Thule help needed asap!

Okay, we bought a Thule car rack and hull-a-ports for our Toyota Camry. The instructions say not to have the straps go across the cockpit but with the load bars 28" apart (as directed) the straps are going to cross the cockpit on the sea kayaks as well as the rec boats.

Anyone else out there deal with this dilema? We are going to be hauling them tomorrow.

I have no experience with Hull-A-Ports but have used stackers with load bars 28 inches apart. Plastic kayaks/coamings should not be adversely affected by the straps. I have been able to slightly spread the straps around the coamings on single cockpit kayaks. On open cockpit tandems, the straps do cross the coamings. Composite boats/coamings could be cracked by overtightening the straps.

expand the crossbars?
Can you move the crossbars farther fore and aft on the roof line and maintain a secure rack to roof bond? And without hurting the car? I had similar dilemma. Got them far enough apart, but roof camber is opposite to hull’s which reduced the contact area of saddles to hull as they each curved away from the other. I shimmed the rack feet to yield a more level and still secure mounting. ALWAYS check and recheck (and check again) all knobs, straps and other rack widgets frequently.

More than 28"
might be possible but the instructions say:

“Important! When possible, maintain a distance of 28” between front and rear load bars."

and then later,

“Ensure straps do not go over cockpit cowling or other non-load bearing boat details before cinching straps.”

Thank you for your responses and any others that might come in. I’m about ready to chuck the whole works back in the box.

I think that means
at least 28", not exactly 28".

Considering the countour
of the car top, it is probably pretty much going to be 28" for them to fit flat and even.

If we don’t cinch them too tight I can’t see it harming the coaming on the carbonlite or plastic, but what about the fiberglass? It will be interesting to see what Thule has to say but they said they’d get back to me in 3 business days.

Angle the straps a little
The longest cockpit lenght of my boats is 36". I center the boat and have the straps go in front and in back of the coaming. The 4 inchs forward and back don’t seem to matter and haven’t hurt the coaming. I have a Camery and haven’t had any problems. I assume you are putting the straps around the bar and back over.

Yep, I’m angling.
I have just been worried about damaging the kayaks based on the Thule “warning.” They’re loaded and ready to go in the morning. We will stop and check occasionally but only have about 75 miles to travel.

Thanks again.

If you are worried about…
them pulling the coaming in or whatever, why not just make a spacer(s) that fits across between the two sides.

You could use a piece of 1’x 4" x the proper length, and cut a notch in each end to fit the coaming. Then tape it in place.

I have had the straps cross over the coamings on kevlar as well as poly kayaks, on different occasions and no one tightens the straps as much as I do, and I have never had a problem.

Sometimes “rules” have to be thrown out the window when commen sense has to prevail!



Dont chuck the hull-a-ports
I use two sets of hull-a-ports for my two rec-boats (Acadia II 14.5 and Pungo 120). I have them spread accross my station wagons at far more than 28". I think thats a minimum. The hull-a-ports allow you to stack your kayak on-edge preventing warping which occurs with plastic boats.

When I am not transporting my kayaks, I use the hull-a-ports also to store the kayaks. I remove the tower, bar and hull-a-port assembly from the feet (with a simple snap), and then I have a second pair of feet attached to saw-horses in the backyard. I snap on the assembly to the saw-horse feet and put my kayaks back on their j-cradles.

Then I cover both boats with a single $50 car cover that is UV-protectant, water, heat, and moisture resistant. It creates a great year-round storage method for the boats.

hope that helps!

I just run
the straps under the coaming lip fore and aft of the cockpit.

everyone. I feel better and I’m sure they’ll travel fine. We’re off for new waters!

and remember… it’s TOOLY

Yep! :slight_smile: