How to Strap a Kayak onto a Thule J-Style Rack

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Thule Hull-a-port J-style racks offer a secure way of transporting whitewater, recreational and touring kayaks. The J-style rack not only holds the kayak securely, but protects the hull from distortion, which can be a problem when strapping a kayak to the cross bars of a factory or aftermarket roof rack. By cradling the hull in place the J-style rack more evenly distributes the tension of the tie-down straps. Thule J-style racks also have cushions to protect the kayak from scratches.

Items you will need

  • Kayak

  • Thule J-style rack mounted to your vehicle

  • 2 strap assembles with buckles

  • 2 lengths of 1/4-inch rope

  • 2 attachment straps with loops

  • 2 hooks

  • 2 ratchets with hooks

Step 1

Position the top pad on the J-style rack so the centerline of the kayak will rest in the middle of the pad.

Step 2

Feed the strap assembly through the top of the carrier above the top pad. Do this for both cradles.

Step 3

Place the kayak on the rack with the cockpit facing out toward you and centered between the two rack cradles.

Step 4

Bring the strap assemblies over the kayak and feed them through the bottom of the carrier or around the roof rack cross bar. This will depend on the model of J-style rack being used.

Step 5

Push the buckle bumper out of the way and thread the end of the strap through the buckle, pulling tight. Pull the bumper back in place.

Step 6

Tie one hook to the end of each length of rope.

Step 7

Attach one hook to the bow and one to the stern. Use the attachment straps included with the rack if needed to prevent damaging your kayak.

Step 8

Feed the free end of each rope up through the bottom of the rachets while rotating the spool in a clockwise direction until the rope comes out the top.

Step 9

Attach the ratchet hooks to the bottom of the bumpers or to tow hooks and draw the ropes tight.

Warnings

  • Always tie down the bow and stern.
  • The cradles must be at least 24 inches apart.

Tips

  • While traveling, stop frequently to check that all attachments are secure.