Re: Transporting a Kayak
Lots of questions here. Thats cause there are lots of ways to do it.
Trailering--I for one have never trailer a yak. I know some who do it, but they are in the minority. Biggest problem is where to park it. Usually guys that trailer are doing it for multiple yaks.
Foam Blocks-- They work, but with alot of caveats. They will 'oil-can' a hull-down transported yak. That means they will bend the hull in the shape of the blocks, that shape looks like an oil can. Best bet is to lightly strap it down and then secure with a bow and stern line. They also tend to scratch your car. You can put the blocks around your factory rack cross bars or thule type cross bars, but sliding in on and off does not work so well. Also they are very hard to transport hull down with.
Hull up or down.-- I like down. It is more areodynamic and you are using the strongest part of the yak (gunwales) to rest on the bars or pads. However many times rigging and pole holders do not allow for it to lie flat or worse you cannot slide the yak on and off. Riding right side up is ok, just remember your boat will oil can in about 10 minutes and it does not always pop out.
Racks--As much as I hate to say it a good thule rack is the way to go. They have quite a few styles. I have the J style which makes me nervous as my yak is 14 ft long and wide, it is like putting a sail on your truck. But you wont damage the hull. I also have 05 pathfinder and getting it up there is not easy. But it is a very tried and true method. The saddle and roller style that Rob has is very good and supports the yak in such a way that oil canning is unlikely. Just dont cinch it down tight and rely on bow and stern tie offs always. Rob if you have that style, keep it. Just always use the bow and stern lines, they are a cheap insurance policy. I have recently paid $400 for the thule hullavator which brings the cradle down to the side of the car and then you lift it up with a hydroulic lift assist. Very snazzzy and good for the back. I yak alot and it makes sense for me. The thule rack also has a bike rack, a ski/pole holder rack, a big storage box, a rod box and I can put 2 yaks on it. One of the best all around investments I have ever made. Factory racks worry me. I dont trust them.
Hope that helps, if you have any more shoot em on back over.
"The Wheel is Turning and You Can't Slow it Down."