We have a TI , when we are at our Sarasota home we just store the TI on the trailer in the garage (way easier and faster than car topping).
However when we go down to our Key West place we have no garage and no place to store a trailer so we typically car top the TI. Also when we travel with our camper it uses the trailer hitch so we have to car top the boat whenever we go camping as well.
We have had that TI on the roof for many weeks at a time, and you are correct if it sits out in the sun tool long you will get dents on the bottom from the roof rack. Usually I don't worry a lot about the dents, it seems if you let the boat sit out in the sun the dents slowly come out over time, you may need to use hot water and help them a little though.
When we are just going out for the day I just store the boat right on my T-bar and the roof racks, however if I know the boat is going to be up there a while what I do is shove pool noodles between the boat and the roof (lengthways) to help support the boat more evenly. It also helps to relax the straps a little if the car is just going to sit (don't forget to tighten them back up though before driving). We have motor cycle locks thru the mirage drive holes and around the roof racks. The way I figure it, the dang boat is so big and heavy, and if they overcome all the locks and get it down without waking us up and getting shot, then they can keep it (it's insured anyway). I simply can't imagine two teenagers running down the street with a fully loaded TI on their heads. So size and weight does matter ( LOL).
Something I was thinking about trying if your not too keen on the pool noodles. I was thinking about putting the boat up onto the roof like normal, then lift the rear of the boat and slide a couple 1 1/2" dia PVC pipes up from the back and following the grooves on the bottom of the boat that are on 11" centers the full length of the boat. This is how I support my boat when on the trailer. It would certainly be better weight distribution. Nothing permanent, just slide the pipes in before strapping down, then remove the pipes before unloading the boat. It will cost you about $10 bucks to find out if it works (the cost of the PVC pipe). If I ever car top again I'll likely try that ( I suspect my car topping days are over now, just getting too old).
Excellent idea.....I also use a heavy duty bike lock run through the scuppers and tied around one of the roof racks for theft security as well as preventing the boat from sliding off the back just in case of a catastrophic strap breakage.
You guys have convinced me that the trailer option is the way to go.... I am damn sure not getting any younger!
The question now is modding a cheap trailer to fit the AI as well as one or two more kayaks/canoes. I REALLY do not want to shell out $2K for the Hobie double trailer.
There are some fantastic trailer mod threads here on this site, but if anyone on this particular thread has pics/linkls to an all out cheap dual-yak trailer mod, I would be more than willing to check it out..... I am already suffering analysis paralysis from the hundreds of ideas that seem to ALMOST fit the exact need, but not quite, for what I need.
I appreciate your assistance in advance, and apologize profusely for my laziness and indecision in this.....
You guys are fantastic....keep the brilliant ideas coming.