Tips for Car-Topping

-- Last Updated: Aug-31-13 11:38 AM EST --

I've been looking for a new boat and I think I'll end up with the Perception Sport Conduit 13, it has all the features I was concerned with getting but the one thing I'm not crazy about is that it weighs 50lbs. Are there any smaller paddlers on here with tips for putting a 50lb boat on a car by yourself? My current boat is 40lb 10ft rec boat and sometimes I have trouble getting it onto my car (04 Malibu). I was wondering though since the weight is spread out over 3 more feet if maybe it would be easier or about the same as the 10 foot?

Easiest trick: A bath mat

– Last Updated: Aug-31-13 1:55 PM EST –

I've posted several times about ways to eliminate the need for overhead lifting, normally by modifying one's roof rack to allow the boat to be leaned against the rack and slid onto the roof. Major roof-rack modifications are beyond what a lot of people will consider or are capable of, but on many cars, a pretty easy alternative is to lay a bath mat on either the trunk or rear window (depending on if it's a sedan or hatchback), get one end of the boat up onto that mat, and push the boat up. I've heard of people doing it from the front as well, putting one mat on the front edge of the hood and another on the windshield. Either way, there's no need to lift the boat over your head. All the true "overhead" lifting involves only a very tiny fraction of the boat's weight. And lifting one end of the boat high enough to get it onto the bath mat can be done when carrying the full weight of the boat, but with your hands at waist level where the load is easy to carry (one end of the boat aims up, the other aims down).

By the way, the reason for using a bath mat rather than regular carpet is that the rubber backing keeps it from slipping on your car.

longer is easier
You slide the boat up, l can do 65 lb boats this way. Longer makes it easier. Take a look at theamagansett roller loader. Worth the money.

I will
be trying this, thanks!

If the boat is long enough one

– Last Updated: Sep-02-13 9:25 AM EST –

way is to use something like the yakima extension or whatever they call in. I have had great luck with that system - you are never lifting more than half the weight of the boat and it really is easy to get a boat up on the roof of the car or truck.

Here is a youtube video that shows the method.

It works well with cars but also with high vehicles like the van depicted or trucks. Also works whether you are loading onto J Cradles, foam blocks or other rack system. Low tech and almost zero chance to damage the vehicle in the process of loading. Also works well with canoes.

If you are using an open bed pick up like I often do this rack has a sliding loading bar built in on both sides.

I bought one of these about 10 years ago and it has been excellent. It is an extremely versatile rack system.

Malone Seawings and a bathmat!
I’m 5’2", drive a Nissan Altima and have a 12’ kayak that weighs 50lb. I have an INNO roof rack with the square crossbars and Malone SeaWings. The ‘bath mat’ method works well for me.

Rug or bath Mat
I have a SUV and I’m short, so I use the Thule extension bar, the rug/mat and a step stool. I use the rug differently that others I’m guessing. I put two rope loops in the rug and loop them over my load bars (thule). This then keeps me from scratching the car as I push it up onto the bars. It works for me.

This is the system I use to get my 70 lb. Tarpon on my F150…I used to try it with the Thule load bar on the side but this Telos system does it for me very nicely…

Agree and…
…the best thing about Malone is that the few times I’ve had issues with components, I could get ahold of a person immediately who sent a replacement without argument, delay or charge.