CONVENIENT WAYS TO CARRY PADDLE CRAFT ABOARD YOUR BOAT
There are places your center console fishing boat can’t take you, like up a narrow meandering mangrove creek to cast for tarpon, into the middle of a dense kelp bed to target calico bass, over a barrier reef to reach rampaging trevally in a protected lagoon, across a remote flat in pursuit of bonefish, or into a wilderness no-motor zone where redfish abound.
However, your main boat might be able to get within paddling distance where you can anchor out, then launch a kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Such craft traverse the shallowest of waters, negotiate tight quarters and portage easily across bars to get you to the hot spots. These vessels are human-powered, so no-motor zones are, well, no problem.
But let’s face it: Paddle craft can be unwieldy when out of the water, and take up precious deck and seating space aboard your main ride. How do you carry and secure these on a fishing boat? Thankfully, quite a few systems let you easily stow and deploy ’yaks and SUPs.
Magma Products is perhaps best known for its line of marine grills, but it also offers the Removable Kayak/SUP rack (about $230), which includes two arms that clamp to vertical or diagonal bow-rail supports ranging from 7⁄8 to 1½ inches in diameter.
The system is made from polished stainless steel with UV-resistant padding to protect paddle craft while cradled in the 1-inch arms. Each rack holds two SUPs or one kayak, with tie-down points on each arm to secure the craft with straps.
An exclusive quickrelease-knob system allows each arm to be quickly removed or rotated inward when not in use, or swung in tighter to the bow rail to fit narrower kayaks or boards.
SurfStow’s Suprax (about $250) also clamps to a bow rail. The lightweight aluminum arms hold one SUP. EVA foam linings protect the board, and a built-in bungee cord secures it.
The Suprax universal clamp system swivels to attach to virtually any vertical or horizontal rails ranging from 7⁄8 to 1¼ inches in diameter. An addon accessory arm (about $100) increases the capacity to a pair of SUPs.
In addition, SurfStow sells the Yakrax (about $300) rail-mount system for kayaks. It uses the same clamp system as Suprax, but the padded aluminum arms are wider to accommodate the greater hull depth of a ’yak.
Carrying paddle craft such as kayaks aboard your main fishing boat is easier and more convenient than ever thanks to versatile racks that fit in gunwale rod holders.
Magma Kayak/ SUP rack