Wow, am I relieved....the test run this morning went flawlessly. I took "Dead Cow Rd." (bumpy farm to market rd.) up to 65mph and even tried a quick emergency stop. The PA stayed where I put it. I think I can trust my setup now. My rollers still have some drag to them when rolling up the kayak but little coming down. I thought there would be indentations in the hull from the rollers when inspecting after the unload but there weren't. Funny, I did have some dimple and surface scratching/skuffs where the rear side of the Mako's rubbed. I might have to put on the felt padding they supply with the Mako's. I figured the felt was for rear saddles where you slide the kayak upward in place of the rollers we have. I'm hoping the rubber grips inside the saddle that is pulled up to the hull surface via the strap will keep the boat from sliding forward during quick stops once the felt is applied. I've been using a beach towel on the trunk area of the Civic to help the boat slip up and down during the transition. No damage to the trunk lid yet but I'm seeing how a rubber backed bathroom rug would help stay in place better during a breeze. Next up is launching this beast at the lake....I'm wondering if I should use the ramp and when/where to take the Trax-2 cart off. Maybe just walk the nose into the water till the wheels are at the waters edge, lift the back end till the cart drops and shove it forward....how do you do it?
That's the way I launched. We were on a concrete ramp that was pretty worn, so I walked the front in fairly far to get it to float, lifted the stern to allow the cart to drop and then floated the PA forward. I'm still babying the bottom of the boat, but I'll eventually have to get used to the idea that it won't be perfect forever. I do want to figure a way to launch and take-out that keeps me as dry as possible. Getting the boat out was really awkward. Unless you are with someone who can help place the cart, you really have to tip it on its side to put the cart in. For me, that required unloading a bit of stuff first. On a busy, small, gravel kayak launch area, I found that to be a pain. I'd love to hear some take-out tips from those in the know.