Car topping a sit on top kayak on a large SUV
How in the world do you guys get those big kayaks on the roof of your car? If I had a nickle....well, you know the rest. Although I carry my kayak on a trailer for most of my tournaments, any time I'm out fishing a local event, or an online event, I have my Vibe SeaGhost 130 on the roof of my Ford Expedition. Since the Expedition is over 6 feet tall, and my SeaGhost 130 loaded up with the seat and the extra gear I keep in the hatches, weighs around 85-90 pounds, I thought it would be a great time to share a loading video.
So, what are some of the tips and tricks to make it easier to car top a 90 pound kayak? First off, have a plan. As you can see in the video, I know exactly how to line my kayak up in order to make things run smoothly for me. Having a kayak up over your head while precariously balanced on the back of an SUV, is not the time to develop a plan.
Second, don't muscle the kayak. This goes back to having a plan. I use the liftgate as a fulcrum so that I am not lifting the entire weight of the kayak up all at once. If I don't work my plan and line the kayak up properly, my fulcrum won't be in the right spot and that means either the kayak slips off of the liftgate and comes crashing to the ground (bad), or I have to use way too much effort to get it onto the rack.
Finally, think out the details. For example, get all of the loose gear out of the kayak that we tend to accumulate during the day, so that it doesn't fall out and become a hazard while you are in the process of loading. I use a Thule Waterslide to rest the kayak on the tailgate and to protect the paint of my Expedition. My YakAttack straps are out of the way, and ready to tie down the kayak once it is loaded. I'm not super concerned about scratching up the bottom of my kayaks, but if you are, make sure you load up in the grass, or have something on the ground to protect the bottom of your yak.
Hope the video helps to ease some concerns about car topping a heavy kayak. It can be done. Just plan your work, and work your plan.