Getting your Boat to the Water - Part 3 of 8 - Using Vertical Kayak Stackers

Getting your Boat to the Water - Part 3 of 8 - Using Vertical Kayak Stackers

Posted by Laura Vanderhoek (WCK Staff) on 2017 Jun 9th

Vertical Kayak Stackers –use with whitewater kayaks


-Can transport many kayaks at once depending on roof rack bar length and weight limit


-More difficult to load by yourself

-Not great if you need clearance to get into a garage with the kayaks on the roof although most of these also fold down for when you leave the stackers on and are not transporting kayaks

How to use Vertical Kayak Stackers

1.Start by looping the cam straps around the top bar of each stacker, then place the free ends lightly on the hood and trunk

2.Load the first kayak on the rack with the bow at the front of the car and the cockpit facing out. Make sure the kayak is a close to the stacker as possible. If you have only one kayak to load skip to step 4

3.Load the second kayak on the rack with the stern at the front of the car and the cockpit facing in. This way they are “nesting” with each other creating an even tie down. Continue loading additional kayaks in the same manner making sure that they are evenly spaced on the rack i.e. if you have 4 boats do 2 on each side of the stacker with separate straps set up.

4.Standing at one end of the kayak(s) grab a hold of both loose ends of the cam strap and flip them over the boat(s)

5.Take the end of the strap with the buckle and adjust its position so that it’s in the center of the kayak(s). If it is hard to adjust the strap it is likely crossed over itself at some point so take a look and make sure they are not crossed

6.Take the loose end of the strap without the buckle and loop it around the rack’s crossbar, thread the end through the cam buckle. Always make sure you will be pulling down on the strap and not up to tighten

7.While holding onto the side of the strap without the buckle pull down on the loose end to tighten the strap. Use some body weight here to help but be careful not to overtighten the straps. They only need to be tight enough to hold the kayak in place

8.Repeat the above steps for the other strap(s)

9.Adjust straps as necessary making sure the protective pad is under the cam buckle to prevent rubbing

10.Feed a rope through the bow loops of all the kayaks and secure to the front of the vehicle. Do the same with the stern

11.Tie off the bow and stern lines to the front and back of your vehicle and use a truckers hitch to get them snug. Remember that these are only back-up safeties so they don’t need to be very tight. The cam straps in the center are doing the job of keeping the kayaks in place. Make sure there are no loose ends of rope that could end up under a wheel during transport as this can cause costly repairs to both your kayak and vehicle

12.Lastly test your tie down. Give the kayak a good tug and if the load shifts go back to step 7.