Fishing kayaks are great. They are light, relatively easy to throw on the roof of the car and open up vast areas of Australia that are impossible to get a trailer boat into. Finding somewhere to store them however, can be a great big pain in the backside.
Ranging from 3 to 5 metres long, it is surprising just how many places around the house fishing kayaks don’t fit, especially if there are bicycles, lawn mowers, cars or boats to avoid. For those Hobie owners, the problem is confounded by the material used in the kayak construction. Hobie recommends not storing the boat by the handles, on its bottom or by ropes.
After months of lying on the floor (face down) at the back of the garage I was in need of a better solution. Getting the kayak out from amongst everything else was turning into a major hassle. Another Hobie owner and friend of the blog Stu, recommended wall-mounted cradles. That way the kayak can live off the ground, above the workbench and bicycles, and be much easier to access for a quick fishing trip. A google search revealed several brands including ‘Aquaracks’ which were widely available around the country and competitively priced.
The instructions that come with the racks are detailed enough. Drill a 3.5mm hole, use the screws and the allen key provided and don’t over-tighten, or the screw is likely to break. This is good advice except that it only applies to installing into wood. I needed to drill into brick, which meant that the hole needed to be bigger to accommodate a rawl plug.
If the original hole was 3.5mm, by my calculation a 6.5mm hole with a green rawl plug should probably do the job. For those new to rawl plugs they are generally colour-coded by size and give the screw something to grab onto inside the brick.
The Hobie Revolution is around 4.1 metres long, so it seemed wise to have the racks around the widest part of the boat, the middle third of approx 1400mm, leaving one third hanging out at either end (approx 1350mm). With everything now measured and marked, twice, it was time to start drilling.
With the holes drilled, I tapped four green rawl plugs in and started to mount the racks. The screw felt tight, but erring on the cautious side, I wanted the racks to be rock solid to avoid the kayak crashing down in the middle of the night. Apparently they were a little bit too tight, and before I could reverse them out again, one of the screws snapped in two. Bummer.
A quick trip to the hardware store to get a couple of replacement screws (and a sausage sandwich) and I was back on the drill. 8mm drill bit this time and a blue rawl plug. The screws were firm but not nearly as tight. After just a couple of minutes, the job was done.
Hopefully the manufacturer will update their instructions, but if not, 8mm and blue plug is all you should need to know. At the time of writing, I am happy to report the racks are still firmly attached to the wall.
I’m looking forward to pulling the car up alongside and transferring straight onto the roof racks – just as soon as it warms up a little!