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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a rack for my zuk to haul kayaks on. I need it to be able to hold at least 150lbs. I have looked at the ones on RRO and Calmini's site but was wondering if there were any cheaper alternatives? I don't need the full basket style, I basically just need two crossbars to strap the boats down to. And, of course, would like something that could be used with the top down. I have seriously thought about making my own but still unsure about mounting points and strength. I don't have a bender or anything but could weld something up out of square tubing. I was also wondering if any of you have made your own roof rack? If so, could you give me some ideas of what materials you used, design, mounting points, or other suggestions? Also if you could point me to some pictures it would be much appreciated. Thanks

 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If it was me I would go the yakima/thule route with "shark pads", its lighter then most other systems and most importantly its very easily removed when not needed.
Cost-wise finding used racks are easy, but you will likely need to buy new pads for your kayaks.
If you are set on making one, Tazuki88 started a thread called "cool pic me thinks" a few days ago. It looks like he made one and did a really good job on it.
Also, what length are your kayaks? I have seen whitewater kayaks "bed" mounted w/o the back seat on wranglers and they just stick out the back a few feet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yakima's website only has racks for a hardtop with raingutters listed. I paddle whitewater boats which are all near 8' in length but we usually have at least 3-4 in our group so I kinda need the backseat. I'll do a search on that thread, Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The mounting system you want for the racks are the modular ones that are used to mount on truck toppers, its just a L-shaped piece that you screw on(basically makes a pseudo-gutter), then you can use any of the gutter mounts.
Hope this helps.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I understand you correctly, it sounds like you have a softtop Samurai. If you have a hardtop like mine, the Con-Ferr raingutter mounted rack comes highly recommended. It was the very first mod I made to my Samurai, and I have never once regretted it. It's strong enough for a couple of people to take a ride on when I'm out at the dunes or whatever, but be forewarned that with the 150lbs you're going to be carrying up that high, you will definitely be affecting your center of gravity significantly.

-- Geoff Beasley
 

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I've got the Calmini rack on my 88 soft-top. Installed it in '98, and it has served well, though it prohibits installing a windshield fold-down kit because it has a support bar across the front over the cowl vent.
I usually carry two or three duffel bags in it for my monthly National Guard weekend. I also carry my 15' Coleman canoe on there (strap it down to front and rear bumpers...almost flush up front and sticks out 3" in back) for the occassional river or lake trip. Canoe weighs close to 100#, and it's been no problem, but I do go 45-50mph max for safety (weird aerodynamics!!)

I'd only recommend the Calmini if you want something there permanently. The cost is in the $400 range, so if you want something temporary, look elsewhere or fab your own for much better economy.

Good luck!

Tracy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
[email protected] can't believe I heard that advice on a ZUK board of all places.

How can I put this.....Thats like telling someone who wants to wheel to go buy Defender 90. Yeah they are cool....but be prepared to bend-over when you buy it or break it and a well-built zuk that costs a fraction will get much more respect on the trail.

If you have the time, BUILD ONE....it's my other hobby, I have built 2 canoes and 1 touring tandem kayak.
1-"stitch-n-glue" Okume with 4oz-glass. 14ft @ 30lbs, 40 hours and 180 dollars.
2-"Cedar-Strip" Red cedar with 4oz glass 16ft @ 55lbs, 80 hours, 350 dollars.
3-"tandem stitch-n-glue kayak" Okume with 2oz glass 17ft @ 35lbs, 50 hours 200 dollars.

As far as performance? The only limit to the hull design is YOU the builder, and weight is very comp to kevlar.

More then half the time is spent on finishing so you can build one in 2 weekends. Not to mention, EVERYONE will ask you where you got it, and the joy that comes from answering "I built it..." is priceless.

I should say...if he has a 100lb canoe...its likely ABS and tuff as hell.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Altough the actual design is uniquely made for MY Zuke, this rack was fabbed up a few years ago by myself using 1 in. square tube (.065). It mounts to the two stock overhead bars using 1/4in. tabs I welded on. I have since added a front windshield hoop now (for windshield folding) but isn't necessary for the rack. Holds ATLEAST 150lbs. I've had two adults stand up there w/no prob. It DOES NOT BUDGE! It removes by pulling the 4 pins or bolts (whichever you choose). I use bolts for security and to kill the rattle factor. I keep my hi-lift up there bolted to the back of the rack. Cheap, strong, and you can decide what it looks like! The only drawback is the 4 "slits" needed in the soft top for the mounting tabs. VERY small problem for someone creative enough to build there own rack. Although my rack is not of the new trendy look it suits my Zuke awesome and kicks the sh%@#t out of a $400.00 price tag.
One more note: I had the unfortunate dis-pleasure of rolling my Zuke a couple years ago and because this rack was on, it dug in and kept me from going over several more times down a hill. It minimized damage to $95 bucks for a windshield frame and 1 side panel of the targa. The tabs for the rack needed to be staightened a bit but that was it. SAFETY! An awesome unnexpected asset of my tuff little rack.
You could easily design a kayak carrier that suits your needs but tha's just my .02. Good Luck.

 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That looks pretty cool! I think the 1" will be plenty strong enough if I decide to make my own. I just can't see $400 for a rack. That would buy me t-case gears!

Does anyone see a problem using the windshield brackets as mounting points? I would use the rear bumper for the rear mounting points but that leaves me a little concerned about the middle. I thought about tapping into the sheetmetal right behind the doors but still a little unsure?
 

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Get Calmini's safari rack!!!!!! I've been a hardcore whitewater kayaker for 6 years and an avid offroader for just as long and Calmini's rack rocks! I put my Yakima kayak stackers, pads, and multi-mount paddle holders on it, as well as a hi-lift, axe, shovel, and offroad lights. I've turned over on it once and it held up great, just a few scratches. I carry my Pyranha Prozone and Eskimo Salto on it 24/7 and as a raft guide on the Ocoee I often throw a raft on it to go on private trips. Great rack and worth every penny. Just my 2 cents, but take it from another boater that this is one hell of a good rack.

Tim
 

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Oh, I also carried 8 whitewater kayaks on it once w/ 5 people in my Samurai. When we were heading home from the put-in on the river there is a short, steep paved hill and I had to stop and let 3 guys out of my Zuk to make it up the hill:^) (back before I had a 1.6, GRSI, and 4.63's) You can't use the windshield fold-down kit but you can get trailtough's windshield removal kit where you just pop 2 hinges and take your windshield on and off. I'd rather have that than a fold-down kit anyway. My Zuk is a daily driver and it made it a little more top heavy but it gives your Zuk good protection, good looks, and great cargo/boat carrying benefits.

Tim
 
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