Long story short.
Heading out to pick up a Kayak this weekend and it's located about 1 hour away. I don't have a Kayak rack on my Expedition (yet). So I need to get it home with straps. Then next week I'm turning around and I'm doing a 3 day Expedition trip with a group that will involve about 750 miles of driving. Again, I wont have time to get a rack bewteen now and then.
What can I do in terms of transportation? I do have a factory rack now which I can use tie downs on. Obviously I'll have to be careful and use extra care.
I've heard of foam blocks etc. I need some feeback please. Where, how much etc? Throw me out some options.
Long story short.
Foam block–you can get them at Wal-mart. They have slots to keep them in place on your rack. Straps–get some while you are there. I don’t care for the ratchet straps, but the ones with the simple grip work fine. You should be able to set yourself up for under $50.
If you are getting the boat at a boat shop, they will probably have everything there too.
I used Foam Blocks
with bow and stern straps and they held up okay for about 45 minute ride, and I’m sure I could have gone an hour. Most Outfitters have them on hand and they’re cheap.
I can’t advise on the second trip, but I’d check with some of the rack dealers and see if they could overnight them. You could always re-use the bow, stern, and belly straps from the foam block kit with the racks.
pop the hatch and drop the back seats!
foam blocks are fine
I’ve used foam blocks for 2 years with 2 plastic kayaks. They have done fine locally and on 3 hour highway trips. I use them on a minivan with a factory rack and the rubber strips along the roof. I put the foam blocks (the kind with a v for the hull) on the roof, not over the crossbars. The blocks were high enough for the hulls to clear the crossbars. Two straps (the Thule type with spring grip) are used on each kayak, looped under the crossbar on the inside and under the siderail on the outboard side.
I ordered my Saris racks on Saturday afternoon, and I got them via their free shipping yesterday (Tuesday). That’s 4 days including a weekend.
Call the dealer…
I’m sure the dealer selling you the boat can fix you up. Give them a call. I’m sure most dealers would love to sell you the transporting equipment along with the boat and help you get it on the car correctly… Unless this is a Wally World type store where you’d be on your own.
A related question
occurs to me here. I have a Yakima rack. I strap the boat down in two spots (at each cradle). Is it really necessary to also use a bow and stern tie down? …it creates such obnoxious wind noise.
Buying a Rack
I’ve actually deiced to go and buy a rack. I found a paddling store here locally that has everything I want currently in stock so I should be good to go for next weekend.
I guess driving 1000 miles you’re first week of owning a new kayak justifies buying a rack.
So be it
you might want to look here regarding your tie down question.
I’m now sufficiently scared to use bow and stern tie downs. The image of a boat going through a windshield ain’t pretty.