Need Advice - loading a kayak onto J Rac
Posted by: old_user on Apr-08-13 1:37 PM (EST) Category: Kayaks
I'm a female with not great upper body strength and am getting a sea kayak - 17', 62 lbs.
I have a factory J Rack on my Subaru Outback.
The Outback is the newer body style and is taller than its prececessors at 5 1/2 ' from ground to crossbars.
Need advice for simple way(s) to be able to load the kayak onto the J Rack by myself.
** I saw the old thread discussing the 2"x2" boards with the hooks. Not sure that's the best solution, so other ideas are welcome.
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Posted by: jackl on Apr-08-13 2:16 PM (EST)
Can you pick the bow up and put it on the rear J cradle, with the stern on the ground with a rug, (or equal) under it.
I'm your size and here's my take|
Posted by: willowleaf on Apr-08-13 2:16 PM (EST)
I'm female, 5' 5" with an older Outback with J-racks, also had an 850 Volvo wagon and a Hyundai Santa Fe (probably closer to your car height) with the same rack setup. I had a Dagger Magellan, which was around 62 lbs and 17' 4" so I know the drill you are facing. Honestly, I won't carry kayaks that heavy on the J-racks, especially on an Outback where the bars have to be so close together. I did it on the Volvo but there was at least another foot or two of spacing there AND it was lower. But regardless of car height, anything over 40 lbs goes flat on my Thule bars, with shaped foam blocks cradling it if hull-down and directly on the bars if hull-up.
Don't use the J rack|
Posted by: seadart on Apr-08-13 2:18 PM (EST)
Posted by: slushpaddler on Apr-08-13 2:23 PM (EST)
Posted by: old_user on Apr-09-13 9:57 AM (EST)
Thanks for the advice. Since you are an Outback owner, do you have a place in the back to secure the stern? I seem to only have the front tow loop to secure the bow.
loop in rear|
Posted by: willowleaf on Apr-09-13 3:33 PM (EST)
There is a steel loop back under the bumper on the opposite side from the tailpipe. I have also managed to hook various pieces of metal under the car by reaching in with the hooks -- I use the lines with the cams to tighten them. I've been considering welding something under there that would provide a more handy and centered fastening point.
Roller Loader and Lose the J-Bars|
Posted by: Celia on Apr-09-13 4:41 PM (EST)
Posted by: old_user on Apr-10-13 8:50 AM (EST)
Thanks - I just ordered the RollerLoader and 2 soft cradle blocks. Fingers crossed that this is the ticket. And I know what you mean on the "not sure when that happened"....I'm right behind you!
I agree with Celia on the Roller-loader|
Posted by: shirlann on Apr-10-13 8:53 AM (EST)
I have one and it works great, even though hubby has since purchased a couple of Hullavators for us, which are super easy to use. I still use it on occasion when I'm going on a day trip and don't want to bother my husband with putting the Hullavator on the top.
I ended up|
Posted by: Fred_Randall on Apr-10-13 7:47 AM (EST)
getting two Thule Outriggers. Pull the front one out fully, rest the bow on it. Pull the back one out about halfway, pick up the stern end and lift it up and over onto the rear outrigger. Don't let go, and test and make sure it's balanced before you move (with my boats 13' and under this is not hard). This does not require you to lift your boat over your car, which is typically the hard part (the reach). Plus, you're only lifting half of the boat at a time.
skip the J racks|
Posted by: suzanneh on Apr-10-13 9:57 AM (EST)
My advice is to skip the J racks for solo loading and use a different means of carrying your boat when alone.
they work for some things|
Posted by: willowleaf on Apr-10-13 10:39 AM (EST)
I do feel that J-racks have some utility. With a slender and light kayak, like my folders and skin-on-frame, they are super easy to solo load and put less stress on the hull fabric and skeleton frames since the weight is on the side and chines. But these are boats that weigh less than 35 lbs, that I can easily lift over my head.
anyone use the "kayak stacker"?|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Apr-10-13 11:33 AM (EST)
From either Yakima or Thule? Seems to me a better solution than J cradles, as it puts part of the load directly on the crossbar and part of it on the upright bar. Less bulky, more room on the rack if you want other fittings or capacity, and you can fold them down.
Posted by: suzanneh on Apr-10-13 2:44 PM (EST)
I use the stackers with a very long roof line AND bow lines always, sometimes stern lines.
Stackers are perfect|
Posted by: Celia on Apr-10-13 3:32 PM (EST)
I see more j cradles than stackers|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Apr-10-13 7:19 PM (EST)
Not to sour anyone's j cradle purchase, but I can't imagine why a stacker setup wouldn't be at least equal.
Stackers more seen for WW boats now|
Posted by: Celia on Apr-11-13 8:39 AM (EST)
At least that's what I see around here. And in their defense there are J-bars that will fold flat - we have a couple of them living in the neighborhood. Car manufacturers push them when they sell add-on equipment... it isn't surprising that there are a lot out there.
and I suppose|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Apr-11-13 11:32 AM (EST)
...if one had j cradles and round yakima bars, one could always rotate them down to horizontal.
J-racks and mirrors|
Posted by: Cliffjrs on Apr-11-13 9:06 AM (EST)
Are you totally committed to J-racks|
Posted by: sissy103 on Apr-11-13 10:12 AM (EST)
and the 62 pound boat?
Got the RollerLoader Today|
Posted by: old_user on Apr-15-13 8:36 PM (EST)
And this looks to be the perfect solution to the problem. Easily attaches and I'll be able to lift the bow up to it and roll it on with no issues. I did also get 2 padded cradles to load the sea kayak onto instead of the J-rack. I've kept the J-rack on the other side of the roof because it works fine for the 12 foot plastic kayak we also have.
Brand of rack|
Posted by: wavespinner on Apr-18-13 2:23 AM (EST)
With Malone, you can use the Telos loader.
I have the Telos load assist unit|
Posted by: tvcrider on Apr-22-13 2:49 PM (EST)
It worked pretty slick for loading a kayak into the Malone J-cradles mounted my Subie Forester.
run a pole|
Posted by: rikjohnson on Apr-22-13 1:07 PM (EST)
into your rack that extends a few feet past the car.