Recently we decided we should unload our boat, as we were just plain carrying too much “stuff”. You’ve all seen the George Carlin bit “Stuff” right? When you are leaving to go cruising you are not quite sure what will be important, so we spent a few hours going through every storage space in the boat and removing the things we don’t use or need. All told, we were able to remove 902 lbs from the boat, yup we weighed it as it left. Turns out our boat is more sensitive to excess “stuff” than our house was and I wanted a sense of the performance change a 1000 lbs buys you. Lucky for us, friends James and Deena will be transporting our “stuff”, in their RV to north of the border. But first we had to get the “stuff” to their RV in Guaymas, 750 miles away.
One of the larger things we were trying to get rid of was our Hobie Mirage Adventure Island Kayak. We enjoy sailing it but we just didn’t use it enough because it was a little too much work to rig and launch from the deck of Footloose. This single item was responsible for 250 lbs of weight and would also give us the advantage of a less cluttered deck. But how to transport this beast?
A local company in Bucerias (which we recommend) was the Gecko Agency. They have all kinds of vehicles with roof racks and such and specialize in catering to the windsurfer market. People who fly in and want to experience surfing at remote beach breaks in and around Banderas Bay. They were pretty adamant that their vehicles needed to stay in Banderas Bay. As a local company, they had no way to support a vehicle that was out of the area if something went wrong. We decided that the kayak might or might not go, but we would continue to pack and remove as much “stuff” as possible. Anyway we kept calling, looking for a trailer or something. We found a cab company willing to do it but we needed to provide a roof rack, couldn’t get that figured out, but we developed a pretty big pile of stuff ready to go.
Finally we give up. The kayak will stay on the boat, but one more call to Gecko just in case we can talk them into an exception… No NO and NO.” It’s the one rule we never break”, gotta be able to support the vehicle…… But we do have these inflatable roof racks…. Whaat? How can that be. Yah, look em up. The Malone HandiRack attaches with straps that pass through the door openings and the passenger portion of the vehicle. The soft inflatable bladders don’t slide around and they distribute the load over the roof to prevent dents. They should not be inflated super hard. But should be sort of soft to maximize the surface area, and also to allow for increasing pressure in the hot sun.
Rental day arrives, we get a fabulous, sparkling, brand new, 3000 miles, totally shiny and perfect suburban.. Argh, why not a two-year old almost outta here rental full of nicks and dings? We load it up with our boxes plus two old anchors, and head over to Gecko to check out those racks. We go for it. But take four instead of two because it’s a big load and 750 miles. I really, really, really hope these don’t mess up that vehicle… We get a couple of cruising buddies, George and Kurt, and load up the kayak in the sweltering heat.
We drive the loaded beast to Los Mochis and then Guaymas. Nervously easing her over each speed bump… Mexico loves speed bumps..Topes. They are somewhat random in nature and not always marked. The roof makes a kind of “crunkling” noise if you hit them too fast……
Finally we unload. No marks, no dents. We love the Malone HandiRack, and while it it would not be our first choice for what we did…. A solid roof rack would be much better. We think the Malone HandiRack would be great for someone that wants to use their Accord to take a SUP board to the lake, or pick up a new ladder or a couple of 2x4s from home depot.
If you think the HandiRack might be for you. You can buy one here, and help support our Blog.
Lisa will share more about our road trip in an upcoming blog, while I focus on making some recommendations of products we really like. Thanks for your support!