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Fishing Kayak on a Sedan

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I need some advice for a new roof rack system. I have a big kayak (12ft, 77 pounds). Likewise it is hard to lift straight onto the roof of a car. My previous system was simple. I put a piece of cardboard on the hood, then placed bathmats on the trunk and back window. Then I would place the nose of the kayak on the bath mat on the trunk. Then I would grab the back of the kayak and just slide it up onto the top of the roof. Then I would just strap it down through the doors with cam straps and bow and stern lines with p-cord. This system worked fairly well.

 

However, my new issue is that I just bought a new car (Honda Accord), which I care much more about scratching. Likewise, I am looking for a a better roof rack system than a piece of cardboard while sliding the kayak up with bath mats. I would prefer to not spend $400 on a roof rack specifically tailored to an Accord. However, I want to keep my kayak safe and my car as scratch free as possible. What systems do you guys recommend?

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5 minutes ago, Ads7633 said:

 I would prefer to not spend $400 on a roof rack specifically tailored to an Accord. However, I want to keep my kayak safe and my car as scratch free as possible. What systems do you guys recommend?

When I bought my current car I didn't own a kayak. I bought one of the rubber block car carrier kits from Dicks and it serves me well. It works for me as I can lift my 38lb kayak directly onto the roof of my car. It's the main reason I purchased one so light.

 

For your situation you could go with the DIY pool noodle roof rack. Plenty of vids on Youtube showing how its done.

 

Next car I buy will have a roof rack. It makes things so much easier.

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I know little about cartopping on late model sedans.  (Though, back in the day, I used to haul a jon boat atop a Gremlin.)

 

However, as to roof racks, I had a very hard time with the cost of good racks and crossbars.  But after having used a couple different no-name brands and a variety of Thule and Yakima gear....I can say that I will ONLY get roof-top systems from those two in the future -- unless a new player comes along with comparable gear (that will likely be as expensive.)  I just can't say enough about the solid-ness, confidence, and peace of mind that good roof-top system gives me, over 'economy-priced' equipment.  Seems terribly expensive, but I've decided they're worth the cost to me.

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This is a neat solution.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ads7633 said:

I would prefer to not spend $400 on a roof rack specifically tailored to an Accord. However, I want to keep my kayak safe and my car as scratch free as possible.

These two statements are contradictory.  You're going to have to get a good roof rack to accomplish your stated needs.

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1 hour ago, Darren. said:

This is a neat solution.

 

 

Pure genius!

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I’ve been using a Malone Downloader rack on my Subaru Forester for three years. There are two reasons I chose this rack.

 

1. It is designed so the kayak does not touch the vehicle at any time during the loading process. The yak is lifted against two “pads” (for lack of a better term), then slid into position.  

 

2. The rack itself folds down flat when not in use.

 

It’s been tough, reliable, and easy to install and use. It did cost $170.00 but it’s saved my vehicle from a lot of scrapes. Speaking for myself only, I think it was the smartest investment I’ve made in fishing-related gear. You might want to check out the Malone racks.

 

Hope this helps.  Oh, and you might check Amazon or E-Bay for prices.

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I suggest Yakima racks based on their suggested fit through their website.  They have J style racks (called Jaylow) that have a sort of ramp on each J rack (these get installed on the bar rack system).  I agree with J francho that you will need to spend a decent amount for quality which seems to be what you're looking for.  The Yakima racks also support a boat loader for easier loading... You're looking at around 500 dollars for everything.. West marine currently has a great sale offering the best prices on Yakima rack systems now, for a couple more weeks I think.  

 

Keep in mind, a lot of parts are required for this system.  There are the q tower blocks, bars, base pads, q clips, the Jaylow, locks (if you want them), and the boatloader.  If you're not willing to go this route, then you might as well go with foam blocks and a boat roller like the sherpa boat roller. 

 

Jaylow with racks and boatloader video:

 

Boat roller (If you don't go the Jaylow and racks route) 

download.jpeg

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I have a bad back and bought the boat roller. Big mistake! One of the suction cups failed a few times. The last time I used it, I lost control of my boat and twisted my wrist. Wasn't able to kayak for a couple months. I would avoid it. 

 

I wound up getting a Thule rack with square bars and their Outrigger II attachment. It's similar to the Yakima Boatloader. My friend has one on his camry and showed me how easy it was to load his canoe by himself. I just load my kayak straight onto the rack. I used to use foam blocks when my kayak was new, but I don't really care anymore. The Thule Outrigger is so easy to use. The total cost of the bars, feet and outrigger was expensive, but so worth it. They always have 20% off sales going on. I could not transport the kayak without it unless I bought a trailer or hullivator.

 

Here's a great video of a double amputee using the Outrigger:

 

 

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I would make sure whatever rack you go with fits on the accord.  Each brand has fit guides on their websites.  I'm pretty sure that the Yakima system I got (q towers)  was the only one that actually supports my vehicle (2011 scion tc).  Thule racks say they don't support a 2006-2012 accord, but not sure about later years.  Also as with anything with suction cups, make sure they are lightly wetted and secure before engaging in any strenuous task.  But, like I was saying if you go the rack route with bar style boatloader, you won't have to worry about a boat roller - that's just a cheaper alternative.  

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Riazuli makes a good point. So if you decided to bite the bullet and get a good rack, you will need to make sure it fits. Thule and Yakima make specific rack feet and fit kits to hold the cross bars for almost every vehicle. I checked and Thule does have options for 2008-2012 and 2013-2017 Honda Accords. They don't have one for 2018, but that car is still fairly new. I'm sure they will come up with something soon. You could call them and see if one is in the works. I have called them before and they are very helpful. Yakima has options for both older generations and the 2018. The only thing I don't like about the Yakima bars is that they are round. It makes it harder to mount other racks as they sometime spin. I prefer Thule square bars. Note the Yakima Boatloader and Thule Outrigger only work with round and square bars respectively. 

 

I know a lot of people do use the suction cup style loaders. I tried wetting the cups and they still failed. Fishing kayaks are heavy and unwieldy so I don't trust something that isn't fixed anymore. YMMV. 

 

Good luck and enjoy your new car!

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Yeah, I used pool noodles for my sit in kayak that only weighs 50 pounds and ordered the boat roller for my new sit on kayak that is 75 pounds - I will not be using it for that, as I found out about the boat loader for my yakima system afterwards (also the Jaylow system for yakima has a "ramp" for loading the kayak sideways, and not rolling it up the back of the car).  The boat roller with be used for my sit in if I decide to use that for something or for a partner.  I also would not trust the boat roller (not to be confused with boat loader) with my heavier and newer/nicer kayak.  When I looked up Thule racks, it mentioned 2006-2012 accord and had nothing for it, but perhaps we put in different specs or something. @Crankin4Bass

 

Just thoroughly check and make sure whatever you get is compatible with your car.  A direct call to confirm is a good idea.  

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20 hours ago, Riazuli said:

When I looked up Thule racks, it mentioned 2006-2012 accord and had nothing for it, but perhaps we put in different specs or something. @Crankin4Bass

That's strange. Here's what it showed. That generation accord is 2008-2012. 

No worries. I'm not sure the OP is interested in this anyway.

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 4.48.59 PM.png

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2 hours ago, Crankin4Bass said:

That's strange. Here's what it showed. That generation accord is 2008-2012. 

No worries. I'm not sure the OP is interested in this anyway.

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 4.48.59 PM.png

Yeah, I did the coupe version - it was 2008-12 and not 06-12.  Not sure which version the OP has.  There is no rack for the coupe version. 

Untitled.jpg

The OP did say new car (but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a 2017 or 2018 model or unused).  OP, can you specify exact specs for your car?  year, model (2dr vs 4dr), etc

 

2018 shows no rack available (which like someone said could just be because it's new)

2017 does show racks available for both coupe and 4dr versions

 

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I use a Inno rack and the Kayak Wing to haul my 12ft 11in Jackson Cuda LT on my Ford Focus ST. Two straps and done. 

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On 3/31/2018 at 2:34 PM, Crankin4Bass said:


I wound up getting a Thule rack with square bars and their Outrigger II attachment. It's similar to the Yakima Boatloader. My friend has one on his camry and showed me how easy it was to load his canoe by himself. I just load my kayak straight onto the rack. I used to use foam blocks when my kayak was new, but I don't really care anymore. The Thule Outrigger is so easy to use. The total cost of the bars, feet and outrigger was expensive, but so worth it. They always have 20% off sales going on. I could not transport the kayak without it unless I bought a trailer or hullivator.

 

Bite the bullet and get a good rack system.  I have a combination of Thule square rack system and Yakima accessories. I have the outrigger mentioned above and it's a big help, although you still need to be careful not to scratch or ding your car.

 

I can carry two canoes, two kayaks, or a combination of the two, or lumber and oversized items from the hardware store, etc. on my Forester.  I can remove the racks in five minutes.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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I bought 2 pool noodles, ran rope through them and tied them to the roof handles on each side of the car. Then I pick my kayak up and put it on the roof and strap it down. I have an Ocean Kayak Big Game Prowler II that is around 13' and 80 pounds, but with proper technique I can get it set up there. 

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3 hours ago, desmobob said:

 

Bite the bullet and get a good rack system.  I have a combination of Thule square rack system and Yakima accessories. I have the outrigger mentioned above and it's a big help, although you still need to be careful not to scratch or ding your car.

 

I can carry two canoes, two kayaks, or a combination of the two, or lumber and oversized items from the hardware store, etc. on my Forester.  I can remove the racks in five minutes.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

What Yakima accessories do you use?  I was thinking about getting Hullhound saddles or the Jaylow.  The quick tool free attachment system looks cool, but I worried about the brackets being plastic. I read some people complain about cracks. How has whatever you have held up?

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1 hour ago, Crankin4Bass said:

What Yakima accessories do you use?  I was thinking about getting Hullhound saddles or the Jaylow.  The quick tool free attachment system looks cool, but I worried about the brackets being plastic. I read some people complain about cracks. How has whatever you have held up?

 I use a simple kayak cradle set Yakima used to make.  The most similar current offering is the DeckHand Saddles.  Mine are much more basic (and were a lot less expensive.  I also have a set of gunwale stops from Thule that I use for canoes.  The Thule tie-down set is handy too... it has ratcheting rope hooks for the bow and stern, and some long cam straps for over-the-top.  I bought two of those.

 

The stuff works so well, I have no regrets spending the money.  It's a comfort knowing everything is properly held and secured!

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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2 hours ago, desmobob said:

 I use a simple kayak cradle set Yakima used to make.  The most similar current offering is the DeckHand Saddles.  Mine are much more basic (and were a lot less expensive.  I also have a set of gunwale stops from Thule that I use for canoes.  The Thule tie-down set is handy too... it has ratcheting rope hooks for the bow and stern, and some long cam straps for over-the-top.  I bought two of those.

 

The stuff works so well, I have no regrets spending the money.  It's a comfort knowing everything is properly held and secured!

 

Tight lines,

Bob

Thanks for the reply! Good to hear all those attachments are working well for you. I have the Thule ratcheting tie down set and some cam straps too.  I have no regrets spending the money either. Saves so much time and makes life easier. 

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My plan is to get this to load my canoe on my F-150.  For short trips I can just strap it securely in the bed, but when towing the camper it has to go on top.  No way I'm going to lift a 78 pound canoe more than 6 feet up onto my Thule racks.  This way I'll slide it up onto the rack from the back, then flip it over to strap it down.  I managed to do it once without, but it was a pain in the butt and I wasn't sure I was ever going to get it up there without scratching the back of the cab.

 

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