them in the back of my Ford Escape that way.

Put the heaviest end (usually the seat part) in and leave the lightest end sticking out, and then put your gear in the cockpit on the inside just for even more weight.

Use a couple of bungees or some rope to tie the boat so it won’t slip out the back and you are in business.

Where there is a will, there is a way!



Small boats can be lots of fun but come with certain shortcomings.

If your concern is transportation, take a look at this rack install of Prius

I saw the same rack system being used on Matrix, and older Civic hatch.

Get a rack
Fitting the boat inside is a lousy reason to compromise on performance. The most basic go-in-a-sorta-straight-line rec boats are 9 feet. You’ll enjoy a 12 footer much more than those.

Another reason not to go the “fit-inside” route–cracked front windshield. That’s what I did when I decided to be lazy and stuff my whitewater boat into the back hatch. Slammed the hatch shut, driving the bow of the boat into the windshield, creating a nice spider crack the size of my hand (It’s a lot bigger now. I keep it there as a helpful reminder of my own potential for stupidity.)

As for the suggestion that you get a longer boat and let it hang out the hatch, this is only good if you drive an electric car. If your car actually has an exhaust pipe, you will likely find the car’s exhaust floating up into the open hatch and gassing you out. Not pleasant.

Add to this that the inside of your car will soon smell like whatever is in the sediment at the bottom of the water you paddle in–not a really good smell in most places.

So really, on top is better than inside, even if you are just using foam blocks and straps to secure it.

You might consider a 6-7 foot
whitewater playboat. You can go out and throw ends, do bow and stern stalls for 40 minutes, and you’ll get plenty of exercise.

Pakboat Puffin 12
Fun boat to paddle and will fit in the trunk of a Miata.

There’s one on an eBay! storefront.

See you on the water,


The River Connection

Hyde Park, NY

Look here
for inflatables:

or build your own folder or inflatable:

Of course
Ittakes more time to inflate/deflate and IK, or assemble/disassemble a folder than it does to secure a boat to the roof of your car. If he’s just trying to avoid the “hassle” of cartopping, it sounds like he’s trading one minor hassle for another.

don’t limit yourself to 8 feet.
I don’t know if there’s any real regs where you live about how much can something stick out back of the car,but i have no trouble hauling my 11 ft necky gannet in my 94’pontiac firefly hatchback which is about as small as cars get.

How about the new inflatable 12’ Hobie with their Mirage Pedal Drive for exercise?

inflatables are good
I travel a lot, don’t own a car and live in a tiny apartment. Portability and low space requirements are a must for me. I own several inflatables but the one that I end up using the most is a Solar by Innova (Czech). It inflates in a few minutes with a simple foot pump. It’s the fastest inflatable for a guy my size (210lb). Another one I own and used for about a year is less than half the cost of the Solar, a Dragonfly I. It’s not as fast but is smaller and weighs a few pounds less than the Solar.