Kayak fishing has gained popularity over the years as it offers a unique experience of combining two fun outdoor activities. While kayaking and fishing are enjoyable, the challenge comes when it’s time to transport your kayak to the fishing destination.
Transporting a kayak is not rocket science, but you must follow a few precautions to ensure that you, the kayak, and other motorists on the road are safe. In this blog post, we will guide you through some practical tips on how to transport your kayak to your favorite fishing spot.
- Choosing the Right Vehicle
The first step in transporting your kayak is to determine the type of vehicle that will be suitable for the job. Ideally, you need a vehicle with enough space to fit your kayak, rods, and other fishing gear. If you have a pickup truck, then it's a perfect option for transporting your kayak. Simply load the kayak onto the bed and tie it down with straps to prevent it from shifting during transport.
If you don’t have a pickup truck, an SUV or a van can also do the job. If you opt for a smaller vehicle like a sedan, then you can invest in a roof rack to transport your kayak. The rack can be customized to fit the kayak's size and shape and can hold the kayak securely in place.
- Installing a Roof Rack
If you opt for a roof rack, ensure that it's strong enough to support the weight of your kayak. Roof racks come in different shapes and sizes, so choose one that is specifically designed for your vehicle. You can consult your local kayak dealer or a professional installer to help you choose the best roof rack for your vehicle.
When installing the roof rack, ensure that it's properly fastened to the vehicle's roof. The rack should be attached securely using bolts, screws, or clamps to prevent it from coming loose during transport. Once the roof rack is installed, you can place your kayak on it and tie it down using straps.
- Securing the Kayak
Before transporting your kayak, you need to ensure that it's properly secured to prevent it from falling off during transport. You can use tie-down straps to secure the kayak to the roof rack or the bed of the pickup truck. Make sure the straps are properly tightened and the kayak is secured from all sides to prevent it from shifting.
It's essential to use straps specifically designed for kayak transportation as they are strong and durable enough to hold the kayak in place. Avoid using ropes or bungee cords as they may snap during transport, causing the kayak to fall off the roof rack.
- Checking the Clearance
When transporting your kayak on a roof rack, you need to be cautious about the height of your vehicle. Make sure that the clearance is sufficient to avoid hitting overhead obstacles such as bridges, power lines, and garage doors. Before leaving, check the clearance height of your vehicle and add the height of the kayak to ensure that you have enough clearance.
- Checking Your Mirrors
When transporting a kayak, the added height may obstruct your view of the road. It's important to adjust your mirrors to ensure that you have a clear view of the road behind you. Check your mirrors regularly during transport to ensure that the kayak hasn't shifted or come loose.
- Driving Safely
When driving with a kayak on your roof rack, you need to be extra cautious. Make sure you drive at a reasonable speed and avoid sudden movements or turns. Sudden movements can cause the kayak to shift, which may be dangerous for you and other motorists on the road.
If you notice any unusual noise or movement from the roof rack during transport, pull over and inspect it immediately. Don't continue driving with a faulty roof rack as it may cause the kayak to fall off, endangering you and other road users.
In conclusion, transporting your kayak to your fishing destination should not be a stressful experience. With the right precautions and equipment, you can safely transport your kayak to your favorite fishing spot. Choosing the right vehicle, installing a roof rack, securing the kayak, checking the clearance, adjusting your mirrors, and driving safely are all important steps to ensure a successful kayak fishing trip. Remember to follow all traffic rules and regulations and keep the safety of yourself and others on the road in mind at all times. Happy kayak fishing!