TYransport 17' Tempest in bed of pickup

I just bought a used 17’ tempest and wonder if it’s OK (structure wise) to transport in bed of 8’ (10" with tailgate down) pickup truck.

If I load it stern first I’ll have a 5’ overhang which I can support it near the front bulkhead, and near the edge of the tailgate, with a “V” shaped foam block.

I’ve transported a 15" kayak the way with no problem but am not sure about a 17 footer.

Thanks for any advice you can give me


There are better arrangements
It would be better to put a single roof rack on the cab and then a support for the back, such as a hitch mount t-bar or a ladder rack type frame. IMHO having such a long and low extension of the kayak out of the bed is asking for trouble. I used to drive pickup trucks all the time during my long career as a construction project manager and I was constantly getting rear-ended by people who seem to be unable to grasp the location of the ends of open beds. I think they just focus on the cab rear window and incorrectly judge the vehicle clearance from that. Even when I had conspicuous orange warning flags on stock that was hanging out of the bed, other drivers would hit it.

2nd the hitch mount t bar
idea. One rack on the cab, t bar on the hitch.

2 thoughts
Most states require a red flag for anything that sticks out more than 4’ to the front or back. If you do your plan, definitely put a flag on the back. I think the requirement is based on how far it sticks out from the bumper.

If the rear window of your cab opens, you could possibly stick part of the boat into the cab reducing the overhang. I’ve seen a guy do this.

That all said, I’d prefer to do the route of getting the boat more over the vehicle (rack on roof and such). Having a boat that far back has some safety considerations (people not expecting it, so perhaps running in to it; how it will swing wide when you turn; etc.).

Buy a foam mattress pad
I carry a 14-foot kayak inside my (bare roof) 2003 Toyota Matrix. It rests on pool noodles.

Picked up a $9 twin-size foam mattress pad at a local box store and bungee it around the stern. A smaller piece of foam around the bow to protect my dash and windshield. Adjustable cam straps hooked to interior D-rings hold the boat more securely than any cartop carrier and the hatch is secured with cam straps.

Yup, it sticks out. A large bright red scarf is tied to the stern. I once had to drive home in the dark, so I used a Lucl light, wrapped the red scarf around it, and secured it to the stern rigging. Worked like a charm. No one tailgates me. Given the white foam wrap, maybe they think I’m carrying a mummy?

All that said, I’m considering buying a new, smaller vehicle in the next few months, so I’ll have to bite the bullet and opt for either a rooftop carry or a trailer. Unsure which way to go at this time.

I like the light idea. McGyver!

The Matrix sure seems like a lot of utility in a little package. I like how the rear seat folds flat as well as the front passenger seat.

Thanks for the responses
The 7’ overhang (not 5’-my bad) is too long. I can transport it on the roof and did so when I bought the kayak two days ago as I have 2X3’s mounted on the roof of my cab high truck cap. However it’s a PIA to load and unload especially on steep access ramps.

If I decide to keep the kayak I’ll invest in a T-shaped tailgate extender the fits in the receiver hitch.

Thanks again


Thanks! Sometimes
you’ve got to figure out how to make do with what’s on hand. Was glad I had a Luci in the car, as I didn’t expect to get off the water at dusk. They’re wonderful solar lights.

I’m loathe to give up the Matrix because it’s been trouble free, has great mileage (although I need a step stool when I wash it), and is a super cargo car. But I know there’s a longer boat in my future and the Matrix won’t do. Plus, it’s starting to show its age. Finding what I want with a manual transmission is the latest challenge.

Agree on the receiver hitch bed extender
My bed is 6’ and I carry my 16’ SOT with a t-rack I got off Ebay for $60.

Loadind and unloading is easy, except on steep ramps.

tell me it’s not an XRS
Not that the other models aren’t also sought after, but the XRS 6 speed is even moreso. They didn’t make many.

I take inordinate pride when I McGyver my way out of something…:wink:

On second thought
I think I’ll forego the truck bed extender as it will only give me 2’ more support over the end of the tailgate and I’ll still have 5’ overhang.

Ioday I took the Tempest out for a try (kayak on cap of truck) and went through some heavy traffic. If the kayak were on a tailgate extender I’d be quite concerned about getting rear ended.

You have to feed those premium.

There’s a red low mileage XRS for sale in Bay City, but an auto tran.

At stop lights I’ve actually seen tiny
cars behind me very slowly and carefully creep up under neath the end of the flagged kayak sticking out of the bed. I guess… because they can. I’m sitting high there w 4whd and they are low. This has reassured me, oddly enough, that any fool who actually impacted us is still going to hit my hitch and bumper before hitting the kayak. They may hit the kayak anyway, but they are going to do much damage to their front ends in the process.

I’d rather see this, actually, than some of the OTHER crap the speeding crazy drivers are doing when we’re moving.