Kayaking and Coffee

I went paddling this morning and to Starbucks afterwards.  My gps turned off for no reason I could tell in mid paddle so I think I did about 3 miles or so in less than an hour or so.  Afterwards I met an associate at Starbucks!

You may note that I've started carrying my sit on top like a canoe.  Hull to the sky, directly on the bars with no racks.  I've had good luck doing this with poly boats, but this is the first time I've done it with a composite boat.  so far it is working well.

Here are the contact points on the bars:



On the back bar you can see the corner of the Scotty mount base.  I installed one behind each hip in the back. One for a camera and one for a rod or light.  They also serve very well to keep the boat from sliding forward.  I've been using a bow line to the front of the car for a safety factor to prevent the boat slipping backwards.  Now that I don't use foam pads or saddles the boat is far more secure and you cannot wiggle it without moving the car after the first strap is tight.


  1. I bough my first used kayak from a lady that used to car top it like that: no cradles, directly onto the roof rack bars.
    I did the same thing on that kayak myself, for a few times, until I cracked the hull (mime was hull down, not like yours deck down).
    Now I only use cradles. Most times I use proper cradles but occasionally is shaped closed cell foam.
    Foam slides around a bit but beats cracked laminates. Point loading a fibreglass kayak is not what I want to do.

  2. I do understand and appreciate your concern on this topic and I am interested in how it will turn out. Luckily this boat was much abused before I got it so I am getting pretty good at grinding off damaged bad repairs and starting over.

    The key differences here are that it is a sit on top and the edge of the cock pit and rear of the cockpit are very rigid. Even more rigid than the gunwales of a canoe which is traditionally carried without pads. So that is why I'm willing to try it and see.

    For my sit inside boats I see no alternative to cradles and surf ski don't have the same deck configuration. Also if it was a new boat or even a good looking one I would never do this. The bottom only looks good from a couple boat lengths away.

  3. ah, that makes sense now. An old beater that is built like a tank :-)
    Since it's a SOT, are you "upgrading" the repairs with epoxy/glass lamination and then gel coat? from the outside?

  4. The funny thing is that the hull is very light and flexy and the boat is only 39 pounds or 18 kg. But the deck has a lip around the cockpit that is very rigid and sturdy feeling. Tomorrow I will install a day hatch and a patch from the inside where a crack is not sealed with duck tape. I had to grind off the old crack repair from the outside. It was so terribly ugly you could see it from 100 yards away.

  5. Sounds like you have "fixer-upper" on your hands :-)
    Repairing from inside it's easier than outside.
    To do it properly one should cut away the cracked area and then feather the hole to replace with progressively concentric patches... dang, on a thin laminate I just add fibreglass patches on the inside and grind away only the loose/cracked gel coat on the outside and then cosmetically repair the finish. I am not too bothered in maintaining "proper flex" to match the rest of the hull.
    I also reinforce hulls from the inside when kayaks that are too light in lamination start to stress due to surf landings (even if just sandy beaches)

  6. I turns out that after cutting in an installing a day hatch behind the seat I still could not access the place that needed repair so I had to do it from the out side. I have one more layer of clothe to add and then I have a lot of sanding, filling and feathering to do. I figure that if I paddle it on the weekends I'll have time to do some work on it once a week and it might look OK by Christmas.