May 12, 2016

Kayak Transport and Storage

How To Transport Your Ocean Kayak

One of the easier ways to transport your Ocean Kayak is to purchase a roof rack. This normally involves a set of bars that attach to the car via rain gutters or clips on the door. They come with a wide variety of attachments from kayak saddles to stackers. The racks can be used without the attachments; however, the racks should be padded. Place the kayak upside down (cockpit side down) on top of the rack. Ropes can then be strapped accross the boat and tied to the bars. Saddles cradle the boat and often come with their own straps. Stackers allow multiple boats to be placed on their sides without falling over.

An alternative from traditional rack systems are soft racks. They tend to be less expensive and will work with almost any car (i.e., without having to change clips for the "hard" rack style). These are pads that sit between the kayak and the roof of your car. Some styles have a strap that wraps around the kayak and others strap the pad to the roof. To tie the boat to the car, straps are run through the car doors and the boat is tied to the roof as well as the bumpers. Avoid over tightening the straps which may cause dents in the roof of the car.

We strongly recommend that a line be run from the bow and stern of all the boats to each bumper. If your bumpers do not have a gap to pass a rope around, look underneath. There should be a loop of metal on which to tie your line. Three points of tie down is a minimum (two across the car and one to the front bumper), a fourth (the rear bumper) is better.

Many people like to use the scupper holes to tie the boats to the car. This can help prevent the boat from sliding back and forth or the rope from slipping off the kayak. This is a perfectly acceptable method for tying the boats down. Be sure your kayak is securely fastened to your car to avoid losing the boat while in transport and possibly causing an accident.

Car Topping

Make sure the boat is secure before driving. To tie your boat down, ropes work well, but cam straps are quicker and easier. Tie down on each side of the cockpit, the tapered shape of a kayak will prevent the boat from sliding forward and backward. Don't be afraid to make these straps very tight, the chances of hurting a plastic boat are slim. We strongly recommend that a line be run from the bow and stern of all the boats to each bumper, but don't tighten these too much or you will bend your boat along its length.

Expect your straps to loosen after driving for a while, especially on bumpy roads or in wet conditions. Losing a kayak off the roof of your car is a serious concern, so take the time to occasionally pull over and double check that your kayak is secure.

You can also contact your local dealer about appropriate racks and tie down procedures.

How To Store Your Ocean Kayak

Your new boat is carefully crafted to ensure optimum durability. But improper storage can quickly degrade hull shape, color and UV-protection. Storage is key!

Ocean Kayak blends an added measure of ultraviolet inhibitors into the plastic of your boat to give superior protection from ultraviolet light. However, to ensure extra years of flexibility and bright colors, avoid storing the boat in direct sunlight. Waxes and protectants are simply not enough, they will eventually wash off the boat into our waterways. Signs of sun damage include fading, a loss of flexibility and cracking that cannot be repaired. Keep your kayak inside or under cover, especially if you live in a sunny climate. A tarp properly suspended above the boat will protect the boat from ultraviolet light. Do not cover your boat by laying a tarp directly on it. With the heat of the sun, the tarp creates an oven that can damage, distort or discolor the hull. Simply leave an air space to allow for air circulation.

If you must store your boat outside, we recommend you tie it down. Strong winds can catch the underside, flip it and cause damage.

Kayaks should be stored on edge, upside down, standing, or hanging horizontally. When hanging a boat, run straps around the boat near the cockpit (the strongest part of the boat). Hanging your kayak in slings or webbing is ideal and will prolong the life of the boat. A word of caution - using the scupper holes may cause distortion and hanging from the toggle handles may put undue strain on them. Storing the boat bottom side down may also cause distortion. Kayak storage systems are available from your dealer.