Transporting three kayaks

First post. New member.

I have three Perception 13’ kayaks. I don’t want to buy a trailer. I have the Thule J hook rack mounts. I can fit two easily buy just bought a third for my 15 year old son. My thoughts were to put two flat side by side and then the third on top, flat also. Anybody out there tried this? Is it suicidal?


Leave enough room between the cradles to slide the third kayak in on it’s side. A little padding on the load bars and you’re good. I do it all the time and with long bars you can do four just as long as there’s a few light ones.

done 3 on the roof
I’ve done 3 on the roof. I usually only use 1 J-cradle (with 1 boat in it), then put the next one up against that on its side, and the last one up against that. each is strapped down separately. And I am religious about bow line s(and use stern lines on longer drives or freeway drives) - I figure the extra boat will add to the stress to the rack, so the bow/stern line may save me.

You could also use a stacker type rack, instead of the j-cradle. They do work with touring boats (though most people just use them with whitewater boats).

I do it all the time
I have a set of J cradles on each side, and a set of saddles in the middle.

Jack L

J hooks
I frequently carry 3 on the roof of either our Jetta or my Silverado, but use J-hooks. we have two of the folding and one fixed hooks. Myself, I would not carry them just on the racks, but use J-hooks. Compare the cost of the hooks vrs the cost of the yaks.

two other ways
1 kayak stacker, with all three kayaks on side. This rig has worked fine for transporting kayaks around North Carolina…

Or, two j cradles one on each side facing outward (I like Malone cradles) and Yakima saddle in the center–this rig took 3 expedition kayaks to Newfoundland…

I think 3 is better than 2
I use J hooks on the outside edges of my roof on my truck and have carpeted the cross rails. I put the boat in the middle hull side up. I have found that having a third kayak in between the two in J hooks makes wind buffeting almost non existant.

If I am taking a trip of any length and it is windy, I will load the third boat whether it is used or not.