“Spend as much time as possible on mountains, in small boats, or otherwise out in the weather; if you never get wet, cold, exhausted or scared, you won’t properly appreciate being dry, warm, rested and safe.” ~ Peter Jay

"I’m an adventuring river rat at heart. Put me on a floating piece of driftwood and I’m happy." ~ Christina Glauner

"There’s folly and foolhardiness on one side and daring and calculation on the other." ~ C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels

Friday, April 25, 2008

Product Review: Boat Carriers

Many paddlers have Thule or Yakima racks, some use factory racks (many SUVs and some cars), and some just use foam blocks on top of the roof of their vehicle. I use none of the above.

Before last spring, I carried my parents' tandem using their old Ford Taurus wagon. But last winter they sold it and I was planning on buying my own boat (the green Hurricane Santee 140T). So last spring, I bought a rack for my pickup. I chose the utility rack from US Rack for it's simplicity. Unlike most pickup racks I've seen, this one just clamps onto the bedrails instead of bolting into the bed. I can set it up or take it down in under 30 minutes.
This past winter I noticed that US Rack had added a new product, the Malone Auto Loader. I ordered this item, so that I could more easily carry two boats on occasion. I didn't use it for the Flandreau cruise, but since then I am gaining more confidence in it. I actually am using the Malone Auto Loader a bit different than what their website shows. The low side of the loader is shown on the outside edge of a factory rack on a car or suv. Because I am using it with a pickup, I can set it up opposite by loading it from the rear of the pickup rather than the side.

US Rack also carries a Malone cradle type carrier to attach to their rack. Also, I am thinking of purchasing a second Auto Loader for when I get a second boat. For more information, I have a link to US Rack in the links section to the right.

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