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Transporting Two 68-lb Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayaks on 2017 Honda Ridgeline  

Question:

I have purchased the above from you, have not opened box yet but am second guessing the purchase. I will be hauling two Native Watercraft Slayers SOT fishing kayaks - 68 lbs each, 31 in wide. I have Malone J Racks I can use, but I was thinking about hauling the yaks upside down hull in the air side by side. Of course for that I would need to get 70inch cross bars. My concern is lift from speed/wind on the interstate using the Baseline Towers as they are just pressure clamped from side to side rather than bolted directly to the roof. Is there a worry there? I have hauled these boats on my 2009 CRV previously using both methods only one fits on the CRV with hull up using a factory roof rack for thousands of miles without problem. I prefer hull up flat as I can see the yaks as opposed to the J racks, and there is less cross wind problems than with the J racks. Would the J racks be the safer way to go with the Baseline Towers? Thanks!

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Expert Reply:

Since your fishing kayaks are fairly heavy at 68-lbs each you could be above the total weight capacity for the roof on your 2017 Honda Ridgeline by the time you add the weight of the Yakima roof rack and the two Malone J-style kayak carriers. Their Downloader # MPG114MD and J-Pro # MPG117MD carriers weigh 12-lbs each so two of these is another 25-lbs or so in addition to the 18-lb weight of the Yakima roof rack. The kayaks and these items total about 179-lbs and that is more than most vehicle roofs are rated to handle.

If it turns out that the roof cannot handle that much weight then I do have a solution to allow you to transport the two kayaks in a hull up position. One way is a foam block carrier like # MPG156 that hold a craft at the gunwales. I am not sure if your specific SOT kayaks have enough material at their gunwales to properly set inside the channels on these. You avoid the need for a roof rack but you do then need an additional tie down to secure the boats to the roof, something like # ETBMB-05852 which you'd run inside the passenger compartment. The included bow and stern tie downs that come with the foam carriers are not enough for long highway trips so some other way to secure the boats at their mid-sections is recommended.

If the gunwale carriers don't provide a satisfactory fit then you could use two sets of a larger carrier like the 12-inch # MPG154 for each kayak and again use the additional straps to secure the kayaks at this mid-points. Two sets of these blocks for each boat give you four contact points with a large footprint.

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