Transporting loaded kayak

Getting things around for an extended family vacation to South Carolina. My father and I are bring our kayaks. I have outfitted an old rowboat trailer to haul my kayak that I have used for several years without any trouble. Now this is first long distance trip that I will haul the boats. As there will be 3 families there is a lot of stuff to bring and we were considering filling the holds of the kayaks with stuff that we need. I am concerned that with the hot weather and extra weight that I may damage my kayak on the two day drive.

I paddle a WS Tarpon 160i. I load it on the bottom of the trailer hull down, stern first so that seat doesn’t blow up in the wind. The trailer is basically unmodified. There are 3 hull rollers and carpeted planks that the kayak rests on. Although the kayak typically rests on the rear roller that is 3 feet from bow of kayak when loaded, the carpeted boards and the front roller which is 2-3 feet from stern. Doesn’t rest on middle roller.

I have rigged steel cross bars that attach to sideboards on the trailer that I put foam V shaped supports and attach my Fathers 10ft Tarpon hull down.

I use ratcheting tie straps to secure everything.

I have hauled this way without any trouble for several years but never with anything in the holds.

My main concern would be oil canning my 16ft boat on the rollers or carpeted boards due to road vibrations and extra weight on a hot summer day. I plan on loosening the straps at end of first travel day overnight.

Your thoughts?



When we make our annual trip from
NC to Mass every year, I have two long sea kayaks on the vehicle roof, and I always load our paddling gear and biking gear in the compartments.

Sometimes they are on saddles and sometimes on J cradles, and I never have had a problem.

They are composite boats, but prior to them we did it with our poly boats.

In the winter we do the same when we are going to the Florida Keys.

I try to just pack the lightest weight stuff we have in them.

I wouldn’t leave them that way in hot sun though

Jack L

Try to store fluffy, higher volume stuff
in them rather than denser things.

If I did that routinely, I might use some old fiberglass and resin and mold some weight distribution plates over the zones that rest on the rollers. On my Necky poly touring kayak, I cut a minicell wall that I stuff between the bottom and the top, just forward of the cockpit, to protect a zone that has distorted before when on my racks.

If you can stuff enough fabric in the roller zones, that would provide some internal support.