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Old 10-15-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
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New boat looks good on top



Just picked up a new Current Designs Solstice GTS kayak. Our SMB ran like a champ in a quick trip from the Black Hills to Saint Cloud Minn. big difference in fuel mileage between 65 and 75 mph. Ended up around 15.5 mpg over around 1300 miles
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:08 AM   #2
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Re: New boat looks good on top

That is a sweet looking setup. How do you get the boat on and off? Do you carry a ladder?
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: New boat looks good on top

I climb on top and unstrap it. Then I have a small step I place behind the bumper. I slide it off until the weights shifts while I'm standing on the bumper, step to the small step, slid a it more, and final step lift the boat off the cradles from the ground. I have to learn how long a 17 foot 7 inch boat is when you're carrying it. Wacked the van door twice yesterday while I was moving it around. Love that it weights 50 lbs vs. the 70 lbs of my old boat
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: New boat looks good on top

Do you worry about the weight of your body doing damage to the PH while you're in "climb on top" mode? 50lbs and 17' 7" has got to be an awkward load to be moving around.

I've always wanted to try a sea kayak. Being able to get out on a lake and just cruise around checking out the birds and other wildlife has to be great mental therapy.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:02 PM   #5
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Re: New boat looks good on top

I think light and eat beans before I go up. I've never seen a load limit for the top but heard from the original owners 500 lbs is not an issue. I'm less than half of that.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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Re: New boat looks good on top

Can you turn the boat upside down so it doesn't stick up so far?
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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Re: New boat looks good on top

I wonder if the 500lb limit is a rack limit spread between the mounting points of a rack? I also wonder what the square inch load limit of a PH top is? How many square inches do your shoes spread out your body weight?

Are other list members climbing around on their PH roofs? Has any else had damage by doing this?

I don't have a penthouse but I don't think I'd make a regular habit of walking on my fiberglass topper.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: New boat looks good on top

I saw a picture of a large group of people on a PH top that was on the SMB site. I And if I remember correctly the top is reinforced with wood with the fiberglass on top of that. Anyway, SMB do say their tops are strong and can take up to a dozen people on them. I have a ladder on the back door, climb that and walk on mine to get my boats on and off and have had no issues with it, other than scuffing. I am tempted to rubberize it for grip and to prevent the scuffing but it's not really a major problem.

I really don't see how you could get a kayak on and off the roof otherwise on a 4x4 van. The roof is just too high for anyone under about 8 feet tall. I'm impressed that someone can get up there without a ladder!
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:49 PM   #9
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Re: New boat looks good on top

I climb on top to load and unload kayaks all the time and the former owner also was on the SMB to load and unload his bikes. No apparent damage so far in 6 years of use. The former owner had the penthouse top rhino-lined (or similar product) for a slip resistant surface which is nice, especially with wet boats creating a potential hazard. Some minor cracks in the surface of the non-slip material but it hasn't caused any issues.

Mike and Kris
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:30 AM   #10
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Re: New boat looks good on top

I have climbed on the PH top on our Sprinter to clean the birch drip off the roof and solar panels and it does not flex much from 215#. I am more concerned about accidentally stepping on the solar panels. The top feels much stiffer than the heavier top on my 91 Westy that i have been on to replace the roof vent.
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