Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

No, ergs don't yet float, but some of us do, and here's where you get to discuss that other form of rowing.
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Myopic Squirrel
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Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

Post by Myopic Squirrel » June 4th, 2019, 5:40 pm

Hopefully acquiring a single (21') and wondering what's required for rooftop transport. Am I correct that 2 racks are required? First a roof rack, & then a rack for the shell? Any suggestions greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.
74 M 188 cm 86Kg "If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself." - Mickey Mantle

PaulG
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Re: Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

Post by PaulG » June 5th, 2019, 7:39 am

I have a VW Jetta Wagon with factory installed rails that run lengthwise down the roof. I bought a relatively inexpensive (still too expensive) Thule cross bars that have reinforced rubber cables that loop under the rails and then tighten up. On top of that you will need a saddle type rack to mount the boat and tie downs to secure the boat to the cross bars. The advantage of these cross bars is that they are relatively universal and can be used on any factory installed rails that you can loop the cables under.

Conceivably you could tie the boat upside down directly to the cross bars but you run the risk of putting too much pressure on the deck.

One trick I was taught was to buy two (if you have a sedan) inexpensive bath mats and place one on the break between roof and back window and the other on the trunk. That way if you have a heavy boat you can push the boat by yourself up over the back of the car and on to the rack with the bath mats protecting the paint from scratches. You only need one mat if you have a wagon.

Cyclist2
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Re: Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

Post by Cyclist2 » June 5th, 2019, 10:37 am

My Subaru has those lengthwise rails, but also retractable bars that go across the roof. If you don't have those, then getting cross bars will be necessary, as PaulG notes. I bought some for my truck canopy.
PaulG wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 7:39 am
One trick I was taught was to buy two (if you have a sedan) inexpensive bath mats and place one on the break between roof and back window and the other on the trunk. That way if you have a heavy boat you can push the boat by yourself up over the back of the car and on to the rack with the bath mats protecting the paint from scratches. You only need one mat if you have a wagon.
Even the lighter weight open water shells are awkward and getting it on top of the car safely, with no back or boat injuries, is key to long term success. My DIY solution was a wood frame saddle type rack that straps to the car racks. I put skateboard wheels on at the back to roll the boat up and into the rack. There are (pricey) commercial versions of that, too. The bath mats are certainly easier and if the boat slides on them would probably work fine.

There are foam pieces you can buy made to slip over cross bars to rest the boat in (Walmart, $20) so you won't need a saddle rack. Lots of options.
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

Myopic Squirrel
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Re: Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

Post by Myopic Squirrel » June 5th, 2019, 4:07 pm

Paul - thank you. So the Thule rack provides the cross bars to secure the saddle rack for your boat. I was hoping there was a 'single' (no pun intended) all in one rack available.
Cyclist - thank you. And you're saying that the foam pieces on the cross bars can eliminate the need for a saddle rack? And I like your bath mat idea.
74 M 188 cm 86Kg "If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself." - Mickey Mantle

PaulG
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Re: Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

Post by PaulG » June 5th, 2019, 8:02 pm

You have to buy the cross bars separately from what they call the "towers" which are the four pieces that attach to the factory rails. The Thule website has an interactive guide that will get you to the right rack.

PaulG
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Re: Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

Post by PaulG » June 5th, 2019, 8:10 pm

One more thought : consider Malone Racks. They have a universal rack for cars with factory rails that might be cheaper than Thule or Yakima.

jamesg
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Re: Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

Post by jamesg » June 7th, 2019, 1:22 am

If transport is once only (new) then the boat can be delivered without riggers, which makes it simple.

For everyday use, loading and unloading a boat twice a day with riggers and sculls on a car roof is a real pain. That's what boathouses are for.

Also, be careful driving, with a long shell on the roof and overhang fore and aft. Turning in tight spaces can knock the ends off. Also make sure there are visible warnings, if the boat is at head height, or you may find yourself paying for injuries. It's amazing what we don't see even without cellphones to look at.

Check all the lashings before starting, stop after a few miles and check again.
78y, 188cm, 87kg, last seen MHR 163. 2k (24 May 19) 8.46.6@22

Myopic Squirrel
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Re: Suggestions for a VW Jetta roof rack & shell rack

Post by Myopic Squirrel » June 9th, 2019, 4:11 pm

Paul G- thank you & also the lead on the Malone racks. Looks interesting.
James G- thank you for your transporting comments. Don’t want to end up on America’s Funniest Videos.
74 M 188 cm 86Kg "If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself." - Mickey Mantle

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