Yakima Racks for Pontoon

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by SpeyFitter, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. So I got an '07 Tacoma Double Cab, 4x4, V6, 5 speed auto, 6 foot bed with a canopy (or do you guys call 'em camper shells, whatever). On the top of the canopy I have 4 landing pads where I have 2x removeable yakima racks with 66" bars. I put the 'toon on here and it works out but you gotta strap 'er down pretty well with the ratchet straps and even then she shifts a little bit at times. So much so that at times if you're not careful you gotta worry about the strap hook coming off the end of one of the bars. So I found an accessory from Yakima that is basically an end cap with a little "nub" that will prevent your hook from coming off the end. They are called strap caps: http://www.nrs.com/product/3655/yakima-strap-caps

    Anyways, to increase security at the least I'm going to get those, but I'm wondering if anyone has any other solutions short of a load guide type of thing that would work on Yakima racks/bars to better keep the toon aligned and reduce the potential for it to shift while on the bars (even when strapped down well).
  2. Hi Scott,

    I wrap each of my four cam straps around the roof rack rails before securing the pontoon. The straps are then threaded through the frame and then through the cams on the straps before tightening. Some shifting is inevitable because the volume of air in the pontoons will change with temperature and altitude. When traveling from a high altitude to sea level (full pontoons to slight deflation), my pontoon does tend to slide a bit back, but with four straps it really isn't going anywhere.

  3. I hauled my 12footer for years on my 4runner.I had a thule(same only different). I also had kayaks so I used the kayak mounts and spred them apart to fit the toon.Worked great,easier to load and never moved.You do have to be smarter than the toon when it comes to elevation and/or temperature changes though.
  4. This is what I did on my Tundra with a Leer Canopy and Thule racks: I removed the 4 corner bolts that secure the rack to the canopy. Then put in 3/16" Eyebolts {sealed with Sikkaflex] and nylocks inside the canopy. Run a small rope or makeup lines with single snaps or use the cool ready-tie downs at REI.
  5. I actually found a kayak mount that looks like it might serve the purpose as far as side to side stability (prevent it from shifting off the racks sideways). I'll have to go look at it in person though. Here is a link: http://www.nrs.com/product/35021/yakima-bigstack-kayak-rack I could probably get by with just one on the front rack even.
  6. Your problem is mainly caused by the way you are strapping the boat down by going to the end of the bar. Throw those ATV-type hook ratchet straps away and buy 4 @ 6' cam straps for $5 each. Run each cam strap around the bar directly next to each tube and up and around a frame piece back down to the buckle. For extra side-to-side slip protection, you can make a wrap or two around the bar before going up to the frame. Straps do stretch and loosen so stop and tighten them periodically on longer trips and you should be fine.

    cabezon likes this.
  7. Personally, I agree with Freestone's suggestion with a couple minor added items.

    I would run each cam strap around the underside of each landing pad from the inside (nearest to the center of the truck) and then secure them to the pontoon frame on the outside of the pontoon. If possible, try to run the cam straps somewhere around the frame in places where the straps will not slip forward or backward, and ideally secure them so that the front strap is angled slightly backwards from the front crossbar (so that when tightened it will pull the pontoon slightly forward on the rack) and the rear strap is angled slightly forward (when tightened it will pull the pontoon slightly rearward).

    Also, let out some of the air from the pontoon's tubes before you tighten the cam straps. It's always best to have room for the expansion and contraction of the air in the tubes, and this also helps in further securing the tubes to the rack's crossbars.

    Freestone and Blue like this.
  8. I was thinking some more about your pontoon sitting on top of your truck before I went to bed last night.

    I have close to the same set up as you - Yakima crossbars mounted on top of a Leer cap/canopy on a 6 1/2' long bed on my crewcab (4 door) Ford F150. My pontoon is the PAC1000 FS, and 10' long, whereas yours is 11' long.

    My crossbars are just 4' apart. Since your bed is slightly shorter than mine, I assume your crossbars are no farther apart than mine. If so, you must have a lot of your pontoon hanging in front of, and/or behind your crossbars.

    If that's the case, then it's even more important that the pontoon be very well secured on the rack, and personally, I'd probably consider adding a third crossbar on top of my truck's roof, in front of the canopy, to better balance the pontoon on the rack, and to minimize the length of the pontoon overhanging the crossbars.

  9. John,
    My rack's are 54" apart front to back (centre to centre) on my canopy. I spaced them as far apart as reasonably possible due to the length of the boat and 54" is what I came up with when I installed the landing pads. Due to the curvature of the pontoons, I don't think another rack up front will do anything for me. I thought about installing a middle cross bar as well between the two existing ones, but I think before I try anything I'm going to try a few more cam straps in the middle pulling the frame down to the bars to hold it down better, and then if that doesn't seem to work along with ratched straps over top of the entire boat, I'll consider something along the lines of that kayak rack, or something custom perhaps. Start cheap and move expensive.

    A lot of the problem too for me is if I do want to put the boat on the roof, since I live at sea level a lot of the time I'm climbing in elevation (OR, climbing up a mountain pass and then down a mountain pass) so I always have to start with the boat bit more deflated, and stop here and there to check inflation so I don't blow a bladder, or, if I deflate a bit while higher in elevation, the boat doesn't get so loose from losing inflation that the straps lose effectiveness. What is why an option like that Kayak rack is sort of appealing to me as it controls the side to side quite well.

    Thanks for your time everyone, very much appreciated,

  11. I went with three Yakima rack bars on my 6' canopy as the middle of the toon rubbed on the canopy. Also made loading easier. Put grey PVC tubes (weather resistant) on the crossbars to act as rollers for increased ease of loading. At age 74 anything that makes it easier to load 80 lbs of an overhead long bulky object is welcome!

    Chuck Smith
  12. I put on my old kayak cradles the couple of times I carried my buddies pontoon. You may be able to find these cheap now. Preceded the mako cradles. May not be necessary but the come in handy once in a while for other items.


    Blue likes this.

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