A local manufacturer has come up with a very clever and well designed car topping rack system which we have been busy using & road testing for the past 6 months.
The Long Span Y-Rack system is designed to lengthen the span of your tie-points, thus reducing the torque on rack mounted cradles that are very close together. Car manufacturers seem if anything to be narrowing the distance between roof rack mounting positions, which can be a problem for paddlers transporting boats up to 7m long on highways & in high winds. The Long Span Y Racks offer 2.1m of spread from cradle to cradle.
Spread is one of the most important factors in securely transporting your kayak on roof racks. The wider you can get your boat supports, the less likely it will be influenced by side winds & destabilisation.
I've travelled more than 4000km with my set, the lightweight version, carrying light ocean skis, big doubles and heavy sea kayaks, everywhere from the from the inland sand tracks of Fraser Island to the 110kmh highways between Sydney & Melbourne. I was a little worried after bouncing around Fraser Island with a 14kg, 6.1m long Think Evo on the roof that I may have damaged the ski, but the soft padded nylon footing protected the hull from the negligence of my off-road driving!
These long-span Y racks convert even the shortest hatchback rack span to a width more typical on a big SUV, via a brilliant design which is light, secure & simple to fit. The 'Y' cradles are paddled with a smooth nylon so you boat will slide, the fixture plates have a thin rubber coating to prevent the bars sliding, and you can clip the Y fitting out when you're not carrying your kayak.
There is also now a stiffer, slightly heavier bar which you would choose if you had to offset the longitudinal bars on a hatchback, or if you have a very long double to transport.
Considering the cost of a standard set of basic cradles has climbed to around $230, these also represent great value at just $320 for the full set up.
You can order this great locally designed & manufactured product though our online store via this LINK.