Tom-Kat's solo roof-rack-stack-packing.....

Thread starter #1
Ok, this is going to be interesting.....

At the midwest regionals, Tom Kat asked me to shoot photos of him loading his fish onto his van by himself so that we can share this long kept secret with others........ SO HEEEERRRRREEEEESSSSSS......TOMKAT

First photo is the boat and dolly next to the van, ready to load.

Second phot is Tom's home-made dolly. The pieces of PVC come off and are used in the third photo.

Third photo shows the pvc tube on the outer edge of the roofrack.


Thread starter #3
Next series of photos: Placement of the bow between roof racks and distance from the van is important so the boat lines up. Tom was perhaps a little closer to the van than optimum, but it still worked!


How old should I be to want a trailer. I am only 54 years young,
overweight and out of shape, pressing less than 70 lbs twice a weekend
might be good for me.
I want to thank Tim Polaski for taking such great pictures of me, Tom Katt
I'm curious how much time elapsed here... very impressive but not anything I would be inclined to attempt. But then I don't have a humungous grassy yard to pull my SUV up onto.
Thread starter #11
Linda......I checked the time on the photo files they were about 3 minutes and 30 seconds apart from the first photo to the last thumbs-up photo.

From first hand viewing experience, there was no grunting and groaning. Tom made it look easy.

The vehicle just needs to be close to the grass, not necessarily on the grass. Only the boat needs to be on the grass.
One thing that is to Tom's advantage is that he is tall. Short people like me would have a hard time with this. Heck, I even have a hard time helping someone lift a sunfish on the top rack of my trailer. But my husband is starting to take boats off the trailer with no help using methods like what was shown.

One question though, if I could do this I would probably try putting the stern to the ground verses the bow. I would worry that the boat would fall over or the bow would get damaged. But I guess the bow is lighter than the stern. Is that the reason why the bow is on the ground? If not why was the bow put on the ground instead of the stern?


My guess is that it goes on stern first because the splashrail would prevent you from sliding the boat up on the rack far enough to rotate it on the rack.
scap114 said:
My guess is that it goes on stern first because the splashrail would prevent you from sliding the boat up on the rack far enough to rotate it on the rack.
Good point.... I didn't think it through when I wrote my question. Another thing I thought of was the bow would be easier to grab to get it up on the rack.
Its definitely possible to do by yourself. I developed this system so that my pregnant wife wouldn't have to lift the boat. I load and unload by myself. No grass required. Also with a homemade dolly, but not nearly as nice as TomKat's. the roof rack system is Yakima's with "hully rollers." I've decided that I don't need the rollers in the front, just the rear ones. The traditional system has a V-bearth for the front supports. I can drive 75 mph in windy conditions. I drove this SF from Orange County, CA to Carson City, NV (about 9.5 hours). Not a problem. I think the key is the floor mats to cover the glass and trunk lid during loading and unloading. And be sure to keep pressure on the boat as you move from bow to stern so that the boat doesn't slide backward off the trunk. here is my own sequence of loading and unloading my SF. After sailing, when the boat is wet, it is much harder to get up than it was to get down (even with a leak free boat).

for the first series of shots

and then the second series

Keep on Sailing
When I drive with boat on top of van handle 80 just fine. I tie the bow down to the front (swim noodle to protect paint), to the back hitch, and across twice on the roof rack. Only one problem once when a roof rack foot slipped. That's in 30 years. Now mostly using a trailer ... And, Tom's still loading his boat by himself.