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echak

Laser on Roof Rack

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Hi,

 

Roof rack question... Sold my Lightning, and looking to get into a Laser. Here's the deal:

 

- a road trailer is not an option due to condominium regs.

- prefer Thule, since I have access to a ski box already that won't work with Yakima or others.

- for my vehicle (06 Ford Escape), there are two rack options: use the factory TRACK or clamp onto door frame.

- track option allows to evenly spread the racks apart, fore and aft - length of vehicle, almost - BUT the manufacturer max weight limit is 20lbs LESS than a Laser. (15% of total boat weight.)

- Door frame option has a max weight 30lbs over the boat weight, but since you're fixing to door frames, restricts placement for less separation distance fore and aft - perhaps max separation distance of 3' - AND it's a discontinued model... So I'll be scrounging for parts on Amazon etc.

 

SO, how conservative are manufacturer published specs here? Not looking to over-think this, but also not looking to have a boat fall off my car at highway speeds.

 

Thx!

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One option I've seen is to place air bags between the longitudinal bars of the rack. The air bags take the weight and spread the load over the roof area and the rack keeps the bags in place. The next issue is how to strap the boat down.

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I have a Thule rack attached to the door frame on my Honda Accord with about a 30" spread between bars with no issues. Just make sure you secure the bow and the stern with tie downs and you should be fine.

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Use a Rhino T-loader

on the back of my Toyota Tundra and topper.

Added a winch to the t-loader. The line goes to a pulley near the top of the loader and then to a block that is tied to the center of three rack bars, then back over the loader to the hiking strap of the upside down Laser.

 

I have to help and push and bump the Laser to get it over deck mounted cleats, etc. . The Yakima bars are padded with pool noodles and wrapped with tape. The front of the three bars is a Rhino aero bar.

 

I am 1/2 the size of the guy in the Rhino t-loader video and have had four rotator cuff surgeries. I manage to get the Laser loaded.

I hate trailers.

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Whenever you are doing something that might kill somebody else, you have to be conservative. Follow the rules.

.

....oh F.F.S....just.tie.the.boat.on.the._.car..........use lines to your bumpers if you're worried <_<

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Track racks probably OK. Just make sure you have double bow and stern lines to the bumpers. Might want to bolt a strong eye to bow rather than rely on screwed-in plastic boweye. Make sure lines don't chafe on sharp bumper edges. Bolting eyes or cleats near ends of bumpers perfectly fine.

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Wow, Poops, that electronic suggestion made me think that I should skip the Laser and move straight to a Force5 at the ripe old age of 30...

 

But I do appreciate the suggestions, all. I bought some Thule last night.

 

Cheers

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Rhino make two side loaders. One requires an electric drill, the other has a hand winch.

I had the T-loader when I added the winch.

With the t-loader I can back down a ramp and don't require a dolly.

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I regulalry used to car-top my Laser on a roofrack on top of a Fiat 127 (about 3ft shrter than the boat) and AlfaSud (about 2 ft shorter) back in the 80s. Both way overloaded!

 

The trick is to have roof bars that are at least 6" wider than the car on one side. Pad the middle and ends.

Put a used tyre on the ground next to the vehicle

Either invert the Laser on the trolley before you start or put the stern of the trolley on the tyre and hold onto the painter tied to the bow while lifting it vertical.

Turn and rest it againt the roof bar ends.

Lift the boat from the stern until it's hoirzontal on the bars

Turn it so that its facing the direction of travel

Tie on to roof bars with a truckers hitch using rope or use webbing straps. Pad underneath.

Tie a line from bow and stern to the bumper or prefarably, the tow loop underneath (may need some padding on the bonnet).

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Whenever you are doing something that might kill somebody else, you have to be conservative. Follow the rules.

.

....oh F.F.S....just.tie.the.boat.on.the._.car..........use lines to your bumpers if you're worried <_<

+1

 

Pop the sucker up on the rear bar, turn the hull up on one side a tad (to clear deck hardware) and slide it forward. Tie bow and stern to bumpers. Done. The wide Thule bars are best - more than a few thousands have run with this on Jettas and such for way long time. Forget all the gadgets to lift it - 130# hull an issue? Hit the gym.

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Drove around all summer with a Laser on top of my mid 80's baby Blazer. Then did the same with Sunfish on a 97 Subaru Outback, and then on a 07 Toyota Sienna. All over the east and gulf coasts. Winter, summer, highways and byways, not one issue ever. Had Thule on the Blazer. Then added 2x4 over that later. Had Thule on the Suby, and factory on the Toyota. Hell we even had 2 Lasers side by side on 2x4 on an old town and country wagon from the early 80's. Old topic but really, Lasers are light enough. Just tie it on well

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Typically rated loads are only 1/3 of capability, it's an engineering safety factor of 3. Meaning it's 3 times strong than they say it is.

 

I just used rope that has a rating of 135lbs to lift ~800lbs in a 2:1 system, so approximately 400lbs. (I was only lifting an inch, so even if it broke.....)

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Since cars don't have hard points at the ends anymore, little loops of webbing bolted down to fender bolts and led out through hood crack work nice.

You can buy them but I just use a piece of a dead ratchet strap with the bolt worked through the weave and a big washer. Not sure if the grommet on the Thule one makes it any stronger.

 

61--olcczqL._SX466_.jpg

Probably these are placed too far aft on the car and that hook is asking for a windshield crack.

 

review-thule-quick-loops-tie-downs-th530

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anyone notice how new cars - even SUV's are now not available with any kind of roof rail that is suitable for good cross bars

 

i think we had a thread where i mentioned this.., but i was just car shopping on friday and it's now almost universal.

 

the new roof rails are shorter, and only allow placement of the crossbars at a pre-determined location - even if you buy aftermarket thule or whatever bars

 

these pre-deyermined locations are really too close for safely transporting something as long as a laser

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Have not really noticed as I prefer to use a trailer. But probably because the car manufactures don't want you putting anything as big as a Laser up there anyways. They don't want the liability if something goes wrong so the solution is to just put on racks that are for looks only and not functional for anything more than a backpack.

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anyone notice how new cars - even SUV's are now not available with any kind of roof rail that is suitable for good cross bars

 

i think we had a thread where i mentioned this.., but i was just car shopping on friday and it's now almost universal.

 

the new roof rails are shorter, and only allow placement of the crossbars at a pre-determined location - even if you buy aftermarket thule or whatever bars

 

these pre-deyermined locations are really too close for safely transporting something as long as a laser

Yes, PIA. Lot of hull flexing if the bars are only 70 - 80 cm apart. Looks unhealthy for frequent trips.

 

Some delivery van types (Renault Kangoo/Mercedes Citan and others) have attachment points that are 130 - 150 cm or more apart and are good for loads up to 100 kgs. This was one of the selling (buying) points for me.

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I cartopped Lasers for years in the 70s and 80s, even on my mom's Datsun 120Y, all over the east coast of Australia and the West Coast of the USA.

 

I mostly drove VWs and BMWs with rain gutters and Thule racks. Those were solid. I'm not as confident with the non-gutter ones. It's not the weight but the windage, and the propensity for liftoff. The ones that clamp to little rivet/bolt nubs built into the car (like 90s BMWs) are probably fine. The rest, use your judgement, and tie the bow down well.

 

Getting the boat on and off -- I did it myself from the rear of the car. I used a transom dolly, made so the boat could be tilted up on its transom, flipped over onto the rear rack, then slid up and forward, all by one person. On a windy day you might want a helper.

 

I used 2 pieces of foam pipe insulation around each crossbar, with a gap in the middle for the deck hardware. The foam also compensated for the deck camber. My crossbars overhung each side by a few inches, and I lashed my spars onto that.

 

For such a small boat, I'd much rather cartop than deal with a trailer.

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anyone notice how new cars - even SUV's are now not available with any kind of roof rail that is suitable for good cross bars

 

The open type longintudal rails found on most euro-station wagons (like the Jetta Sportwagen or most Volvos) or Subarus (like the XV) give you tons of flexibility in where to mount the crossrail. Yakima and Thule both make nice mounts for these rails. I've seen similar rails on SUVs, but haven't paid attention to which ones have them.

140.jpg

 

My older Subaru (1998 Impreza) uses a variation of these rails that isn't open on the bottom and not quite as good, but Thule still offers a good solution that hooks onto the roof rails instead of clamping inside the door frame. My rails are 44" apart, which is pretty good for a smaller car (it's about the same length as a Laser).

 

On every car I check to see how both companies attach to the car before deciding on which system to buy. I used to have a 2000 VW Golf and Thule's system mounted to integrated but hidden hard points in the roof while Yakima just wanted to clamp the door frame. I hate roof racks that clamp the door frame, they are annoying to install and remove and add road noise from disturbing the door seal.

 

Thanks for the thread, it was interesting. Someday I hope to be carrying an RS Aero on the car's roof. It is much lighter, but still a bulky package to get onto the roof.

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Any car recommendations for boat carrying in the already dinged but not dead vintage of cars, like maybe 2004-2011 for loading dinghies? Lots of mention on here of storied old boat-carrying vehicles like my Buick LeSabre 1999, which has just died, leaving me wondering what to shop for in the 21st century of modern curved roofs, and flimsy looking racks. I'd managed to use a huge fender to roll my Laser up and onto roof racks on that sedan from the water. I want a trunk for hiding gear, and four windows so I can use my ski and spar-carrying Barre window racks, but so many cars seem to have short roofs now. With all the car companies that dig the sport of sailing, and have adventurous names and ads, you'd think someone would build one that was good for launching and tying down dinghies. Thoughts?

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I just got a 2005 Honda CRV with plans to use it as a one man regattamobile.

If neither Thule or Yakima have appropriate roof racks I plan to go with a padded 2x4 system and some sort of custom built wide sheet metal hooks that will fit inside the top of the doors without hurting them.

I may also try molded fiberglass hooks fit to the curves of the fenders.

If I remove the back seats I can sleep in the CRV and go sail anywhere in North America for gas money and entry fees.

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Whenever you are doing something that might kill somebody else, you have to be conservative. Follow the rules.

 

good LORD. How do people like you still exist in the world?

Shouldn't you be in a padded room with a helmet on?

 

 

He's putting a 130lb Laser on his roof, something that has been done daily for 40 years. He's not carrying nuclear secrets dude.

 

Jeezus

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I think the only really important part is to secure the bow and the stern to the vehicle really well so the Laser doesn't fly off. The racks are mostly for limiting side to side motion and keeping dents out of the boat and the roof.

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Whenever you are doing something that might kill somebody else, you have to be conservative. Follow the rules.

good LORD. How do people like you still exist in the world?

Shouldn't you be in a padded room with a helmet on?

 

 

He's putting a 130lb Laser on his roof, something that has been done daily for 40 years. He's not carrying nuclear secrets dude.

 

Jeezus

 

Whenever you are doing something that might kill somebody else, you have to be conservative. Follow the rules.

good LORD. How do people like you still exist in the world?Shouldn't you be in a padded room with a helmet on? He's putting a 130lb Laser on his roof, something that has been done daily for 40 years. He's not carrying nuclear secrets dude. Jeezus
Or you can just get on with it.

An FD ready to roll.

post-14467-0-97731600-1480768042.jpg

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My problem when hauling a canoe is not the rack but bow tie downs. There is no metal. The back is easier, especially if your vehicle has a hitch, Modern vehicles have one tow point on the front where an eyebolt screws into metal through the plastic bumper and fairing, There is a small pop out in the right corner, There isn't much else unless you are willing to cut plastic and have somebody weld a bit. I use the nylon straps Dex suggested, that bolt on under the hood using existing bolts that hold the fenders in place. The hood flex as the nylon strap rounds the corner makes me nervous.

 

I looked at the pilot, explorer, 4 runner, etc since I also needed 4500 pound tow capacity, All were problematic, The Explorer was shorter then some which helps loading the canoe, and was my choice, You may not need the tow capacity but vehicle height and crumple zones will still be a problem. Please post your solution.

 

I did haul a heavy old sears 2 person sailboat on a 1980 chevy caprice wagon, that was easy.

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This past spring I car topped a Hobie TI. That's 18 feet long and 240 lbs on a Toyota Tacoma. No factory rack just the Thule clamp on one. Clamps on to the roof rails inside the doors. Used the Thule trailer hitch "goal post" too. Picked it up in St. Pete FL, drove south to Ft. Miers. Kept it up there for 5 days while I did my Level 1. Then drove from Ft. Miers to Burlington, VT. Wasn't my first car topping rodeo (see post # 13 above). Zero issues. As for concerns for other drivers, issues with this sort of thing usually let you know they are coming from noise, which builds as the issue grows. If you pay attention to what you are hearing and seeing I don't see an issue.

 

Edit: the city in FL is spelled wrong because it share a name with the guy who won a lawsuit against SA and it can be entered!!!!!!

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Had the same problem

 

anyone notice how new cars - even SUV's are now not available with any kind of roof rail that is suitable for good cross bars

 

i think we had a thread where i mentioned this.., but i was just car shopping on friday and it's now almost universal.

 

the new roof rails are shorter, and only allow placement of the crossbars at a pre-determined location - even if you buy aftermarket thule or whatever bars

 

these pre-deyermined locations are really too close for safely transporting something as long as a laser

Have the same problem with our 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The rails are way under specked and you can't tie anything to the damn things because there are no holes in the side rails. I own a Thuli ski box, a thule rack system and a yakima system, all worked fine on any of our old cars, but there is no way to attach any of them to my new Jeep. :angry: . Thinking about a custom solution that is available and looks frigging awesome, but I really don't want to shell out 600 bucks. As to the OP.. If he can get the car into his garage with the laser on top, putting a pulley system in there and simply lifting it off the car is a god storage and home solution... At the beach, not so much....

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Yikes! I bet that rig has some windage! Does that Volvo have a transmission cooler? If not I smell a new tranny in the near future!

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Yikes! I bet that rig has some windage! Does that Volvo have a transmission cooler? If not I smell a new tranny in the near future!

Trans will be ok, same basic trans unit in the 70 series with 100 more horsepower and weighs 500 more pounds (at least).

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Now this is what I call roof-racking!

post-102124-0-87082400-1481019215_thumb.

 

 

.....windage wise, it's better to have the boats stern-forwards. ....and take off those damn turbulators dolley wheels. <_<

 

 

......and anchor the bow, stern,,,as others have said. ...or you'll experience the Atkins effect (local joke, something about flying 49ers)

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Yikes! I bet that rig has some windage! Does that Volvo have a transmission cooler? If not I smell a new tranny in the near future!

Trans will be ok, same basic trans unit in the 70 series with 100 more horsepower and weighs 500 more pounds (at least).

 

Perhaps??? I was being a little sarcastic. To be honest I have no idea if that transmission is built for that or not.

 

However, I am certain that rig WILL put more load, at highway speeds, on the motor/transmission than having an extra 500 pounds inside the vehicle.

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Yikes! I bet that rig has some windage! Does that Volvo have a transmission cooler? If not I smell a new tranny in the near future!

Trans will be ok, same basic trans unit in the 70 series with 100 more horsepower and weighs 500 more pounds (at least).

 

Perhaps??? I was being a little sarcastic. To be honest I have no idea if that transmission is built for that or not.

 

However, I am certain that rig WILL put more load, at highway speeds, on the motor/transmission than having an extra 500 pounds inside the vehicle.

 

 

 

I was just waving my dick fact around

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You mean Fort Myers???

I don't get it???

I guess I was spelling it wrong. The way I was spelling it was the same as the guy who sued SA. Evidently you can't even type that name on SA anymore

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About three decades ago, wasn't there a video of a Laser flying off a car roof and landing in a ditch, none the worse for wear? I can't seem to find it any more.....

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Since cars don't have hard points at the ends anymore, little loops of webbing bolted down to fender bolts and led out through hood crack work nice.

You can buy them but I just use a piece of a dead ratchet strap with the bolt worked through the weave and a big washer. Not sure if the grommet on the Thule one makes it any stronger.

 

61--olcczqL._SX466_.jpg

Probably these are placed too far aft on the car and that hook is asking for a windshield crack.

 

review-thule-quick-loops-tie-downs-th530

I was just about to post something about these web eyes. You could make them yourself. (I plan to for my canoe & yak) You can just tuck them away when not in use.

I have Yakima bars with padding mounted to the doors on my Mazda 3. 30" plus spread, about as far as I can go. I'm pretty sure they'll handle a laser just fine. Few hundred pounds or so is what I think they're capable of. I always tie lines to the bar ears as well.

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About three decades ago, wasn't there a video of a Laser flying off a car roof and landing in a ditch, none the worse for wear? I can't seem to find it any more.....

Warren Miller movie.

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About three decades ago, wasn't there a video of a Laser flying off a car roof and landing in a ditch, none the worse for wear? I can't seem to find it any more.....

There's an pic from this year of and Opti cut in half after it blew off of a car onto the road.

 

There is no way I would put bars on the tracks. They give you a weight limit, which you will exceed. They do not provide a windage limit, which you will certainly exceed by several orders of magnitude.

 

Back in the early 90's I used to put my Laser on top of my Honda Accord with the old school bombproof Thule bars. They were about half a foot wider than the car. The cool thing was the boat acted like a super spoiler. The faster you drove it pushed the car down into the road. Going around tight turns was tons of fun.

 

You will hate yourself if that Laser blows off the roof.

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Life, sadly has moved on. I used to cartop my laser on a Mk2 Ford Escort.

 

Now you have to consider what the issues are of an accident where the laser WILL fly off the roofrack and hurt someone or something. What is your liability and at what stage will your insurance switch off leaving you in the 5h1t.

 

How about a large ute.

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Since cars don't have hard points at the ends anymore, little loops of webbing bolted down to fender bolts and led out through hood crack work nice.

You can buy them but I just use a piece of a dead ratchet strap with the bolt worked through the weave and a big washer. Not sure if the grommet on the Thule one makes it any stronger.

 

61--olcczqL._SX466_.jpg

Probably these are placed too far aft on the car and that hook is asking for a windshield crack.

 

review-thule-quick-loops-tie-downs-th530

I was just about to post something about these web eyes. You could make them yourself. (I plan to for my canoe & yak) You can just tuck them away when not in use.

I have Yakima bars with padding mounted to the doors on my Mazda 3. 30" plus spread, about as far as I can go. I'm pretty sure they'll handle a laser just fine. Few hundred pounds or so is what I think they're capable of. I always tie lines to the bar ears as well.

 

over the bonnet to a tie down / tow point would also work fine -- just use lots of soft protection on the paint where the line/web goes over the bonnet and bumper.

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When I was a kid, my dad and I always put the boat du jour (sunfish, sailfish, snark) on top of his Chevy Vega with nothing between the deck and the paint other than some flattened cardboard boxes, if memory serves, the cardboard from Palisade Peaches, and a few army blankets as needed to even out the load.

 

Ropes fore and aft, a couple haphazard ones to keep it from sliding side to side, and we were off. I assume they had roof racks back then, no way my old man would have burned cash on them though.

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You mean Fort Myers???

I don't get it???

I guess I was spelling it wrong. The way I was spelling it was the same as the guy who sued SA. Evidently you can't even type that name on SA anymore

 

Yea, I know the guy you are talking about. I thought his name was spelled Myers? Mires??? How is it spelled?

Back in the day I used to carry my laser around on the roof rack of my Pinto wagon, it was a woody. I secured the painter to the bumper, never had to worry. Those were good times

 

IMG_0796_zpsj4zor4nt.jpg

 

Chick magnet like this one. I used to wish I had the Country Squire model.

Two door wagon! Nice! Classic!

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A buddy cut the roof and sides off and made it a hay wagon when she went out to pasture lol. Those 2 liter Ford motors were pretty tough.

 

Not exactly a Nomad though...

 

IMG_0798_zpswhhkcyhb.jpg

Now that is bad ass!

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1972 Datsun 1200 with Laser mounted aerodynamically. Any questions? (Pardon the photo quality)post-106779-0-68407200-1481607263_thumb.jpeg

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Since cars don't have hard points at the ends anymore, little loops of webbing bolted down to fender bolts and led out through hood crack work nice.

You can buy them but I just use a piece of a dead ratchet strap with the bolt worked through the weave and a big washer. Not sure if the grommet on the Thule one makes it any stronger.

 

61--olcczqL._SX466_.jpg

Probably these are placed too far aft on the car and that hook is asking for a windshield crack.

 

review-thule-quick-loops-tie-downs-th530

I was just about to post something about these web eyes. You could make them yourself. (I plan to for my canoe & yak) You can just tuck them away when not in use.

I have Yakima bars with padding mounted to the doors on my Mazda 3. 30" plus spread, about as far as I can go. I'm pretty sure they'll handle a laser just fine. Few hundred pounds or so is what I think they're capable of. I always tie lines to the bar ears as well.

 

over the bonnet to a tie down / tow point would also work fine -- just use lots of soft protection on the paint where the line/web goes over the bonnet and bumper.

 

Duncan. I disagree, I cannot find a modern SUV that has enough structure up front to take the pressure without cracking the grill or bumper cover. There is nowhere to fasten a S hook or rope to, aside from around the front end plastic to the suspension. The first bump would be ugly, even if the front end doesn't crack. The only tow point is on the right corner. I think the Toyota FJ cruiser (Fuji cruiser in Japan) would be the exception, but I would need a ladder to reach the roof rack. If you have a vehicle that can do it, please share the make / model and year.

 

I went car shopping, and told the various salesmen that I needed a SUV that could tow 2 1/4 tons and had a roof rack plus tie downs I could haul a canoe. They start stuttering, all set to tell you about the rear cupholders and 6 power sockets. Tow??? Tie downs for a roof rack??? Roof rack??? I finally found an ex sailor that understood, even took him sailing after the sale.

 

I use the straps shown above on an explorer to haul a canoe, similar to the laser in windage I think. The hood of my 2011 Explorer visibly bends where the strap pulls up. It is further forward than the picture, providing good angle and away from the windshield, but the hood is only anchored in the rear corners and front center when closed. The flex makes me nervous, frequent long trips would probably cause metal fatigue. I don't think the hood of other modern vehicles are any heavier. None have half as much metal as that pinto.

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I went car shopping, and told the various salesmen that I needed a SUV that could tow 2 1/4 tons and had a roof rack plus tie downs I could haul a canoe. They start stuttering, all set to tell you about the rear cupholders and 6 power sockets. Tow??? Tie downs for a roof rack??? Roof rack??? I finally found an ex sailor that understood, even took him sailing after the sale.

 

Funny because for the majority of car salesmen and saleswomen so true!

 

"So what kind of monthly payment do you want to be at?"

"What can we do to put you in a car today?"

 

I know they have a job to do and have to put food on the table as well but gosh at least pickup the owners manual and learn a little about the product you are selling.

 

OK small rant over...

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finagled the jeep from a dealer, all i asked for was the tow package... god the look on the 20 somethings face.. ummmmm let me check... corporate looking guy, obviously from down south came out trying to talk everyone up, and was amazed that i was asking for full package(tranny cooler etc) to tow 1500 lb boat... um, you do know we have mountains here right? <_<

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post-449-0-45392400-1483956968_thumb.jpg

 

Carted this baby around on my Datsun 1200 Coupe from 1974-77. Standard cheap as chips gutter mount tubular racks with rope ties and truckies hitches kept it safely on the roof even at the ridiculous speeds we drove at back then. It lived on the roof when not sailing, we even took it to the drive in movies and never needed windscreen wipers!

 

Note the skillful colour matching - Orange was big in the Seventies!

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1972 Datsun 1200 with Laser mounted aerodynamically. Any questions? (Pardon the photo quality)attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

Awesome - Half a world away, 45 or so years ago, same car, same boat, even the same colours.

I am assuming it's on backwards because you are in the northern hemisphere?

 

post-449-0-85862800-1483957843_thumb.jpg

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Beautiful! A boat/car doppelgänger! And it's YOUR boat that is on backwards...

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My Laser was #2170. Yours?

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My Laser was #2170. Yours?

Much later, they took a while to make it to Australia. Mine was #24800

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