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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:10 pm
Posts: 16
Hello folks,
I want to buy a Hobie Mirage 12', but not sure what is the best and safest way to transport it. I drive Altima but can take my wife's SUV as well. I want to fish in South Florida occasionally, so it is a long drive. If kayak falls off from the room on a highway and causes an accident, it is just a nightmare for me. From my research there are two main options:
1) Buy a trailer. Pros: you don't need to put it on the top. Cons: the trailer needs to be stored and maintained. Plus driving with a trailer requires a certain experience and special parking.
2) Put it on the top using a kayak transporting system, such as Malone or Yakima.
My questions are: how safe are those systems? Can you put a 90 lbs kayak on the Altima? How fast can you drive? Is that safe to drive long distances? How does it feel to drive with a trailer for 350 miles?
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:31 pm
Posts: 972
Location: jacksonville
Pulling a small jet ski trailer is no big deal. You can pimp it out with storage, etc. I love my trailer and it makes it so much easier.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:42 am
Posts: 13109
Location: Amelia Island / Fernandina Beach. FL
Can you put a 90 lb kayak on the roof of your car? Guess it depends on how strong you are. First thing you should give consideration to is the roof rack. I'm not talking about a pool noodle with tie downs. A roof rack should be perm mounted to your vehicle. There are several systems (Yakama, Thule) you should look at. Once you have the siystem you need to figure out how you would load. Then figure out how to tie it down to the car.

I have used a trailer for 5 years and have found it to be the easiest way to transport and load.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:55 pm
Posts: 37
My $.02 on trailer vs. car top.
I agree with both previous responders, jwray and islandspeed: > trailer <. But I also share my input as I "went through the ringer" w my H-PA.

I have H PA. It weighs 50#'s more than your Outback, unadorned and dry, but that's not really material. Anything approaching 100 #'s is just too darned heavy to try to lift, esp solo ... or when the storm is bearing down on you. Just watch the other Boater-boyz Load and Scoot in 5-minutes as you're struggling. (Ugh).

Trailer will give you far more versatility. You can use ramp-- or lift and drag.

You're flirting w disaster and risk crushing/denting your Alt's roof with 100lbs. Between those roof pillars is not totally rigid.
Plus after you have to try to lift it yourself, and then purchase more lift-easy gizmo's, you're starting to equal both costs.

I've previous experience with normal storage car toppers. I consider them a pain: low capacity, time consuming to take on/off, wind blockers, etc. etc.

I then went through hell having inherited the "wrong" style kayak trailer, and trying to convert it to something more manageable. Took me 3 months of re-design work.

My $.025 ?

If you can't find a good quality, lightweight used one, go the "Personal Watercraft" trailer route. It nn's to be low to the ground/water, NOT a "normal", higher height, "kayak" trailer. "Continental" is one brand I'd consider. Boathouse Discount Marine, Westside, a decent vendor (Paul helped me immensely, really threw himself into my Project).

To get your hitch on either vehicle, but esp. for an odd tow-er like the Altima? Try E-Trailer. You might just have to go to a local "Speed Shop" to affix or customize any holes, bolts or welds, esp if not everything is standard. or DIY, of course.

Towing dynamics? Eh, not too big a deal. Just common sense.
Storage? Well, it's obvious: throw the wife's car outside in the driveway !

okkk... backyard atop some stepping stones and tarp it.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:10 pm
Posts: 16
Thank you very much!
From all replies it seems that trailer is the way to go. Is that ok to drive with a trailer 350 miles? How do you park it on a public parking, e.g. public beach? I think it will limit the spots you can park your car. Any particular trailer models you would recommend? Continental appears very solid. I do not want to buy a cheap garbage, I want a very reliable one with a potential to put two kayaks on it (one for me and another one for my friend or son). I am very excited to join the kayak fishing community. Kayak is really great way to fish and enjoy the nature around you. Feels much more sporty than a big boat. Especially fishing offshore. Can't wait.

Quote:
Storage? Well, it's obvious: throw the wife's car outside in the driveway !


:lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:55 pm
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You're welcome- happy to lend my input as my experience comes from "House of the Rising Sun" (Don't do what I have done, etc.).
Actually, I have 2 H-PA-14's as well (one for my son who's 500 miles distant), so your extended operational plan is "right up my alley": dual trailer.

Let's see, I'll try to hit all of your comments.

Mine came with a Malone 460XT ... nice trailer for light, carry-able kayaks, but truly *not* for H PA-14's, which are beasts/pig boats at 150 #'s apiece. After 3 months of design & project completion in sight, Boathouse Discount Marine took delivery of a Continental Dual PWC trailer, and I could've screamed in frustration that my crafts' previous owner did not go this route/brand/model. By all means, shop all around, but Paul @ BDM helped me immensely and deserves beaucoup credit. But all you really have to do is pick something out of a catalogue, or see what BDM (or other) has on their lot as they do have some on hand. Their Westside shop has a better selection.

There's one brand of trailer that I saw online, but ran away from as I knew their rep with Cheap Steel in Cheap Tools. I think it was a kit. That might well be the very same one you spotted.

Anyhow... I'm still working bugs out, but: their first trip was just over 500 miles, and fortunately, nothing happened. I might suggest your getting "official" boat covers (x-x-x-expensive), because these deter fly-outs, road scum, and somewhat deter theft.

I basically designed a cross-bar with two winches for each beast, but your PWC trailer should have these, stock. I confess that I went to internet for my winches for several reasons (sorry, BDM).
Just don't forget to retract any pedals or rudders. See song comment.

I would encourage you to get not one, but two spare wheels & rims, esp if you're thinking long trips. Trailer tires are different from auto's, highly pressurized, & with acute differences. I would recommend boning up on their Operational Stats/Specs (try TireRack). Figure that tires will get quite hot, regardless. Plus carry a special jack and socket set as needed. Why two? I figure: "Try telling the other tire not to hit the same debris, or get as hot from the load". They don't listen.

I'm also thinking "Bearing Buddies" on mine so that the hubs don't get rusted out from immersion (if they haven't already). Carry extra trailer bulbs. One dip and they're toast. If Continental has an option to "Get 'em up" with 3-4' stanchions? Go that route. i'm stuck.

You'll find that any boat ramp is designed with boat/trailers in mind (double length); it is the solitary vehicle that's the oddball. I've been to some other launches that yes, would be a bit sticky at peak periods. So yes, I deep-sixed those on my hit-parade.

Oh yeah. Big Potential issue: getting trailer registered & perhaps, weighed, prior MVB. Geez, what a PIA that was. Still, all-in-all: "trailer".

If you ever want to buddy-up, by all means, give me a shout, as my son only visits occasionally and my craft are just sitting idle. They look lovely, are super-clean ... but "A boat in the water is worth two in the garage".

:joker: I forgot to warn about the hazards of giving your wife's vehicle the heave-ho, but appears you figured the repercussions of that out straight-a-way. :angryfire: :angryfire: :angryfire: Puts you, kayaks & trailer, in a tent, at best. Genuflection. Much Genuflection. :beg:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:10 pm
Posts: 16
Hey TaipanDuKayak,
Thank a lot for those detailed instructions!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:55 pm
Posts: 37
RedDrum,
Sure thing.
Hope it helps.
The fun is in the preparation ! (sort of).
Best,
TdK


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