SUV roof racks for ch17

Hi guys ! Just finished my build and time to get it to the water! Just curious how you all transport your kayaks and maybe the racks that you feel are the best. I'm thinking of a Thule side mount carrier for my Ford Explorer. Any thoughts would be appreciated 

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RE: SUV roof racks for ch17

   It is more what racks work on your SUV than for the C-17. 

I've used both Yakima and Thule racks. I am sitting here in a camp ground with the kayak(s) on the truck on Thule truck racks with Hulivators above the bed with Yakima fixed round bar with cradle roof mount bar on the cab to anchor down the boat(s) because these 17ft kayaks stick out too far if centered on the truck bed racks. They conflict with the travel trailer. 

On my Subaru I carry two on the factory racks with one on cradles, or foam blocks,  and one in Yakima J-bars. Both are tied down to the factory cross bars.  If you tie the C-17 on factory bars without a cradle you will likely need bow and stern lines.  

How to tie a boat onto a car is kinda like asking what is better a Chevy truck or Ford truck... everybody has their favorite..........It doesn't really matter as long as the boat stays there and meets your local state regulations.  For example in Florida the boat can hang 4 ft then it needs a flag and light at night to be "legal". . 

RE: SUV roof racks for ch17

The first question is what (if anything) is on your vehicle roof now?  Many SUVs have cross bars already installed which makes roof topping easier.  If you don’t have cross bars, does it have cargo rails that run fore and aft?  If so, you can likely buy a set of OEM cross bars from the dealer.  If your If your roof is “naked,” you should buy a set of after market cross bars designed for your vehicle.  Thule, Yakima and Malone all have good reputations for both cross bars and carriers.  One last note about cross bars is that the further apart they are the better when carrying long items like kayaks.

With cross bars, the next choice is which type of carrier to buy.  The cheapest is foam blocks but they are the least secure because they do not provide any lateral support for the boat.  For one boat, either gull wings or saddles are good because they provide lateral support and are relatively low so have lower wind resistance/noise.  The negative is that you probably can only carry one boat because of width.  To make the boat easier to load, you can substitute rollers for the back saddles/gull wing.  This allows you to lift the bow onto the roller then push the boat forward up onto the roof.  

If you are going to carry more than one boat, J racks are a good choice because they require less width.  J racks are also very secure but they add height so there is more wind resistance.  They make fold down models so drag is reduced when not carrying a boat.  A problem with J racks is that some wide/deep kayaks do not fit well.

For long skinny boats, V racks are the best.  They are commonly used to carry surfskis and racing shells because they provide a lot of lateral support and don’t require a lot of strap tension which can damage light composite boats.  Bungies are used to secure the boat, so they are the quickest to load/unload (nothing to tie).  They also work very well for narrow, low volume sea kayaks.  The downside is that they are expensive.

Your Chesapeake will fit nicely in J racks, saddles or gull wings.  We have two (16LT/17LT) that have many miles in J racks on our trailer.  Besides the Chesapeakes, the picture shows a Frej also in J racks, a Shearwater Double in gull wings on the trailer.  On the truck is a ski in a V rack and the Petrel Play on foam.         

 Here is the trailer with two V racks and gull wings.

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