Small cars/big boats

9 months 4 days ago #35429 by DrA5
Small cars/big boats was created by DrA5
Normally I use my wife's full-size SUV to transport my surfski or sea kayak.  But the times she also needs a car, she HATES driving my two door sports sedan.  (Too low to the ground, manual transmission, etc, etc.)

Although 95% of the time, I will continue to use her SUV, I am investigating putting a removal rack system on my Audi A5.  Its a 2010, so the marks from the rack won't bother me anymore.  It's either that or get a new vehicle for the few times my wife and I both need a vehicle at the same time I am paddling.

I have been using the EZ-Vee extended carry system with the OEM roof rack on the SUV.   I would continue to use something like the EZ-Vee or get a GoodBoy carrier to use with Thule, Saris or Yakima (or any other brands that you may recommend).

Finally getting to my question, for those with small cars, what is the MINIMUM distance between the roof rack towers you are comfortable with to then attach the EZ-Vee/GoodBoy or other extended carrier?  I do think I will probably use nose and stern ties to just minimize the twist from crosswinds, but I wanted to check with others how close you can actually run your roof rack towers to see if it's even viable to continue with the thought process of using my A5 to carry either boat. 

Thanks in advance. 

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9 months 4 days ago #35432 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Small cars/big boats
Get a V bar system. It is the only safe way, really. 

Much better for your boat and more secure on the car. They aren't expensive. 

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9 months 4 days ago - 9 months 4 days ago #35434 by DrA5
Replied by DrA5 on topic Small cars/big boats
I did mention it would be with a V bar.   EZ-Vee and Goodboy racks are both V bar systems.   I was just looking at what minimum distance apart the racks to mount the V bar system could be. 

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9 months 4 days ago - 9 months 4 days ago #35436 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Small cars/big boats
Here's what I have done in the past. The crossbars are spaced at 2 feet. Two independent tie downs in the front and one at the back. The V rack is Goodboy classic 7 feet.
Travelled long distance with no issues.
Without tie downs it's dicey, too much sway. With tie downs it travels fine. I now use my minivan because I hate doing the tie downs and the spacing on my custom rack is huge and it's just less hassle, besides my SES has to handles at all.

The base rack here is an Inno with a short roof adapter. The rear feet just rest on the roof and the rear clamp does not have a tower under it. Given this design, it's a pretty sturdy setup, but given the short bar spacing there's still sway that needs to be neutralized bu tie downs.
That rack setup was pretty pricey and I was lucky it was even available for that old car.

 

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9 months 4 days ago #35437 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Small cars/big boats
I have a Yakima rack with a custom 7' bar carrying the ski. I have 30" between tower centers on my car. 

The only time I use a bow strap is when im traveling a long ways, like over 2 or 3 hours one way (Actually I think the only time ive used one is on my 3300 mile round trip to The Gorge). I have never worried about my ski without a bow strap, but I carry it upside down and backwards. I think this works much better than right side up and forwards, because, when the ski is backwards the bow has a natural weather vane shape, and since the tail has very little cross sectional area compared to the bow, at high speed the bow naturally wants to pull the boat straight. The opposite is true with it facing forwards, the bow wants to pull the boat sideways in a cross wind. 

Sputnik, ever tried the backwards approach? I am a big fan.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
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9 months 4 days ago #35438 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Small cars/big boats

MCImes wrote:  
Sputnik, ever tried the backwards approach? I am a big fan.


No, I haven't. But you also carry it upside down which I can't do on a V rack. I suppose I could do that on my van without a Goodboy, but I am way too short to load sideways that vehicle. 
But I have no particular issues on either vehicle. Loading from the back on a V is a breeze even on the van. Actually easier with a van than the Prelude.
 
This is my van setup.

 
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9 months 4 days ago - 9 months 4 days ago #35439 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Small cars/big boats
One thing to watch out for with a low car is people and other vehicles hitting the rear of your boat while moving at 90 degrees to it. It sits low enough for that. On my van it's not an issue since it sits way up there.

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9 months 4 days ago - 9 months 4 days ago #35447 by agooding2
Replied by agooding2 on topic Small cars/big boats
No issues for me with a 2009 Honda Fit, Thule racks and a Good Boy hatchback carrier with removable ends.  I just take the ends off in the winter, not the whole rack.  

Not noticed any issues with sway with a 17' boat, so no tie downs, something I always did with a canoe. My friends with 19 and 20' boats and the classic goodboy racks on a Subaru Impreza don't see a need for tie downs either.

-- Andrew

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9 months 1 day ago - 9 months 1 day ago #35478 by DrA5
Replied by DrA5 on topic Small cars/big boats
With carrying your boat upside down and backwards, what do you do for the rudder to ensure its straight?  I don't find the flags keep the rudder plumb straight.   I would think either with rudder flutter or cocked to one side that it would throw off the centering of the rudder or just damage it in general. 

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9 months 1 day ago #35487 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Small cars/big boats
If going highway speed, I use a little masking tape to hold the rudder straight. If its only side streets, I center it before leaving and it generally stays straight throughout the trip. I'm fortunate though and live close enough to the water that I walk my boat to the beach 90% of the time, so dont mind taping it straight when needed. 

On my Fenn XT, the pedals stuck out just above the deck, so I could position the ski on the rear pad such that the rudder was held straight. Depending on the design, some boats may be able to use this method as well. 

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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9 months 1 day ago #35495 by RedBack
Replied by RedBack on topic Small cars/big boats

SpaceSputnik wrote: One thing to watch out for with a low car is people and other vehicles hitting the rear of your boat while moving at 90 degrees to it. It sits low enough for that. On my van it's not an issue since it sits way up there.


I never travel anywhere without one of these on the ski.  Unlike some other flags, they don't just hang off the rudder, they make the whole tail super-visible and they have red and white reflective strips on the tail so they really stand out at night.
Great for when you're reversing, - it's saved me damaging my ski on several occasions!  Cheap insurance.
 

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9 months 13 hours ago #35508 by JBL
Replied by JBL on topic Small cars/big boats
1drv.ms/a/s!ArNMWZN7wa-AkykWd_vEPvjLGkp2
 Photos of a 17 foot boat in a five foot bed.  May not be the best way to move it, but it is easy on and off and for where I go it works. I use a lot more padding than in the photos

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8 months 4 weeks ago - 8 months 4 weeks ago #35515 by Crab Stick
Replied by Crab Stick on topic Small cars/big boats
My Nissan Dualis
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