Kayak Carrier Cradle Question

Tangler

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Sep 5, 2016
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Nanaimo, BC
Hi Folks.
Happy Holidays. :)
I have a kayak carrier system from Rhino Racks.
Recently the rubber cradles have started to degenerate and leave nasty black streaks on my beautiful kayak!
Rhino has not responded to my query about replacement rubbers and I don't want to buy a whole new system.
So it is home repair time.
I have considered the following (mostly based on what I have available or can easily access):
1. Gluing on yellow ensulite foam. Will it stay? Will look ugly.
2. Gluing on thin neoprene. Will it stay?
3. Black duct/Gorilla tape. Will it stay? Might look ugly, especially if it starts to wear and flap in the wind.
4. Treat it with 303. Horse, barn, door etc?
5. Coat it with aquaseal or something similar?
Any and all (sensible) suggestions/comments welcome.
Thanks. Mark.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
Any and all (sensible) suggestions/comments welcome.
Sensible suggestions?? You are asking a lot! :)
My first choice would be to use a 'vinyl and rubber care' product from the automotive section to see if you can remove some of that oxidized rubber 'stuff' from the cradles. Auto Glym Vinyl/ruber Care, Armor-All, 303 ...whatever.
The downside of that idea is that if you decide you want to glue something on to the cradles, you'll have to use acetone or laquer thinner (??) to prep for glue - nothing will stick to Armor All.
I would stay away from Gorilla or Duct tape as they seem to always leave a nasty residue and aren't all that UV-resistant ..at least the stuff I've used.
One thing not on your list....if you can operate a sewing machine you could make some fabric covered pads that could fasten over the cradles. Like a miniature version of the pads on a Hullivator.

Another 'first choice' would be to stop worrying about the marks on the boat, I suppose... :) But they are ugly.

I just realized there's an advantage to the black hulls on some of my boats. :)
 

Tangler

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Nanaimo, BC
Thanks for the thoughts John. No, AE, they are just cradles, not J-racks. Kind of like flattened "C"s that support the boat as it sits in an upright position, one on either side.
Glad I could help you find another advantage to black hulls, other than just looking cool that is.
I had thought about covering pads but didn't think I could persuade my wife to do them this side of next summer...
It did however lead me to the idea of using those slip-on shoe covers that some tradesmen wear indoors.
They are probably not very tough (or cool looking) but they are probably cheap and easy to put on and take off.
Happy New Year!
 

Kayak Jim

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Comox Valley BC
If you don't need them to slide, I'd be gluing on the yellow foam using solvent based contact cement. Not ugly.
Or fire up the sewing machine. Not that difficult.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I had thought about covering pads but didn't think I could persuade my wife to do them this side of next summer...
:)
Come on, it's 2021, not the 1950s!
Get those power tools lined up - the usual sanders and saws and drills AND a sewing machine and get to work!
DIY at its fullest and finest. :)
Hint: Hit the thrift store or usedNanaimo and get your own sewing machine - it aids in domestic harmony. :)

Happy New Year!
 

mick_allen

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I'm in the who cares camp, but one thought approach would be to carve off 95% of the padding, use the remainer as gluing surface backup, smear on shoogoo [aquaseal substitute], and wind on 1/4 or 3/8" neoprene cut in 2" wide strips. For simplicity, I'd try just making a tube first without the sewing.
Might work and would be quick. Another quicker approach might be removeing everything and painting it all with rubber dip of some kind, or layers of truck bed liner paint etc. is prob the simplest of all.
 

AlphaEcho

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Jan 24, 2010
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Quadra Island, BC
I'm with the guys, fire up that sewing machine. It's really not hard.

However, if you fear the needle: black cloth hockey tape. You're welcome.
 

mick_allen

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Another idea is to buy a 2nd hand wetsuit from a thrifts store [sometimes real cheap] and cut off sections of the arms or legs and just slip over the cradle loops - say a leg for the upper and an arm for the lower. Or socks or thick pants or even wind or weave rope or webbing or tubing or waterhose or . . .
rhinorack.jpg
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I thought the cradles in question were more like the Yakima Mako cradles:
Yakima Mako cradle.JPG



Or the much superior (and of course discontinued) Yakima TLC cradles:

Yakima TLC.JPG


But certainly many of the suggestions would work with J-racks or cradles.

Incidentally, I've heard more than one complaint (including from me!) that the Hully Rollers left black marks on the boat - and the Hullys didn't even do a very good job at keeping the kayak in position.
 

mick_allen

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Aha you're correct:
there are several other types of rhino racks that look just like what you have shown and those logically ["rubber cradles"] are what the issue is about.
 

cougarmeat

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Once Yakama changed to composition of the rubber on their rollers and the new model left a streak. They replaced those rollers for me. I have both the TLC and Mako cradles. With those, it’s the felt pad adhered on top that would give up. I just use gorilla tape or duct tape. I don’t care how it looks. It’s on top of the jeep. It means I use the gear. The tape is exposed to four weather seasons and seldom needs replacing. I make sure, when wrapping the tape on the holder, that the part the kayak will side on is completely smooth; the end of the wrapped tape is on the other side.
 

Tangler

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Nanaimo, BC
Lol!
I in no way meant to imply that sewing was "women's work" merely that I am not skilled in that activity while my wife is (and she might hesitate at letting me use her machine). No room for a second one in our house...
I guess a photo might have helped...
571-Nautic-Kayak-Canoe-Universal-Rear-Carrier-00.jpg

It is not the best of systems as the rear sliders do not provide any lateral stability which has lead to a couple of tense moment when sliding the kayak on. They don't conform to the hull of the boat well either. Still it does work and it is what I have. Wasn't sure the Thule(?) rollers would fit on our rack and I was in a hurry to get a carrier (long story, don't ask...). It is the "Santoprene" pads on the front cradles that have degraded.
Thanks for the suggestions. :)
Time to start experimenting.
 

rider

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Jul 12, 2005
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Coquitlam,BC
I would use this as an excuse to get a different system, with rears that have more stability and conform to the hull, a friend of mine has ones like yours and IMHO the fronts are good as anything, the rears are awful.
If I had to cover them up, first i would see if they come apart so you can slip something sock-like over the rubber and reassemble, if they don't come apart, and they need to slide, I would glue wetsuit neoprene on them, if they don't need to slide I'd use yellow foam, the 5mm.
 

Tangler

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Sep 5, 2016
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Nanaimo, BC
Thought I would give an update...
I treated the rubber of the saddles with "303".
It worked. No more nasty black streaks. :)
No doubt it will require repeated applications but it is easy to do.
On a sadder note the lack of lateral support on the rear sliders finally had it's anticipated outcome and the front of my boat hit the deck. :eek:
I have cobbled together a frame out of PVC tubing that hooks over the rack bars and (hopefully) provides some lateral security.
 
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