Friday, September 26, 2014

The new ride, outfitted with Yakama!

So several weeks ago my 2003 CRV, which has served me well since I bought it new needed more in brake/suspension/body work than the vehicle was worth, so it was time to bite the bullet and get a new ride.   I ended up with a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport Ultimate (which just means 4 doors).   It's a great vehicle, though off the lot wasn't really equipped to carry my Predator 13 without using my trailer.

So I looked to a kayak angling and blogging friend, Chris Arnold, who also has a 4 door Jeep Wrangler for some advice and decided to install the Smittybilt SRC rack.    The rack looks awesome, allows for the hard top and soft top to be switched, and can carry 300 lbs.    The downside though is that it's extremely loud in the wind, especially with the soft top on.    To counteract this, I put in a couple of wind deflectors, one above the windshield and one on the rack itself.   This made a huge difference in the noise, but still with the soft top on it wasn't 'quiet'.     With the hard top however, noise really is no longer a factor, so that was a relief!

So, having the rack on, I then needed to get a kayak rack.   For this I turned to Yakima, who were happy to accept me into their VIP team.   My sincere thanks to Yakima for this.   Talking to one of the great reps at Yakima, we decided to go 2 paris of Mako Aero and the Showboat 66.   With these items, loading my 93 pound Old Town Predator 13 up onto the roof rack of the jeep (about 6 1/2 feet high) becomes easy by myself!    I simply lift one end of the kayak up onto the rolling bar of the Showboat 66, then lift and push the other end till the kayak has rolled up onto the kayak holders, from there I just strap it in!

One very nice feature of the Yakima Mako Aero kayak holder, is that the straps that come with it have a rubber coating over the heavy metal piece where the strap loops through.    This allows me to toss the strap over the kayak without having to worry about any damage being done to the Jeep by the metal parts.   Someone was really thinking there!

Another great advantage to the Smittybilt Rack and the Yakima gear on a Jeep is that it offers a natural safe place to store and transport your rods!    I can just slide 4 or 5 rods under the kayak above the rack, with the reels in the front and they are good to go.   For added safety I use a small bungee to hold the rods in place on both the front and the back.      Here I have 2 of my Denali MH rods set up for sturgeon fishing in Rod Gloves, and a couple of bigger rods for stripers ready to go tonight

1 comment:

  1. Love all those pictures! I have a truck as well, and we also take it to the water often. We not only pack the top like in your pictures, but we also tow behind us a ton of goodies to help us sustain a week in the woods. This is our little camping vehicle and I highly recommend it to everyone!

    Diana Hayes @ Baldwin Subaru