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Kayak in pick up bed.

MagooMagoo Posts: 47 Greenhorn
Good Morning,
I would like to know how long my kayak can legally stick out of my pick up truck bed.
If tied down securely can it hang out 7' with a red flag with the tailgate up?
Can I transport kayak this way on turnpike?
Thank you for your help.


  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,384 Officer
    Yes! If the kayak, or anything else, extends more than 4' out the back of the bed you're required to have a red flag, minimum 12"x12". I made up a short tether with one of the cheapo "carabiner" rings from Home Depot and tied several red flags to it; hooks to the lifting handle on the kayak. Don't skimp, use a couple of flags on the tether to make sure you're legal! You can get red plastic flags at Home Depot also, right at the Contractor entrance/exit. Had an old woman run into the back of my truck when I had a load of 16' 2x4s. Knocked the windshield right out of her car. I had about 6 flags nailed into the ends of the lumber, no doubt in the police officers mind that I was legal! She got the ticket and the repair bill! :grin
  • MagooMagoo Posts: 47 Greenhorn
    fish stix,
    Thank you for your input.
  • wildbillwildbill Posts: 40 Greenhorn
    Magoo, that is a lot of stress on your kayak. I suggest sliding it into your truck bed with the tailgate down and secure it through the side handles with a ratchet strap attached to your bed somewhere forward of the seat area. I have a short bed F-150 and do this with a 12' and 14' kayak. If I had a 16' kayak I might buy one of the truck bed extenders that slide into your hitch receiver.

    fish stix is right on the money and yes you can drive on the turnpike.

    May those that love us, love us.
    And those that don’t love us,
    May God turn their hearts.
    And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
    May he turn their ankles,
    So we’ll know them by their limping.

    WS T-120 "UGLY BETTY"
    Mainstream Streak
  • MagooMagoo Posts: 47 Greenhorn
    Thank you for your input.
  • Indian River JoelIndian River Joel Posts: 362 Officer
    get the bed extender for $70. Its so much easier and more secure

    "Indian River" Joel
  • brettfitzbrettfitz Posts: 438 Deckhand
    I second the second for a bed extender. I went with a more sturdy model, bought it at Rayside in West Palm. It has a bend in the under bar which works for me because my driveway slopes and the straight bar would scrape the drive.

    As for the requirements for the turnpike and any other road in Florida, there are other considerations, unfortunately.

    1. The original reply is spot on regarding red flags. The 4' counts from the bumper, not the end of the tail gate.
    2. If you are out during times of low visibility, the red flag no longer counts. You would need red lights! So if you are hitting the road before sunrise, and you are wanting to follow the letter of the law, that's the deal. the lights would go where the flag should be - at the very back of your kayak.
    3. Your license plate is supposed to be visible 100 feet behind your vehicle - just another thing to worry about! I don't know how that is possible with some of the bed extenders that are sold (including mine), but that is how the law reads. I did some experimenting with my truck with different combinations of canoes and kayaks, and for the most part I guess I could argue that my license was visible at 100' so long as I was not directly behind the vehicle. In other words, if the cop is one lane over, they would see the digits on the plate.

    There was a story in FS about this a couple months ago - I wrote it. I talked to a trooper when researching the laws, and he confirmed those last two. Keep in mind, he also said he can not remember anyone carrying a canoe or kayak getting pinched for the obstructed view law, but with automated ticketing becoming more popular you can bet it will soon be something that we are getting popped for.

    I wrote that piece some 7 months ago, so there is a chance the laws have changed. I don't have it in front of me, but the exact statutes are in the article if you want to look 'em up. Pretty sure it was the May or June issue.

    "A 'real' fisherman is one who thinks like I do. There are more of us around than you might suspect."
    -John Gierach
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