Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yak on the Rack

Luggage Rack / Kayak Rack Conversion
 by Tom King

Canoes are easy to strap on your SUV’s luggage rack.  Flip them over and the gunwhales rest flat on top of the crossbars and it’s a simple matter of bungee cording the canoe down tight.  Kayaks have curved decks and curved bottoms, so they don’t strap down flat.  You want to create a padded cradle for the kayak to rest in.  Fortunately, it is really simple to make one your self in a few minutes.

What You’ll need

You’ll need two foam swim “noodles” – the kind with the hole down the middle.  You’ll also need a roll of duct tape, a sharp knife and 4 zip ties.

Step 1

Cut the two foam noodles to the width of the luggage rack on top of your truck.

Step 2

Mark a line down the center section leaving about a foot to a foot and a half on either end.  Use your knife to cut through the noodle to the center hole.  Cut along the marked line from the outside to the hole. Don’t cut more than halfway through the noodle. Stop at the end of the mark, leaving the two ends uncut for 12 to 18 inches from the end

Step 4
Wrap the ends of the noodles with duct tape to prevent the cut in the center from splitting down to the ends.

Step 5
Open up the noodle and wrap the open part over the luggage rack crossbar as shown.

Step 6
Zip tie the noodle in place as shown so that the center is down over the crosspar and the ends are curled up to form a padded cradle for the kayak.

Step 7
Now simply rest the hull of the kayak in the foam cradle and bungee cord it tight to the rack.

When you want to remove the cradles, simply clip the zip ties. You’ll zip tie it back in place next time you take the kayak out..

Have fun!

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