Car Top Transport

Thread starter #1
Howdy All,
I'm new to the Laser World, having recently acquired an old Laser (#6140) in remarkably good condition. I need to transport it to Minnesota from central New York next summer. If possible (and safe for car and boat), I'd like to put it on top of my Subaru Outback Wagon. Can anyone give me some specific directions for devising a rig/rack for the top of my car or a list of to-do's or do-not's? I'm on a sandy beach in MN so can easily get it in and out of water there without having to buy a trailer.


New Member
I move three lasers from home to vacation using two on a trailer and one on the roof. I have a larger Odyssey wagon, but the Subaru should work just fine. I purchased a set of Thule racks that match my car. I purchased the extra long bars that are several inches wider than the hull. I put swimming "noodles" over the bars for protection and placed the boat deck down on the rack. I use good ratchet type web straps to tie the boat to the rack. I also then use rope to tie the boat to the car front and aft to prevent forward and backward slipping. If you are familiar with mooring larger boats, think spring lines. As an example from the boat cleat I run one line forward under the grill to the frame. The second line runs back under the deck and then to the rear bumper. The front line keeps the bow from moving side to side. The rear line keeps the boat for movig forward on a sudden stop. Now use two move lines connected in similar fashion to the traveler eyes and you should be good to go.

The Odyssey claims a 100 pound limit for the roof rack. The hull is more than that, but I have never hadd a problem. I keep to a safe speed and drive gently.

As always, your mileage may vary; offer only good for the next 30 milliseconds, ...


New Member
Spars? What's a spar?

Opps. In my case all 12 spars (3 boats with radial and full rigs) were lashed to the boats on the trailer. But I am fairly confident that there was enough of the thule cross bars left to lash the spars to.

If you go with Thule, make sure you realize the cross bars come in various widths. Get the widest ones you can to make sure it will all fit.
Thread starter #6
Thanks. The boat came with a standard upper and lower mast. I had to buy a radial lower mast because I wasn't strong enough to raise it with full sail. I'll need to transport the standard upper on top of the car because it's too long for inside the Subaru. The radial lower, standard lower and boom should fit in the car, hopefully without breaking my windshield.

If you have a factory rack on the Subie, you have a couple of options.

1. Get a Thule aero fit kit and the 65" (or 78") load bars (Laser max width is approx 55", so 65" bars gives you enough room for the top spar to be tied down next to the boat)

2. Get a 12' long 2x4, cut in half, pad it and strap/tie it down to the factory rack.

FWIW, the typical factory crossbars are too short and dished the wrong way to fit the laser deck


Just sailing
I'd like to put it on top of my Subaru Outback Wagon. Can anyone give me some specific directions for devising a rig/rack for the top of my car or a list of to-do's or do-not's?
From what I've seen, Outbacks are THE most popular vehicle for cartopping.

I use the factory rack with Thule Aero Feet. The crossbars are a pair I've had for years, used on four different vehicles. These are 66" (I think), but I believe they make 72". You want as wide as you can get.

I ratch strap mine (snug but not too tight) to the cross bars. I also tie the bow to the front bumper (very important). Since I took this picture, I have also started tying the rear of the boat to my trailer hitch.

I bungee the spars to the crossbars. This is where wider bars would really help. I can get three spars, but not four. As you can see, I put the dolly on the top of the boat, with the wheels off. I say I do that to decrease drag, but given the size of the boat it probably doesn't make any difference.

I normally get 28 mpg on the highway without the boat on top. With the boat, I've gotten around 24 doing no faster than 60 mph. It drops off REAL quick if you drive any faster.