While having a light or small boat can be great fun, it can also be hard to transport. Many people enjoy boating, but not everyone lives by the water.
To help with that, there are roof rack boat loaders. These devices help you get your boat to the water without causing any damage to the vessel or to your car. This guide will go over the different varieties and explain what you want to look for in a high-quality roof rack boat loader.
Getting a Good Fit
Before even considering a loader, you need to make sure you know the size and dimensions of your boat. Length and weight are key, as is the size of your vehicle. Recording all of those measurements will give you a good idea of what you need to purchase.
Though you may try to skirt around the rules or pick something that almost fits, those options are often extremely costly because they can lead to major problems in the future.
Even something that seems intuitive, like using bungee cords or straps to make kayak mounts for cars, can end in disaster. In fact, those alternatives often slip off during transport and can make it difficult to get the boat on the roof rack.
Rather, it pays to do your research and figure out what you need to ensure you get the best fit possible.
A Rack Built to Last
When it comes to buying a good car top boat carrier, strong materials are just as important as the fit. Boat loaders are made from various metals, ranging from light aluminum to heavy-duty steel.
All options have their own pros and cons, which means personal preference is going to play a big role in this choice. However, you should gravitate towards a metal that works with the size of your car.
In addition, regardless of what you choose, it is important to find materials that are both durable and sturdy. Checking up on both structural and pressure tests can be a great way to make sure you won’t face any transportation problems down the line.
Choosing the Correct Roof System
When looking for a roof rack, there are many options out there.
Typical hard rack systems are the most popular option because they can be fitted to just about any car, truck, or van on the market. In addition, they are also easily available both online and through local stores.
If you ever need to track down a specific kind or a certain fit, it is easy to do. That is not always the case with some other mount options.
Racks sit on the roof and typically consists of 4 vertical towers (held in place by clamps) along with 2 horizontal bars. That set up makes them great at holding, not just boats, but other gear as well. In that way, they are multi-purpose.
Though some models can be tough to install, roof mounted racks are both stable and long-lasting. That combination works with the versatility to create one of the best boat mounting options around.
Various vehicles may also come with factory-installed racks. Those have the same benefits as purchased racks, but some may need universal mount adapters that enable you to add attachments to bars.
However, as some attachments come with built-in universal mounts, it is important to check what you have before you go out of your way to buy something you don’t need.
Foam Blocks: Affordable and Simple
On the cheaper side of things, there are foam blocks. These carriers are affordable options that use nylon straps to attach to your vehicle.
Some blocks are designed to sit between your boat and the vehicle’s roof, while other varieties are slotted to fit on existing roof racks as a mount. Either way, the blocks are held in place by straps that are typically run through the inside of the vehicle.
Beyond being affordable, this option is also a great choice for boaters who don’t want a lot of hassle when putting their boat on top of their car. That is because blocks are incredibly easy to install and remove. Simply snap them on and go.
Easy, No-Risk Transportation
Being able to transport smaller boats is a key part of getting out on the water. However, while there are many ways to create your own car top boat carrier, it is best to purchase one to minimize any damage to your vehicles.
You have many different options when it comes to making sure your boat gets to its destination. The best ones are laid out above. Though it can be easy to become overwhelmed, whatever method you choose will help ensure you can fully enjoy any lake, stream, river, or ocean.
(If you have a canoe, you might want to go canoe fishing.)