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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have any yet and not sure if i'll get any but is it alright to put a kayak, such as stealth evo straight onto flat roof racks without kayak cradles or do you need to tie down the front end also to stop it moving from a cross wind? I'm mostly thinking for highway driving and considering the evo has a fairly large flat side to catch the wind, particulaly at the front. I have previously tied the front down to a point at the front of the car but considering I now have to use a different car that has no point and only soft plasitc i'm a bit concerned about what would happen on a highway with a cross wind like you get heading north.

I've also realised that since its a current shape ford focus I think the bars would be fairly close because of the curve of the roof creating a narrower potential pivot point.
 

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Hey Bruus,

I used to work with a guy that was in the NSW Sea Kayaking club - pretty serious & thinking about being an instructor. The way that he & reportedly alot of other guys tied their kayaks down at the front was to put a small loop of seatbelt webbing onto their struts, (ie tops of their shockies) so that the loops would come out the sides of their bonnets, then they used ratchet ropes inside the loops. He said it didn't damage his paintwork or cause any other problems.

From my own personal experience with my Stealth, at first I got a Thule Hydroglide with one rubber cradle & the felt covered rear pads. My Stealth wobbled all over the place & didn't feel stable at all. Could have started tying it down in between the felt pads resting on the rubber strip on the roof rack but the nose would have been sticking up in the air & the contact point at the rear wouldn't have been as good as what I went for in the end which was two rubber cradles. I am so much happier now that I don't feel like I need to constantly look at my kayak to make sure it is not going to fly off my roof.

Prior to that I had Rhino kayak racks - wasn't happy with them at all. I might have just been sold something that was inappropriate but rusted through & just fell to pieces. Could have been very dangerous.

Can't really answer you as to whether it should be safe to tie straight onto roof racks without cradles. There is probably a way that is safe if you are highly motivated but I felt safer going with what was tried & tested for long fibreglass kayaks in the cradles.

DennisT from Stealth or one of the other guys that has one & transports without cradles might be able to let you know.

Good luck with it.
 

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Bruus, you are right to home in on the distance between the bars on a Focus. The real danger on the highway with such a set up is the upward force pulling the front rack off the car - I have heard of it happening but can't point to a documented example. I always tie the bow to the front even on short trips but although this may be overkill I suggest it would be a real risk over 80kph without that front rope. Cars with greater bar spacing are probably a bit safer.

(Bertros - what's the difference between bottom up and top down as in "more stable bottom up than top down without cradles" :? )
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
suehobieadventure said:
Used to have a Ford Focus when I first bought my AI. Just pop out the plastic square on the front bumper, screw in the tow hitch and you now have a front tie down point. Worked fine for me.
I did notice that a little while ago and wondering if there was a tow point there because I couldn't see how a tow truck would deal with the car. Does the tow hitch come with the car? It's my partners car so I don't know much about it and she has no idea. This sounds like a good option and hopefully can do without the cradles because i've heard they can de-form the hull slightly.

I have heard of the lift on a few occasions (notably from the person I thought would most likely have experienced it :lol: ) so have been worried about being able to tie the front.
 

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bruus said:
This sounds like a good option and hopefully can do without the cradles because i've heard they can de-form the hull slightly.
Cradles would not deform the hill unless you are tightning your straps way too tight. Proracks with a little bit of foam work great.

I use some high density foam on the bars and tie onto the rack , never have ties in front or the back as the wind should not affect it if tied properly.

If you are in the area again soon - I d bee happy to help you with a suitable solution for the particular vehicle.
 

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Hi Bruus

A triangle is one of the most rigid structures and why roof trusses are constructed as triangles.

Secure the front and back of your kayak to the ends of your roof rack. this configures as a triangle with the cord and the roof rack.

I only suggest the front and the back, because if you tie only the front, although, theoretically structurally correct, if your kayak moved back it would slacken the cords and allow the kayak to move.

Also if you transport your kayak upside down the wind deflecting off the hull would exert a downward force against the roof rack as opposed to the upright position which would try and lift the kayak.

Always tie a kayak from the front down to the front of the vehicle also. While you can see the tie down rope, there is a fair chance your kayak is still on the roof. :shock:

Pete
 

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hmmm I am no aeronautical engineer....... but the wings of aircraft are curved on top..... to generate lift.... therefore, I am curious as to whether an upside down kayak would possibly generate lift as would the air passing over the inverted hull creates an area of negative pressure due to the curvature of the hull?

it is all elementary for me....as there is no way the PA is getting inverted......
 

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Hi Swabio
You are correct on two points there.
1. You are definitely not an aeronautical engineer.
2. A plane's wings are curved.
:) :) :)
However the curvature of a kayak would be equivalent to a plane's wings stuck on backwards. And therefore push down and not up.

High pressure goes to low pressure. The pressure of the wind on the hull will try to equalise by pushing towards to void in the inside of the kayak which would be at low pressure.

The effects of a shape in the air are the same as in the water, in fact designers for water craft use the term aerodynamics.
A kayak is designed to lift when it hits a wave. Put a kayak in the water upside down and try and ride it through a wave, which way would it go? Up or Down.

Pete
 

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CET said:
Hi Swabio
You are correct on two points there.
1. You are definitely not an aeronautical engineer.
2. A plane's wings are curved.
:) :) :)
However the curvature of a kayak would be equivalent to a plane's wings stuck on backwards. And therefore push down and not up.

High pressure goes to low pressure. The pressure of the wind on the hull will try to equalise by pushing towards to void in the inside of the kayak which would be at low pressure.

The effects of a shape in the air are the same as in the water, in fact designers for water craft use the term aerodynamics.
A kayak is designed to lift when it hits a wave. Put a kayak in the water upside down and try and ride it through a wave, which way would it go? Up or Down.

Pete
Pete aerodynamics for air and hydrodynamics for water ;-)

But you are right, high to low :D
 

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Hi Below Average IQ

I only have two brain cells one for eating and one for breathing. So if your below IQ I must be a lot lower.

I asked my water craft designer friends why they don'r use the term hydrodynamics instead of aerodynamics and they said because it is the same so theyt don't change the name.

Although you could assume that a person with limited intelligence like myself would have fairly dodgy friends.

Pete
 

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I used to do the same with my Barina - however as I said before I have never felt the need to tie the front and back down, merly around the racks (Although I am sure that provides some added peace of mind - as Lazy says for those behind you..). Thanks for the share CAV - I was looking for my pic like this with my old Barina but could not find it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I found the hitch and am planning on getting a second to allow me to tie down at the back also. It's still unsure i'll i'll need all this but i'm pretty sure my current car is stuffed beyond the worth or repairing it. At this stage I think i'll just go with racks, pool noodles and tied down front and rear. The cradles at this point aren't in my budget and on this car I think more problem loading because of the extra lift over the side and the car just doesn't suit loading from the rear (particularly when it isn't my car). I can see the value of cradles for securing the kayak from sideways movement but i've never had a probmel with that before when using soft racks so i'll see how I go. Thanks for all the advice everyone, I really appreciate it. I'm starting to feel like i'll be able to get on the water again without a long walk.

Daniel.
 

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Daniel... you must be one smooth talker being able to talk your lady around to allowing you use of her car to transport your salt covered kayak!

Although my little suzuki is ageing, I have been given the word... That kayak is never going on this car, Jim! Final! :(

See you on the water, young feller...

Jimbo
 

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I think Occy has hit the nail on the head, it is a personal thing.

I tried tying my yak up the right way so I could leave more stuff on it, but I have a 4 wheel drive and it was too difficult to get on the rack because there is nothing to hold onto when I was loading it and, when it was on there I couldn't reach the rear of the yak to drag it off. So, the extra time it took me was greater than simply loading my yak after removing it. I still use kayak cradles to prevent it from sliding sideways off the side of the vehicle (it nearly landed on a sports car parked next to me). So do it the way it feels best for you.

DennisT Although you don't feel the need to tie your yak down at the front, I'm sure you'll feel the need when it flies off.

Have a look at CAV's photo (and thanks for that CAV) regardless of whether the hull shape will lift the kayak or not, there is a definite up draught of air coming off the windscreen. Although CAV has tied it down to the roof rack very well, there is a good chance that the roof rack will depart from the car. Roof racks are designed to withstand a downward load. Tying it down at the front is really important.

Pete
 

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CET said:
it is a personal thing.
Yup

CET said:
DennisT Although you don't feel the need to tie your yak down at the front, I'm sure you'll feel the need when it flies off.
Refer to quote 1.

Not saying you shouldnt tie it down, just saying that I dont - and I have never had an issue (and I do some distance delivering kayaks).
 

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What you say would apply to many people Occy but there are exceptions:

Occy said:
Flat bars are designed for securing and carrying flat things (surf boards, or that load of timber you just bought at Bunnings), not things of an irregular shape like kayaks and canoes.
Flat bars with some cushioning will carry a variety of shapes - eg the 3 very different hull shapes of my 3 kayaks. The cradles I have seen would be good for only 1 of these as far as I can tell.

Once you get the set up right I guarantee you will come to think of a cradle and load system as the single most useful thing you have ever bought for your kayak. Next to a cart.
Cart? Pfui! Only 1 of my kayaks weighs over 15kg - and that's only because of the resident spare paddle, first aid kit and emergency kit.

People are prepared to spend thousands on their yaks, tens of thousands on their cars, yet won't spend a lousy couple of hundred on a proper car top system.
My most expensive kayak cost about $750 in cash outlay. (Must admit to a ridiculous amount of labour though)

I'm betting that many of you out there say a prayer every time you load your pride and joy up and head down the highway. I hope I tied it tight enough?
No need for prayers with a bow rope.

you can't bear the thought of having to load and unload the bloody thing all the time, you have a problem.
That would only be the case if mine were heavy enough to need a cart - or if I had to lift them higher to get them into a cradle.

Many people here have said I'm too self opinionated, and don't know what I'm talking about. And they are probably correct. ;-)
Nah, you're definitely wrong there :lol: .

As said earlier it's down to personal preference. I daresaay that preferences might change with the situation and experience but it's all good as long as there are no accidents.
 

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Occy I put my yak on flat Rhino bars upside down, and all surfaces are flat and secure so no irregularities, and am quite comfortable, with no concerns or prayers even traveling at highways speeds when necessary over the past 8 years.

Cradles would require removal before and after every trip as I hang the yak over the van in the carport, so to me would be a hindrance to my enjoyment rather than a benefit.
 
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