YAK PACK

CON­VE­NIENT WAYS TO CARRY PAD­DLE CRAFT ABOARD YOUR BOAT

Sport Fishing - - BOATS - BY JIM HEN­DRICKS

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.

RAIL RACKS

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

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