strap down 2 kayaks to car no roof rank

Is there a way to strap 2 kayaks to a roof without a rack?

I know how to do 1 jut useing racthet straps and pool noodles but how could I expand that to 2?

Could you lay a couple 2x4’s across the roof then strap the kayaks down as usual. In a sense use the boards to make the roof wider.

Actually 1x4 or 2x3 would be plenty
Strap a pool noodle to the bottom of a board, lay the boards across the roof. Place the kayaks up there and strap down as normal. I like the foam pads made to the shape of the hull but four pieces of pool noodle under the two boats should work too, as I assume you are doing now.

Of course that said, they make racks for most any car these days.

I stacked two on a roof once. I put one on as normal and laid the other half on top of the first and tied them down with rope. I tied off both over the boats and tied the ends down as well. They never moved, we went about 15 miles to a pond and 15 miles back again, including dirt roads. It was an SUV with just the roof rails though, no cross rails .

These days I use my little utility trailer that I have for yard chores, the tractor etc. I throw the two Pungo’s in that and strap them off with clinch style straps, done deal ! The canoe still goes on the car ( SUV with a Thule roof rack).

board necessary?
Is the board necessary or couldn;t I just use canoe pads or pool noodles directly and put the kayak on that with the 2nd kayak on top?

Make 2 into 1
Strap the two kayaks together (deck to deck or hull to hull, whichever seems to nest better) making one unit. Strap that one package to the roof as if it were one kayak.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

It’s a matter of roof width usually
That’s why the board suggestion. If you can fit the boats on without boards then great. As I said will h my SuV I leaned one semi on top of the other and lashed them down. Also it matters how far and how fast you will be going.

the extra weight will smash down the
…pool noodle. Then you risk having the top of the car scratched. Plus, the boards help distribute the weight over the top of the car roof. You should check the car manufacturer’s specs for how much weight can be put safely on the roof of your model, you would be surprised how low it is. You don’t want to bow or dent the roof… My medium sized old SUV, for example, is not designed to carry the weight of both of our large, older heavier sit on top kayaks, at all, even if I put a rack on the rails. Yeah, it could carry the one if I wanted to bother to install a rack, or the lighter weight one with the foam thingies, but the truck is so_much_easier…

when the yak leaves the vehicle
the yak leaves your insurance policy

use the interior bolt with exterior strap for bow and stern lineS

My 2 cents…
The cheaper you go; the more trouble you’re asking for in my opinion.

Suggest a lot of stops to check the load.

I’d be watching for lateral movement of the kayaks like a hungry redtail hawk eyeing a field mouse.

Good luck.


Here in Michigan we have a lot of water
and some of the methods I’ve seen makes me wonder if they got to their destination. Some have been crisscrossed and just tied to the roofs without benefit of materials to prevent slippage and nothing holding the ends.

Needless to say, I either pass them or stay way behind their vehicle should they take flight. Oh well, it’s their money and possibly a lesson to be learned. Going on 20 years of kayaking, I’m not about to risk my investment an/or fun filled trips. Remember the report years ago of the canoe atop a pickup, not tied down properly nor on the ends and it ended up wiping out a motorcyclist riding behind it? That lawsuit likely wasn’t very pretty for the truck driver.

To each their own. Pretty is as pretty does and cheap is as cheap does. Your money. Best of luck as you may need it.

On the cheap
Just be careful. I cringe when I hear about or see some of these homemade boat hauling rigs.

I even see questionable tie-down methods with people who have aftermarket, kayak specific racks. It’s not just your car or your gear. I always tell people what about that car behind you that has to avoid your gear at 65 mph on the highway. Pool noodles and lumber may work, but there are other people on the road.

I was on a trip once with an SUV, commercial rack system and a rack with 3 ww boats on a stacker. The inside boat slipped out the back of the system at highway speed. Luckily it was early morning and we didn’t kill anyone. The boat bounced a few times on the highway before coming to rest on the birm. If there was a car behind us it would have went through the front windshield. If there was a semi behind us the boat would have gotten punted into the next county. Three people, thousands of miles of boat hauling between us and we thought we had properly strapped and harnessed the gear.