This has been a long time coming but I wanted to share how I have been handling my TI. If you have a small pickup you do not need a trailer to enjoy your TI. I went all out on my Toyota Tacoma short bed truck to get the functionality and look that I wanted.
Here is the setup I use on a day to day basis. Since I carry surfboards and also spend time in low clearance parking garages I went with a Thule 422XT rack system that I can lower when in surfboard mode or in a parking structure.
I raise the rear rack bars and remove the surfboard pad. Then I strap on my super-duper removeable hobie cradle to the forward most Toyota roofrack bar. I can add that on here for anyone that is curious or in need of a similar solution. (velcro straps that attach to the cradle and some alum extrusion that I customized to mate with the double curve of the Toyota roof rack)
This gives me 67" between the most forward support and the middle. I leave the middle Hobie cradle on all time it is not easily removeable. (Stainless hardware & T-bolts). There was quite a bit of hacksawing of the vertical supports to the Thule rack to get the desired height but it looks stock and works great. (Wheel well is in the way on the shortbed truck so I shortened it by 6 inches and I cut a new groove to have it match the height of the forward cradle) Very easy to do with a standard hacksaw and clean up with a file.
The rear most support I added later and am glad I did. The kayak is very solid when supported in three places.
I cannot lower this bar low enough to use in getting the yak up there so I made it removeable with wing nuts.
Here is the setup on the truck ready to receive the boat.
This is the approach. I will bring the kayak up to the rear of the truck and rest it on top of the surf pad with the tailgate up as shown. My truck is stock height and the dimensions are just right to use the rear scupper holes and the wheel cart.
Now its time to go get the Kayak in the backyard and tie up the dogs so they dont go running after the mailman! (next post for part two)