The pros and cons of three types of kayak launches
There are three main types of kayak launches on the market:
- the KayaArm (patented)
- kayak ramps
- kayak lifts
KayaArm – Stable, simple, and cost-effective
The patented KayaArm is currently the top-selling kayak launch in North America. Its simple yet versatile design provides excellent stability at a minimal cost.
The design uses a curved stabilizing arm that rests at the surface of the water and cradles the kayak. The mast allows the arm to be raised and lowered to match the water level. The mast and sliding assembly components are custom aluminum extrusions.
The KayaArm works with kayaks, canoes, and standup paddle and pedal boards, and some customers use it with rowing sculls. The KayaArm is made with aircraft-grade aluminum, and all materials are compatible with fresh water and saltwater.
The KayaArm can be installed on any type of dock (fixed height piers, seawalls, floating docks) regardless of dock material (wood, aluminum, metal, concrete, plastic). For most people, it is a DIY installation.
Out of the box, the KayaArm can accommodate heights ranging from 0” to 32” (top-of-dock to top-of-water). A modification allows this range to expand to 0–42”, and additional solutions are available for height requirements up to 72”.
The KayaArm has additional features:
- With the installation of a second KayaArm, you can lift your kayak from the water and store it dockside. To lift and store your kayak, simply pull the chains within the KayaArm masts until the stabilizer arms are supporting your kayak at the desired height. If your kayak is not self draining, you can easily flip it over to prevent rainwater from accumulating. Leaving your kayak on the raised stabilizer arms keeps your dock free of clutter.
- You can easily remove a stabilizing arm by lifting it through the top of its mast, freeing up space for swimming or boat docking. For convenience, the arm is tethered by a chain to the mast.
- The tide pully option allows the paddler to raise or lower the stabilizing arm to accommodate changes in water level that occur while out kayaking. This feature can be accessed from the dock or kayak.
The KayaArm has an elegant, minimalist design and is the only approved kayak launch for a number of marinas and homeowner associations (HOAs). It can be added to luxury waterfront homes without detracting from the property value.
The KayaArm is sold by Wirsig Enterprises, a family-owned business that maintains a high level of oversight over the entire operation – from manufacturing to personalized order fulfillment and customer service. The KayaArm is manufactured in Canada at a machine shop that specializes in equipment for the food and pharmaceutical industries.
You can purchase the KayaArm online at KayaArm.com. It currently sells for $329 – the lowest cost among mainstream systems and cheaper than most DIY designs. The KayaArm comes with a money-back guarantee, excluding shipping charges, and is delivered in North America typically within 1–5 business days. The KayaArm website contains product documentation and demo videos, and one-on-one consultations are available for unique installations.