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Rola roof rack Universal Water Craft Carrier cradles many hull shapes

June 30, 2011
Rola roof rack Universal Water Craft Carrier cradles many hull shapes

The Rola Universal Water Craft Carrier fits many displacement hull shape jobs. The self-adjusting contours of the fully adjustable Multi-Pivot carrier mounts mold to the hull shape and hold it fast even when the hull contours run to a variety of acute angles.

GoSee had expert assistance with evaluation of the Rola Universal Water Craft Carrier from Ian Lasslett of No Limits Kayaks and Canoes of Seaford Victoria. We used a Wavedance kayak provided by Ian.

It is a general recreational model which handles family days at the beach well and falls into a popular size and price range.

GoSee slid the four Universal Water Craft Carrier mountings into the receiver channels of the Rola Heavy Duty Roof Rack Bars atop the high-roof Retro GoSee HJ60.

The carrier cradles are part of a tailored Rola system which copes with a variety of roof rack carry tasks. The Retro 1985 Toyota HJ60 Sahara is high-roof by design, which makes it a useful camper, but boat loading requires technique to deal with a big reach.

Ian's experience eased the pain. It is not so much about heavy lifting as the leverage points used. The kayak is not heavy, but its shape makes it clumsy to handle. So method is the answer. With a high roof 4WD is helps if you have a head start on height, if you see what I mean.

So from the shoulder with back straight and lifting from bent knees put one end of the canoe in the front Rola Universal Water Craft Carrier cradle. The cradles can be pivoted to help with loading from the side of a vehicle.

A towel over the carrier cradle rest pads prevents the carrier pad faces binding on the kayak hull.

The towel is easily removed once the kayak is in place and the kayak slides onto the front roof rack cradles easily. The rest of the job is one or two stage depending on how tall you are and how high the vehicle.

With one end of the kayak in the front Universal Water Craft Carrier cradles the kayak lift is light. On lower profile vehicles the kayak can be placed directly in the rear carrier mounts.

But on high vehicles, like the Toyota Sahara HJ60 work by standing on the vehicle's lowered tailgate or from a set of small steps. The job can be done alone, but is easier with two people.

With kayak aloft the Universal Water Craft Carrier cradle mounts slide to fit and take the shape and weight of the hull. The hull does not rest on the 100kg rated roof rack bars.

Each carrier cradle mount has a knurled screw-down knob which is turned to firm finger-tight to lock.

Ian Lasslett tightens Rola security strap clear  of roof gutter mount lip.
Ian Lasslett tightens Rola security strap clear of roof gutter mount lip.

Rola security straps taken under the roof rack bars and over the kayak create a doubled-up fully adjustable tie-down. Do not allow the tied-down straps to get under the edge of the roof rack gutter mounts.

If they slip off the gutter mount ridge the tie-down tension will be lost and the kayak could come adrift.

It pays to take advantaged of the hull shape and fittings on any water craft when placing a tie-down strap. Often the deck moulding or strong fittings can be used to backup the security of the tie-down placement.

The Multi-Pivot Rola Universal Water Craft Carrier cradle mounts can be used to act as roof rack bar stops on the Heavy Duty Rola system.

This is an advantage if the water craft on the bars is to be carried with the bottom of the hull up. In the case of the Wavedance kayak GoSee used in evaluation this is optional as the kayak's strong construction and resilient finish allows it to be place directly onto the smooth aerodynamic roof rack bars.

With some dinghies, particulary anything with varnish or paintwork, the cockpit up position with the hull supported clear of the roof rack bars by the Universal Water Craft Carrier cradle mounts will protect the hull finish and woodwork.

The shallow cockpit area on the Wavedance kayak lends itself to either carrying position, but that is not always the case.

A popular sailing dinghy like a marine plywood Fairy Penguin has much more cockpit volume. Its no problem carried with the cockpit area open to the sky, until it rains. One litre of water weights one kilogram.

Doubled-up Rola adjustable strap secures the kayak.
Doubled-up Rola adjustable strap secures the kayak.

Heavy rain could easily take the Heavy Duty Roof Rack system up to and past its rated maximums. GoSee thinks the vehicle construction would fail before the Rola Heavy Duty Racks but it is not something we want to test with a dinghy full of heavy water.

The first thing to do with an open dinghy, cockpit up, on the roof rack is open the hull bung. A good option if the water craft is to be carried regularly with its cockpit up is a tight-fitting, waterproof cover.

This has the added benefits of protecting the hull finish and keeping anything being carried in the hull on board. The Rola Water Craft Carrier WCU will fit Rola Sports and Universal roof racks, Thule aero bars, Rhino Sports and equivalent original equipment racks.

The cradles attach either directly to the crossbar channels or via the supplied low-profile adaptor units.

Rola Part Number WCU. Price $164. www.rola.com.au

Editors Note: GoSee thanks Ian Lasslett of No Limits, Seaford for his assistance in compiling this Information Article. www.nolimitswatersports.com.au

This is the second in a series of Information Articles on the Rola Heavy Duty Roof Rack system and its options.

Cequent and its family of companies, which includes Rola, are valued sponsors of GoSee.

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Please follow this link to the first Information Article in the Rola Roof Rack series -

Wavedance kayak loaded hull up on Rola Heavy Duty  roof racks
Wavedance kayak loaded hull up on Rola Heavy Duty roof racks
Rola Universal Water Craft Carrier  cradle Part WCU
Rola Universal Water Craft Carrier cradle Part WCU
Height advantge  helps Ian Lasslett flicks Rola security strap into position.
Height advantage helps Ian Lasslett flicks Rola security strap into position.
Wavedance Kayak fits Water Craft Carrier cradles and  Rola Heavy Duty carry pack
Wavedance Kayak fits Water Craft Carrier cradles and Rola Heavy Duty carry pack
Rola Universal Water Craft Carrier cradles. Check there is overhead clearance
Rola Universal Water Craft Carrier cradles. Check there is overhead clearance
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