Handling Boats on Land

Paddling kayaks may be the most graceful way to explore our waters. But handling boats on land can be cumbersome. Thankfully, proper equipment makes transportation easy and safe.

Kayaks can be transported cockpit-side down, on their sides with appropriate rack accessories (like Stackers or J-style hull supports) or cockpit-side up using cradles or saddles.

No matter how you carry your boat, be sure to run two straps around the hull to the roof rack in addition to lines from the bow and stern to both bumpers of your vehicle. Straps wrapped too-tightly around the hull can warp your boat (especially in hot weather). Keep the lines snug, and take care not to harm your boat.

The manufacturer of your roof rack may have special instructions and weight recommendations for carrying boats on your vehicle. Check with the rack manufacturer if you have questions.

If you do not have a rack system, soft rack pads can be used between the boat and your car top. Run straps over the canoe or kayak and through the car doors to secure the boat to the roof, in addition to tying it to your bumpers at the bow and stern. Remember straps should be secure, but not overly tight. Stop and check your load as you drive.

For more details go to Car Topping and the Solo Kayak Carry articles.


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