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Discussion Starter #1
It seems that rails can be mounted on the roof of a 2017 Volt with a maximum of only 24 inches between the front and the rear rail. Yakima and REI tell me that a greater distance between the rails is needed to safely transport a kayak at highway speed. Otherwise the air and wind pressure could dislodge the kayak even if it's strapped on the sides, the bow, and the stern. I can see that the Volt isn't optimal for kayaks, but I was wondering if anyone has nonetheless tried transporting a kayak on a Volt for long distances on the freeway. If so, what happened?

Thanks.
 

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I wouldn't advise using the roof rack towers that just clip on to the roof. It's not a question of if they scratch and dent your roof, it is when. REI also sells those foam blocks that you can sit on your roof top. That might be a better option, but I bet you will still end up with some fine scuffs in your clear coat by using those.

Go back to REI and ask for this:

https://www.rei.com/product/877618/...290472576692&gclid=CNeUip756dICFUQdaQodMdoMDg

It is a folding Kayak and you'll have no problem fitting that in the trunk area. :)
 

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I wouldn't advise using the roof rack towers that just clip on to the roof. It's not a question of if they scratch and dent your roof, it is when. REI also sells those foam blocks that you can sit on your roof top. That might be a better option, but I bet you will still end up with some fine scuffs in your clear coat by using those.

Go back to REI and ask for this:

https://www.rei.com/product/877618/...290472576692&gclid=CNeUip756dICFUQdaQodMdoMDg

It is a folding Kayak and you'll have no problem fitting that in the trunk area. :)
Most people would prefer to enjoy life than worry about a few scuffs on top of their vehicle :)
Who wan'ts a wet boat inside their vehicle yet complains about scuff marks on the roof anyway?

I've seen many vehicles similar in size to the Volt carrying a Kayak, hopefully someone will chime in here with real experience for you.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually, a friend of mine has an Oru foldable kayak, and I've paddled it. I don't like it.
 

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I would consider the foam blocks that can be placed further apart than 24", and tie hold down lines to the front and back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have been advised against the foam blocks by everyone I've spoken to, at least for long-distance highway driving. Regardless of how well secured the kayak is, highway speed air flow can dislodge the foam blocks after a while. They are fine for short drives, though.
 

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I have been advised against the foam blocks by everyone I've spoken to, at least for long-distance highway driving. Regardless of how well secured the kayak is, highway speed air flow can dislodge the foam blocks after a while. They are fine for short drives, though.
This is true. For low speed, short trips, maybe, but highway usage is not recommended.
 

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I have a 20ft long kevlar racing kayak, a rhino roof rack (feet and bars), I've done a lot of different variations of carrying all types of boats. Some thoughts:

#1 - foam blocks on the surface of the roof are not a good solution. The boat will shift around in the wind. You can't get it tight enough
#2 - foam blocks that "clip" to roof bars is slightly better, but not much, especially with longer boats.
#3 - universal racks like mine, even if located close together will do the job. Scuffing can be minimized, but me getting to use the car for what I want is more important to me that keeping it perfect looking. I look at the car as a tool.
#4 - if you are going to hit highway speeds, you need a solid connection between the boat and the rack. Those J-shaped cradle bars work well, although they are quite expensive. I have something called V-bars, but they are meant for boats less than 18" wide. They work awesomely.
#5 - I don't tie down the bow or stern because my v-bars are so awesome. Tying down is a real pain and usually hard to find a place on the car to hook to.
#6 - spend the money on a good complete system meant for your boat type. I'm a cheapskate and it took me a while to give into this fact.
 

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I have the Yakima rack for the 2017 Volt and have carried my kayak with it. If you check the specs for the different kayak carriers, they want a minimum 24" spread, which the Volt does have. If you read the notes, they don't list compatibility with kayaks or long roof boxes not because of the spread, but because they interfere with the hatch (if you open the hatch, it will make contact with the kayak or box).
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Wow. That is excellent news!! Have you carried a kayak on your Volt on the freeway or at freeway speeds?

I am thinking of buying the Malone VersaRails along with the Yakima JayLows:

http://www.maloneautoracks.com/versarail.php
https://www.yakima.com/jaylow

Sounds like you think they should do the job, securely and safely, yes?

Thanks.
I did take it on the freeway, but probably just into the low 60s as I couldn't find a good spot for the front tie-down. I used the Yakima HullHound saddles, but they're not a great fit for my kayak (it's a sit-on-top with channels running down the bottom; saddles work best with an even surface). I've since picked up a set of JayLows and with a good located front tie-down, I'd have no worries about the security of a kayak on the Volt at freeway speeds.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info and the photo, Saintyohann. My summer looks brighter already!
 

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https://www.rei.com/product/877618/...290472576692&gclid=CNeUip756dICFUQdaQodMdoMDg

It is a folding Kayak and you'll have no problem fitting that in the trunk area. :)
Actually, a friend of mine has an Oru foldable kayak, and I've paddled it. I don't like it.
Oru is not the only brand of foldable kayak. There are several more, including Klepper. Someone paddled across the Atlantic in a Klepper in 1956, and the brand still exists, although they are apparently no longer manufactured in Germany.

http://www.foldingkayaks.org/WP/
 

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I did take it on the freeway, but probably just into the low 60s as I couldn't find a good spot for the front tie-down. I used the Yakima HullHound saddles, but they're not a great fit for my kayak (it's a sit-on-top with channels running down the bottom; saddles work best with an even surface). I've since picked up a set of JayLows and with a good located front tie-down, I'd have no worries about the security of a kayak on the Volt at freeway speeds.

For the front tie-down, have you considered using the front tow hook? Maybe bolt another piece of pipe to make a right-angle with the tow hook so your tie-down clears the front hood? One would think if the eye-bolt and tow hook hole can be used to haul the Volt's entire weight, it can be used to hold down a kayak for a while.
 

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I just installed a Yakima rack on my Volt, the 24" does look pretty narrow but it was 25" on my other car and drove a LOT with a kayak on the roof at highway speeds with no problems.

One thing I'm concerned about as others have mentioned is where to tie down the bow and stern of the boat? Mine kayak is 16'. For the front I figure using quick loops under the hood since there's no easy way to use a hook there but what about the rear hatch?? Can quick loops be used there too?

Thanks,
JD
 

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jasond, how about the front tow-hook eyebolt? Just I posted above, I thought it would be a great point. It sticks out beyond the front bumper. Add another eye-bolt to form a right-angle eye-bolt arm that secures to the tow-hook hole and you can easily clear the front hood with a nylon ratchet strap from your kayak's bow to the right-angle eye-bolt contraption.

As for the stern of the kayak, no idea how to secure that one. Perhaps saintyohann can clarify how he/she secured the stern of their kayak.
 

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Just managed to get the tow-eye cover off the bumper to see if it will work. I hope I didn't break it, it's a real pain to get off! Is there a trick to doing it easily? I inserted a flathead screwdriver and pulled outwards which left a few hairline scratches in the chrome.

Using the tow eye that came with the car will work in my case as my straps have a hook on the end. One main issue with this method is having to constantly remove the little towing cover... the plastic tabs will probably break off over time.

For the stern, I think I may have to use quick loops held down by the hatch. Both methods aren't ideal :S
 

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Darn, there's no way to push the tow hook cover out from behind? Like reach under the bumper? Perhaps a plastic trim removal tool would be easier on the chrome. But you have a point about the plastic tabs snapping over time.

Is the plastic cover hollow inside? You could super glue rare earth magnets inside it and on the interior of the hole such that when the plastic tabs do brake, the rare earth magnets will keep the plastic cover in place. There might be some vibration sounds since no more tension from the plastic tabs, but hopefully it'll be external and you can't hear it inside the car.

Perhaps you can run a flat nylon ratchet strap gently between the hood and the windshield and anchor to a point side the engine bay? I personally wouldn't feel comfortable doing that as the tension might warp the hood not to mention loose parts in the engine compartment. This is a tough problem. Good luck in the search for a solution!
 

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Me and the wife are pretty new to Kayaking but are really enjoying it. We want to purchase a couple and travel with them. This may sound dumb but what do people do with their Kayaks when staying in a hotel along the way? Of course we will be doing highway speeds and want to make sure they are secured safely for all conditions.

Thanks for any info.
 
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