I’m a newbie to Kayaking and I plan to go out and buy a moderately priced kayak. My thought is that with my busy schedule, I may not get to use it as much as I would like. I am also trying to figure out what I need to transport it; as the cost appears to be almost 1/2 the price of the kayak itself. Here are the reqs:
4 door Honda Accord
12 foot tandem sit-on-top kayak
No more than 10 Kayak trips per year
Travel no more than 70 miles from home
Some highway speeds (needs to be secure)
Less than $250.00
I’m toying with trying to get by with a foam block kit rather than a thule rack. Any suggestions? Any successes with a foam kit? Any help would be appreciated.
ORS racks is the cheapst online store I've found for car racks. They're having a 20% off sale. You can get a standard yakima system right now for $263, and that includes everything: the Q towers, the cross bars, all the clips needed for a Honda Accord, and the LandShark saddles (it doesn't include the straps, but walmart straps work fine). Shipping is free. I've gotten my racks from ORS, and they were fine to work with. The system will last forever, and you can carry other stuff on it too (we use ours for all the trips to Ikea--you save a fortune on delivery!). (I used foam blocks for a while because I'm a cheapskate at heart, but what a hassle!) Resale value of yakama and thule racks are very high.
RackAttack has similar prices--$267 for the thule system that would fit your car. You don't need all the extra stuff--fancy hully rollers, locks, faring.
Forget the saddles but get everything
Then put the boat on upside on the bars - maybe pad them with a pool noodle, and tie the boat down. Don’t forget bow and stern lines.
Did you consider buying a double inflatable? You can transport it in your trunk. Take a look at the Innova inflatables - I had one and loved it - they’re fun and they’re tough.
While cost should be an issue, safety should be paramount. You need to make sure the boat won’t come off while traveling- an errant boat can cause an accident or even kill other motorists (think about motorcyclist for example). Two straps and a brake line should be on every boat- learn to tie proper knots.
Get a rack that secures to your car- you can get used ones off Ebay and Craiglist for example. Pipe insulation (available at Lowe’s etc) is another cheap way to pad a crossbar if you don’t want to spend the money on saddles.
My husband and I used only foam pads and rope for a VERY short, low-speed drive (rental car) when on vacation, one time.
I would definitely not recommend this for regular use or longer drives or highway speeds.
You can buy the crossbars and whatever attachments they need to fit your roof, then pad the crossbars with pipe foam or other padding. This is how I transport one of my kayaks (the short, light one). Securely strapped, it stayed put on Wyoming interstates with crazy crosswinds.
The crossbars are good for transporting other items on top, too.