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small car... car top rack??

Lazzzerrr

Member
I am looking at a smaller car with no trailer hitch... which leaves the car top rack left for a transportation option. and recommendations on brands or styles of racks for my laser? how do you have it tied down? pictures would be great!!
 

lilcumpi

Member
I cannot help with roof racks but I have put some pictures of how my laser goes on the roof of my car. I also put pipe lagging on the roof bars to prevent rubbing on the boat, this also helps to keep the boat in place once on. I firstly put the boat on and I use webbing straps to secure the boat to the roof bars. Then I tie the spars onto the bottom of my trolley and then I put the inverted trolley on top of the boat and then tie that down. I also tie a rope from the gudgeons on the transom down to the towing eye on the car to prevent the boat slipping forward when the car stops. Hope that helpsIMG_0626.JPGIMG_0627.JPGIMG_0630.JPG
 

49208

Tentmaker
I cannot help with roof racks but I have put some pictures of how my laser goes on the roof of my car. I also put pipe lagging on the roof bars to prevent rubbing on the boat, this also helps to keep the boat in place once on. I firstly put the boat on and I use webbing straps to secure the boat to the roof bars. Then I tie the spars onto the bottom of my trolley and then I put the inverted trolley on top of the boat and then tie that down. I also tie a rope from the gudgeons on the transom down to the towing eye on the car to prevent the boat slipping forward when the car stops. Hope that helps
The gudgeons are not that strong, certainly not enough to prevent the boat from going forward in the event of massive deceleration. You would be much better off using the traveler. Also, if you do any high speed driving (over 40mph/60kph), you should consider a line from the front of the dolly down to the front bumper (there is usually a tow ring or structural point your can tie into under the bumper), especially when your racks are close together and in the middle of the hull, there can be quite a bit of upward aero force, trying to lever the hull off the racks and the racks off the roof.
 

frigatebird

New Member
I wouldn't let the size of your car be the determining factor about whether you put your boat on a trailer or your roof. I have a 97 Honda Civic that trailers my Laser quite easily all over Colorado. I can't go much over 60 up to the Eisenhower tunnel crossing the Continental Divide, but that is no big deal. I thought for years that I couldn't tow a boat and then discovered a friend with a 96 Honda who tows his FJ with it. If you'd rather have a trailer, check with an RV shop for a hitch.
 

LuckyJack

Member
When I first got my Laser I roof topped it back. My set up looks allot like lillcumpi' above however I took the wheels off the launch trolly/dolly, they spin, vibrate cause allot of noise and probably marginaly effect your fuel consumption. One thing you will find it the beam of the Laser is usually wider than the length of the roof bar, to get around this I got extra length bars for a van which still attached to my 'roof rack feet' (Thule two part mix'n'match). Looks a bit odd when the boat wasn't on top, however the roof rack was never used unless the boat was intended to be on top. Try and line your roofbars up with the boats strong points, mast step, back of the cockpit if possible.. I have rails on the car which makes this more practicle.

Recently I bought a light weight roadbase that matches my launch trolly, so far much easier.
TBH there is a Mini Cooper (proper Mini, oppsoed to the new BMW version) that I see regularly towing an Enterprise at Papercourt Sailing Club. Not sure how legal that is, but would always opt for trailer over roof, even if it meant attacheing a tow hitch.
 
Whilst at an open mtg at Whitstable (UK) in the 1950s, I remember seeing a Flying Dutchman, plus mast, arrive from Holland on top of a VW Beetle. Now that was a balancing act!
 

chrisrock

Member
If you are going to do what the kid in the pictures did, be careful because that will eventually wreck your laser, this is because it is balancing on only the centre area of your boat and every time you hit a bump, it will flew the boat in the aft and forward section because there is no support there, just like a see saw to an extent.
 

lilcumpi

Member
I only use this every now and again as I don't travel to often. The boat barely moves when its on the roof of the car as I have foam pipe lagging on the bars so the boat inbeds in the foam so it doesnt move.
 

49208

Tentmaker
If you are going to do what the kid in the pictures did, be careful because that will eventually wreck your laser, this is because it is balancing on only the centre area of your boat and every time you hit a bump, it will flew the boat in the aft and forward section because there is no support there, just like a see saw to an extent.
You just need to tie the bow and stern down, which stops any movement. The boat will happily travel 1000's of miles/kilometers without need to be supported up front and in back...
 

marginal

Member
Agreed.
Car-topping is often made to sound overly complicated.
It isn't.
Tie your boat to the top of your car, use a little common sense, and the world is your oyster.
This was the design intent of the Laser.
 

49208

Tentmaker
There will be long term damage though.
Chris, if you have some specific examples to prove your point, please post them as there are many of us here and thousands (yes thousands) more who have trekked all over North America, Europe and down under with the boats on top, properly secured, with NO damage
 

chrisrock

Member
Its common sense, pressure on one pivot point in the middle, there will be long term damage, maybe not noticeable, but the boat will bounce back and fourth like a sea-saw to some extent no matter how well you tie down the bow or stern.
 

MiLLz

Member
+1 Cartopper, +1 No damage to boat.
Slight damage to car paint job though....
The bow and stern ties are cheap insurance, but not 100% necessary for short trips with good primary straps to the rack. Use $2 pool noodles or similiar to prevent the rack from grinding lines into the deck. Other than that happy cartopping!
 

Merrily

Administrator
Its common sense, pressure on one pivot point in the middle, there will be long term damage, maybe not noticeable, but the boat will bounce back and fourth like a sea-saw to some extent no matter how well you tie down the bow or stern.
There are two pressure points with a rack.
 

torrid

Just sailing
If you don't position the center of gravity properly, yeah you've got a see saw. You just need to make sure the weight is distributed evenly. I don't buy into the "long term damage" unless the boat isn't secured.
 

marginal

Member
I would have thought that hitting a wave badly was far more traumatic to the hull than car topping.
Sailing is going to wear your boat out. Car topping allows you to wear it out in more interesting places!

To any small car owning Laser sailors:
PLEASE don't let the info in this thread put you off attending out-of-town regattas.
It will be fine, and we'd love to see you!
 
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