When it comes to kayaking there are usually two main issues most seniors consider before purchasing a kayak. We covered the first in our last blog about the specifics of modern kayak designs and how they have led to some lighter and more stable options. You can read that blog by clicking here. The second issue is how to transport the kayak and that is where we would like to focus today.
In regards to YAKWORKS, we feel that we have taken as much of the concern away as possible around kayak weight and on-water stability by stocking Crescent Kayaks. These kayaks are known to be among the best choices for retired and senior paddlers. The issue now becomes how to transport a kayak which can be up to 13' in length. Luckily there are plenty of choices but before we get into on-the-road transport lets just briefly go over moving the kayak from storage (your garage or outdoors) to the actual vehicle.
Our advice to anyone purchasing a kayak is to get a good rolling cart. Though we can help you with selecting a lightweight kayak, they still remain somewhat awkward to move just because of their size. Hand carrying a kayak is possible but you will find it quickly wears you out and in some case can cause damage to the kayak. You want to resist dragging the kayak since this can actually wear a hole into the bottom of the kayak over time. A rolling cart will make moving and storing your kayak so much easier. We have some options available in our shop and you can see them all by clicking here.
Probably the most popular way to transport a kayak is in the bed of a truck. This can be ideal because the height makes it very easy to slide the kayak from the cart straight into the truck bed. From there you just add some straps to secure the kayak and you are off to the water. Today "trucks" take a few different forms so it is important to be aware of how much of the kayak extends out of the truck bed. Some of the smaller trucks or trucks with shorter than standard bed lengths may be too short to properly haul a kayak. We recommend at least 75% of the kayak be fully supported underneath. A truck bed extender is a great way to achieve additional length and support for your kayak. One word of caution though, it is not recommended to haul your kayak with the tailgate up. This puts additional stress on the kayak and can lead to cracks and dents. In some cases they can even bend due to excess heat and stress.
Another great option is an actual kayak trailer. Companies are started to offer these as designed and engineered transport solutions. Some customers are even repurposing old Jon Boat and jet ski trailers for this purpose. Typically the hull bunks on these trailers can be adjusted to securely hold the kayak. Given the lightweight of the trailer and kayak it is possible to tow these setups with just about any vehicle you may already own. The last benefit is being able to back the trailer straight into the water to easily unload and load the kayak.
The final option is a rooftop setup but it can prove to be one of the toughest to live with long term. For many lifting a kayak on-top of a car is just too difficult and can result in damage to the vehicle and possibly the kayak if you drop it during loading. YAKWORKS does have some kayaks that are very lightweight and possible to transport this way but the larger fishing and tandem kayaks are not recommended. Some may choose this option if they have a dock on site and do not plan on transporting the kayak more then a few times. If it is just a matter of getting your kayak home, then rooftop transport is not a bad option.
We would be happy to help answer any questions you may have about kayaking. Please feel free to reach out any time and we will be glad to help.