yakima rack spacing

what is the proper spacing between the bars for a 15 foot 6 inch kayak . i hope to be mounting them on top of a 4 door truck .

My theory
is to space the bars the same distance apart as the boat’s bulkheads.


rack spread
I carry a 21’ kayak on a Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4’3" between crossbars. My Yakima towers fit on the original side rails & I use a bow tie with the long boat. Two years ago I carried a 14’9" kayak from KS to MT, on a Saturn with only 26" of spread. It was a nightmare!

I agree.
If your not able to than get the maximum space that you can between them.



Yakima Rack

– Last Updated: Oct-26-05 8:14 AM EST –

When we got our Yakima rack, (w/2 Sets of J Bars) it was at a demo day with a Yakima Tech guy there to install it. He had a reference guide that gave the spacing for each particular make and model, as well as far from the back of the roof. (The racks almost line up with the part of the roof where the frame meets the roof, probably the stiffest part of the roof.They just about line up with the bulkheads on either side of the cockpits on our 16 and 18 foot Yaks, but the measurements wer based on our Ford Escort, not our boats. I'm sure if you're have a good dealer he could give you the placement for your make and model.

yakama rack fit
thanks for the help ill check at the yak shop in va beach to see if they can help

Yakima rack spacing
The spacing between racks depends on the type

of vehicle you are putting the racks on.

The paperwork that comes with the Q-Clips

will give you all the dimensions for your

type of vehicle.

i had the same concerns and
emailed yakima a few weeks ago. he said generally, you want at least 36" b/t bars for a kayaking no longer than 18’. i’m not sure of the crossbar spread for kayaking exceeding this length but i’d imagine its probably around 4 feet. hope this helps.

Extension rack
I can only get 3’ on my Subaru wagon using the Yakima Doublecross on my rails so I made an extension rack that gives me a 5’ spread. If you are stuck with a short spread, the extension rack will help a lot.

I got 42"
on my '05 by mounting the Lowriders in the rail openings. Still not enough spread to suit me, so I too fabricated an extension. Have any pics of yours?