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About jmcotton

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  1. I had a 2006 Highlander and bought a Thule areoblade rack to go with the factory roof rack as I wanted to be able to carry two kayaks using the Thule glide and set. The only way I could comfortably get kayaks on top of the car myself was with the glide and set and without the areoblades the kayaks were too close together. I really liked the system as I could move the cross bars far apart for safer travel. I now have a Honda CR-V with the Honda roof rack set into the top of the car and I have no choice where to put the Thule feet. I don't like it as much as the crossbars are much closer together. The Honda is a little smaller in size so it's easier for me to get my kayak on top. I don't know if the Highlander 08-13 models are different from the 2006. Good luck! Janice
  2. I hope it works for you! I had to figure out which model I have. I have the Glacier Trek Flirt. It does not have the reinforced fabric around the front portion of sprayskirt so it stretches a little easier. I like the flirt model as the tunnel is not so tall. You can also get the skirt wet and leave it on your kayak for a day to help stretch it some. Practice coming out of your boat in shallow water with someone standing besides you in case you have difficulties before you go on a paddle. I did that with Lorrie when I had the expedition model and neither of us could get the skirt off! When I got my current spray skirt we did the same thing and I was easily able to do it.
  3. Nick, I had the same problem with my first neoprene spray skirt. I'd broken my wrist in the winter and bought an expedition model neoprene skirt which was really reinforced. I had a hard time getting it on, let alone off. I replaced it with the snap dragon model and I can get it off several different ways now. I can pinch the side and pull it off, I can use the emergency strap, I can push it forward and off and if need be I could probably climb out of it as it velcros around the waist. The pushing forward then up is the key. My first spray skirt was nylon and I got used to it just easily popping off so I had to practice the forward push, then up. Good luck!
  4. Boat is on my car It does looks like good day to get wet! I'll be there by about 5:45 Janice
  5. I will be away this weekend so need to take myself off the list of people going. Sorry I'll miss it. Thanks for stepping up Mike! Janice
  6. I can't make it this Thursday - heading up to Maine early Friday I plan to be there next Thursday. There are usually people there Jane, but good to check! Janice
  7. Congratulations Joe! That was fast! Janice
  8. We just completed a very successful New To Sea Kayaking Workshop series with a great group of enthusiastic attendees! The series started with a 3 hour workshop on April 30th held at Newbury Kayak (thanks Newbury!). A big thank you to Kevin Beckwith for organizing and leading the whole series again this year, and for hauling his trailer and boats to loan out to each event. We had 25 enthusiastic people attend the workshop with varying degrees of Kayaking knowledge. The youngest attendee was 16! Kevin, Bob Levine, Cathy Folster and John Monroe presented at the workshop with supportive help from Mike Habich, Alex Debski and myself. Highlights of the workshop included Kevin starting it off getting everyone talking and participating. We moved outside where there were lots of kayaks to learn about and climb in and out. Bob and Cathy led an interactive challenge for dressing (not literally) and gearing up to a variety of conditions using a massive pile of gear and clothing (mostly clean I think)! John demo'd what a well equipped ocean kayaker takes out on a paddle. The pool session on May 7th was held at the Haverhill High School pool. Eleven people signed up for the pool session. Everyone did wet exits, assisted and self rescues and even a few rolls! I was really impressed with everyone's willingness to try it all out, especially several people who had little or no Kayaking experience. Rob and Cathy, Mike, Alex and myself happily got wet taking everyone through their paces along with Kevin. The sun came out for the Chebacco Lake session on June 1ST and again 11 people showed up! Kevin got everyone organized and practicing strokes and braces and capturing each other's boats. He then moved on to getting people comfortable in their kayaks with a trust exercise where everyone stood up in their kayak with a partner bracing them. Cathy, Rob, Bob, Mike, Bill Voss, Alex and I helped out. Rick of course was also there instructing people individually. Don't forget the lake sessions will continue all summer on Thursdays after work, along with Walden Pond on Wednesdays and on (many) Tuesdays after work at Odiorne Point, Rye, NH. The Ocean paddle was on Saturday June 3rd out of Riverside Beach, Marblehead. Again we had 11 enthusiastic people signed up for the paddle with Kevin, Bob, Al Coons, Alex, Shari and myself helping out. We all paddled off into choppy seas with 2 foot swells out to Children's Island. We landed for a break and then headed towards Grays Rock where half the group stayed for awhile to play in the rocks while the other half headed to Dolliber Cove and Browns Island. We all had lunch on Browns Island, enjoying the impressive view while hearing about the successful rescue at Grays rock after an unintentional flip. We headed back to our put in, finishing off a delightful paddle and series to clearing skies. Thanks to everyone who participated! If anyone has pictures, please post them! I will attempt to post some of mine soon!
  9. I'll be there:) Janice
  10. Congratulations!
  11. Great to see this Jeff! I can't make them but it's great to see NH practice sessions. If I end up with a free Tuesday, I'll be there. Janice
  12. Thanks everyone! Great information! I still have to check out the Subaru options but I love Hondas and will probably go with the CRV even though it's high and the built in rack doesn't allow for a wide spread. I also looked at smaller cars and I've gotten too spoiled with space in my Highlander! Plus it really has protected my family over the years. I'm taking my Thule rack off my Toyota Highlander - thanks for reminding me I can get replacement "feet" to fit my new car. I hope to have something by this weekend as the car rental guy looked horrified when I casually said I probably shouldn't throw a kayak on top of the rental car! Did you know airbag replacements cost $2,000-3,000?! Easy to "total" an old car with that!
  13. Thanks everyone for all the great information. I'll be off car shopping and comparing this weekend. I hadn't thought of the VW because of their issue. I'll have to break down and call my car fanatic brother who had a VW desiel and stuck up his nose when I bought the original Prius, saying his car was better on mileage! I also got some email recommendations of the Honda CRV and the Prius, though the new Prius doesn't have the foot for the rack yet (I think). I have a Thule rack and I know the roof length makes a difference. Much to think about Thanks! Janice
  14. Thanks Jeff! I've a Thule roof rack and I like rear loading my kayak as I can more easily do it by myself. I'll scope out putting on the rack on the cars I check out. Janice
  15. Sigh...I totaled my car yesterday. I'm ok, just bruised and achy. So I'm going to need a new car to carry my kayak! I've mostly had Hondas and Toyotas and used to prefer small cars before ocean kayaking came into my life! What are people's opinions on best cars to carry kayaks, especially ease of loading by myself with room for kayak camping gear? Thanks, Janice