Kayak Rack Help

New2FlNew2Fl Posts: 72 Greenhorn

Just bought a used tarpon 100 kayak (10ft). I drive Honda civic sedan 4dr and I'm looking for a rack to transport it. Went to a local sporting goods store and they wanted around $500 for Yakima rack and installation. I know there are cheaper options out there but I'm just really confused in what direction to go in. This is the first kayak I've ever owned so my knowledge in this area is almost non-existent.
I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on what is the most sensible option. Don't really want to spend that much if it can be avoided.


  • fordmag84fordmag84 Bradenton, Fl Posts: 66 Greenhorn

    Check out the foam blocks they make for kayaks for you're car roof, they sell them at walmart. Those and some ratchet straps and you're good to go.

  • DES51DES51 Posts: 42 Greenhorn

    You are driving a sedan so you will need crossbars in order to install a rack. If your Honda is fairly new you will not want to damage the roof and will definitely want the crossbars! After those are installed then you get to decide if you want a rack, foam blocks etc. Was the price for the Yakima just racks or did it include crossbars?

  • krashkrash Posts: 538 Officer

    There has been many threads and post on this subject, there are many answers to your inquiry, It mainly depends on your budget.

    You can go to a local shop, or shop online, to get something as simple as foam block or a soft surfboard rack setup for $20.00 that will do the job with no damage to your car. Or you can go all out with Yakima or Thule hard racks. I drive Honda's and have been carrying Canoes, Kayaks, and SUP's for years on them.. '91 Honday 4dr Accord, '01 2dr Civic, '12 2dr Civic, and currently '08 Civic 2dr cpe.
    The '91 I mainly used the foan blocks, the '01 Civic I used a soft surfboard rack system and alos on the '12 Civic for a while. They are very simple and easy to use/install/uninstall, only issue/problem which is a nuisance is when it rains hard the webbed strapping wicks water which drips at the lowest point which is usually in your lap or passanger seat. When I got the '12 Civic I decided to go hard rack system and upgraded to top o the line Thule aero bar system and its great but timely to install and remove so I generally never take them off the car, and I believe there is some fading issues where the feet mount on the roof.
    The only other issue I find with the Thule Aero Bars is the black rubber strip on the top side of the rack is not non-marking rubber and leaves black marks where the kayak/canoe/sup slides on and/or moves aroudn a little while transporting at hiway speed.

    Getting to the setup I liked, Thule Aero Bras, I also went through a standard Yahima round bar and Thule square bar setups also. I also tried the inflatable Handi Rack system which attaches like the soft racks with webbed straps through the car.

    The soft setup can be installed and/or removed in 5 minutes or less.. you just lay them on the roof, open th doors and toss the webbed straps inside, connect and cinch them down, then close the doors.

    The hard racks have to be carefully laid on the roof top, open the doors and fit the clamp/bracket into place, then tighten them down with tools... takes 15 to 30 minutes.

    Lesser expensive hard options are available from Malone and a few other manufacturers.. Here is an article about picking the type racks,

    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • SpineymanSpineyman Posts: 7,554 Admiral

    My buddy uses hard racks he picked up at the pawn shop for pennies and also uses one of the big wheel cart racks on the trunk to load the kayak by himself to the top racks. He has modified something like this to assist in getting on the top racks.


    He made them narrower and found beach tires. Lays it on the trunk upside down and wheels the kayak to the top. No problem for him. I have watched him do it many times , and doesn't want help because he fishes about 5 days a week and mostly by himself.

    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.

    II Chronicles 7:14

    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

  • cprcpr Posts: 9,195 Admiral
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  • New2FlNew2Fl Posts: 72 Greenhorn

    Thanks for all the responses. I guess I have a lot of homework to do. I probably should add that the car is a 2012 with about 100,000 miles so I'm not overly concerned with a little scratch here or there.
    To answer Des51's question the price was rack and crossbars but still seemed a little pricey but what do I know.

  • DES51DES51 Posts: 42 Greenhorn

    That isn't a bad price for crossbars, rack and installation. Over and done with! But, if you are not concerned with roof scratches you can go the cheaper route! I do recommend getting ratchet type straps though. Rope is no good! You do not want your yak falling off going down the highway! lol

  • krashkrash Posts: 538 Officer

    I'd suggest being leary of ratchet straps.. down here in the hot sunny S. Florida weather ratchet straps can over tighten very easily and after an hour or so in the hot sun easily deform the kayak... but its a personal choice I use rope/line and have for years although my soft racks system has webbed straps but had cam latches rather than ratchet type.
    I put 148K on my '01 Civic, and currently have 120K on the '08, the '12 only had about 30K when I traded it to my daughter for the '08 when she moved to La and I had been laid off.. PS. I like the ride of the '08 better than the '12 though. One good thing about Civics is they have 2 tie-down spots below the front bumper and one center rear below the bumper for your bow/stern lines.

    Currently I see that now there are a couple products similar to the Malone Handi rack system, that rather than inflatable are soft foam based. Simple to install and remove, do the job well, but like I mentioned they do allow water to wick inside if caught in a hard rain.

    Austin Kayak version $64.99, and Yakima EasyTop version $99.00.

    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • krashkrash Posts: 538 Officer

    I have sitting in my garage taking up space an Yakima round bar rack system with the Q-feet and Civic attachment clips from the '01 Civic that should directly fit the '12, and also a set of Thule square bars with the feet although I don;t have the Civic attachmet clips.. but you could purchase these from Thule. Both are 48" bars.

    Would let them go very cheaply, but I don;t want to mess with shipping them, if you are in the Ft. Lauderdale area any time.... I had but gave the Handi Rack system to a friend for her Honda Odesy...

    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • New2FlNew2Fl Posts: 72 Greenhorn

    Ok. A few more dumb questions. Are all rack/crossbars etc... ultimately removable? None of these are permanently affixed to the roof correct? I probably should have also mentioned that right now I have a bare naked roof, no factory racks or anything. So I'm starting from scratch

  • DES51DES51 Posts: 42 Greenhorn

    Yes, the crossbars would be easy to install and are easily removed. Cam buckle straps are what I meant to say. Not ratchet types!

  • DES51DES51 Posts: 42 Greenhorn

    The two products shown in the links that krash posted will also work well for you.

  • krashkrash Posts: 538 Officer

    @New2Fl said:
    Ok. A few more dumb questions. Are all rack/crossbars etc... ultimately removable? None of these are permanently affixed to the roof correct? I probably should have also mentioned that right now I have a bare naked roof, no factory racks or anything. So I'm starting from scratch

    Yes most are removable... at least all the ones I mentioned are, although there used to be a dude around I knew (Capt. Jimbo) that just used dry-wall screws and screwed his hard rack's right thru the roof and the screws extended right down thru the headliner.

    The hard racks have a rubber foot shaped roughly conforming to a curved roof line , with silicone rubber inserts that further conform to individual roof lines, then brackets/clip that are shaped to mate with the upper metal edge where the door closes above the window line, (generally you have to open the door to install), this clip/bracket then tightens down pulling down-wards on the foot/tower and on the opposing foot on the opposite side of the car.
    I set them in place, snug one then the other, back and forth a few times until I have a solid fit.. a Thule Rep. once told me when you think its tight its not tighten it more... once they are installed they are very secure and can fairly easily be removed.

    Don;t get me wrong the soft options are great, but I do like the hard racks.. yesterday I made a trip to HD and picked up (4) PT 8' 4x4's, (3) PT 12' 2x4's, (1) PT 8' 2x4, (6) Fence pickets, loaded them on the racks, tied them down and drove home... rebuilding 12' of wooden fence that was blown down.

    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • New2FlNew2Fl Posts: 72 Greenhorn

    Thanks again.

  • krashkrash Posts: 538 Officer

    Looking for something else I came across my '08 with the 13'6" DragonFly loaded on the roof, with the Thule Aero bars...

    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • krashkrash Posts: 538 Officer

    Here is another with the Riviera Voyager SUP on the roof, notice this one does not have bow/stern tie-downs, so it shows and eaxmple using the Yakima Yakbrah..

    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • stussingstussing Posts: 83 Greenhorn
    Look at Malone racks.  Have the removable version for my Silverado and a permanent rack on the Tuscon
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,449 Officer
    For the Bahamas a few years back, I bought an inflatable kayak rack to put on a rental car.  I did not have a chance to use it because the weather was bad most the time I was over there.
  • DES51DES51 Posts: 42 Greenhorn
    Well.......what did you end up going with?   
  • AaronCannonAaronCannon Northwest ArkansasPosts: 118 Deckhand
    Plenty of trailer options under 500, and itll haul all the other stuff that wont fit in a sedan.
    Lifting yaks to roof after a long day sucks.  My kids have tarpon 100s.  Still too short to really 'help'.
    The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.
    Jeff Cooper

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