There are times when you have to go kayaking alone. This is where things get tricky. A lot of people don’t even know how to load a kayak on top of a vehicle. It’s not that hard once you know how to do it.
Let me show you the easiest way to load a kayak on top of your SUV, van, car, or truck by yourself by simply using items that you would typically have with you when you go out kayaking.
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Things You Will Need
- A Kayak Cart
- A Short Rope
- A Lashing Strap
- A Thick Towel Or A Pad
- Two-Hand Towels
Let’s talk about why you need all of these. So, the first thing you will need to lift up your kayak is a kayak cart. Think of this as your main source of getting that boat on top of your vehicle.
A kayak cart acts almost like a little roller system. Having a cart is necessary because it allows you to just roll up your kayak from point A to point B. After that, you will need a lashing strap. Any type of lashing strap will do as long as it is strong enough to hold your kayak cart.
You can use any type of strap to hold your cart to the back window of your vehicle. Another important thing to have is a short rope. The length of this rope will vary depending on the size of your kayak.
Make sure it’s about half the length of your kayak. When you go to lift up your boat, this short rope will prevent it from slipping out. The next you will need is a towel or a pad for some sort of protection.
Additionally, you will also need two small towels. If you use a kayak cradle, you will need these towels. On a side note, it’s important that you use a kayak cradle to transport your kayak using your vehicle.
Kayak cradles are absolutely necessary to hold your boat on top of your truck or SUV. Instead of having to flip over your kayak, you can use a cradle to allow your kayak to sit facing up.
What Happens When I Don’t Have A Kayak Cradle?
First things first. It’s important that you invest in a good cradle. However, if you don’t have one, you can use any type of device on your crossbars or use a piece of foam to protect your kayak when you are transporting it.
Also, if you don’t have a cradle, you should flip your kayak upside down when you load your kayak on top of a vehicle since you won’t be able to hold the kayak upright. This will prevent the kayak from bending or warping when you put pressure on it.
It will also keep the bars from digging into your kayak as you strap it down. That’s why you need some type of protection there, and this is where using small towels come in handy.
That’s why, if you don’t have these kinds of cradles, put some type of protection up there. You can flip the kayak over once you get it up there. Now that you understand why all of these are necessary let’s see all of them in action in the following section.
Putting A Kayak On Roof Rack By Yourself
If you have an SUV, a van, or any other high vehicle, here is a cool trick that will show you how you can easily load a kayak on top of any vehicle on your own.
First of all, set up your kayak cart on the back window of your vehicle. Make sure it’s upside down. This is because you want the wheels to be facing up. After that, strap the cart with your roof rack. You can use the rear bar of the roof rack to attach the cart using the strap.
Now, wrap the strap around once from the cart to the rear bar and then wrap it again down around the kayak cart. Make sure to hold the cart in place pretty tight. If the wheels of your kayak cart are too low, you might want to attach the cart a bit higher.
In order to raise the cart up a little bit, you can add a piece of foam underneath the cart. Make sure it’s thick enough to protect the back window of your vehicle. This will allow the cart to rise up a little bit.
Now, take the small hand towels and wrap them around the cradles on top of your vehicle. This will prevent the kayak from sticking to them when you load it up. Most of the cradles have a piece of rubber on them that will prevent the kayak from sliding it up.
Now that you have all that in place, connect the small rope to the bumper or the hitch. The other part of the rope should go to the back of the kayak. This will prevent the kayak from slipping out when you are lifting it up.
It will also make it easier for you to place the kayak on top of the cart without having to worry about slipping. As of now, everything is in place, and it’s time to start lifting up the kayak.
First, life the front end by hand. The rope that you have connected earlier will prevent the back of the kayak from slipping since it’s connected to the back end of the kayak.
Now, simply place the front end of the kayak on top of the wheels of the kayak cart. Now, go back behind the kayak and carefully lift it up. The kayak should roll up onto the wheels and go on to the top of your vehicle. After that, simply slide it into place on top.
Do everything in reverse if you want to take the kayak down from on top of your vehicle. Start by pulling back on the back end of the kayak and slide it down gently onto the wheels.
Walk to the front end of the boat and lift it up from the wheels and place it on the ground. Follow these steps, and it will make your kayaking life a lot easier.
When you are tying down a kayak, make sure to tie it down using wrapping straps and fancy knots. Don’t go crazy and tie it down too much. Try to keep things as simple as possible.
Also, if you have a tall vehicle, you might want to use a ladder to tie down the knots. A small stepladder will do just fine. Now, once you are done tying the kayak down, make sure to check it again after driving for 10 to 15 minutes.
Make sure it is still secure by giving the kayak a tug because a lot of the time, the straps and the knots can get loosened up while you are driving.
If you own a kayak don’t do late to learn how to transport a kayak safely? If you don’t learn how to tie down a kayak on a truck bed or how to load a kayak on an SUV without scratching you will end up by causing harm to other vehicle, people, and your own kayak too.
The tip given in this article will only work for lighter kayaks. However, if you have a really big kayak, you might want to consider asking someone else to help you lift it up. With that note, we will conclude our article on how to put the kayak on the roof rack by yourself.