Loading a surfski on a high roof rack

1 month 2 days ago #39176 by neerzis
Hi,
Quick question - what's the best and safest way to load (by myself) a surfski onto a roof rack on a high roof (a high SUV).
Should the loading be done from the side (how?)
Should it be done from the back of the car and slide the Surfski (there are no guiding wheels on the roof rack) from the rear rack to the front rack? Is there a problem with possible scratching....
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
 

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1 month 1 day ago #39178 by robin.mousley
Yes, skis scratch easily; you could also damage the vehicle if wind catches the ski.

In my experience though, there's usually someone around and most people are willing to give you 30 seconds of their time if you ask them just to hold the nose or tail of the ski while you get a strap on.

Google "how to load a kayak by yourself" - there are a million, mostly useless, articles and videos on the subject, but you might find some ideas there!  Most of them feature heavy plastic or sea kayaks; the challenge with a surfski obviously is that it's so light that the wind can easily lift it and blow it away.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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1 month 1 day ago #39179 by mrcharly
A friend has a mercedes van and often transports multiple (up to four) K1 boats for the club.
He keeps a short step ladder (the type people buy for their houses to change lightbulbs etc), just 3 steps.

With this it is easy to lift a boat up onto the roof of his van (I'm a shortarse and I managed it). 
Load from the side if at all possible.

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1 month 1 day ago #39180 by neerzis
Thanks mrcharly - that makes perfect sense!
On my way to the HW store :)

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1 month 1 day ago #39181 by zacki
regularly loading on a campervan...
from the back side... put a looped tie down around the rudder...
slide the boat from the back onto the back bar (with a foam insulation) ... put as much as you can to the front.
when it is ballanced to the front end... grab the loop and let it go up slowly.
then climb up to the roof and tie down.
(very challenging when having wind!)

loading on a double rack - on top of a sprinter...
I allways use a 1,2m (7step) wooden leather. allways from the side.
you can slide also from the front but then you got to be aware of some sidewind - could get into some expensive repairs.
if you load regularly in wind. you might want to purchase cradles or alternatively use some triangle stoppers (best if also insulated)
to have the triangles from both sides... this stops the boat from getting pushed off the other side - with side winds.
.
Single roofbar on MB-Sprinter (one layer of boats only) I do sideways without leather or if neccessary to stand on the tire!
(but I am a bit longer than standard)...

helps?
Tom
 

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1 month 9 hours ago #39182 by Watto
As well as all above (thanks for great tips), but with one person-only in big winds, park rear of vehicle directly into wind. Offloading from rear means front tie down off and boat ok, gingerly release rear tie down and maintaining contact with boat, back off into breeze. Loading a lot easier. Though maybe risky but in these circumstances I leave tie downs on roof. Mistakes in past include vehicle facing into breeze. Offloading ok but have been caught loading on high SUV with front end nudging into rear cradle at 45 degree angle and in a strong gust boat verrrry close to completely taking off up and over. Loading in reverse of this (where you can) keeps nose down when loading from rear. Side on, never done it, but guessing same, best having wind behind.

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1 month 6 hours ago #39183 by neerzis
Great tips and advice - thanks guys!!
Much appreciated :)

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1 month 3 hours ago - 1 month 3 hours ago #39184 by Arcturus
If the roof has suitable crossbars, you might try using an extender bar such as the Yakima Boatloader, or make one yourself from PVC tubes. That would allow you to lift bow or stern onto the extended bar and then put the other end onto the appropriate cradle or pad. Then walk back to the first end and put that in its cradle, tie down, and so forth.

I am so short relative to the vehicle that normally I tow a trailer instead of rooftopping. It’s nice because it makes loading and unloading in wind easier.

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