Re: cartopping long boats

Posted by RGR on May 9, 2007

I have been cartopping canoes, and ww kayaks for over 40 years without mishap which I attribute to the truckers hitch and tying down to the front and rear of the vehicle as a safety precaution.  To make this easier, I attach eye bolts to the frame of every new boating car that I purchase and make up some Dacron braid with eye splices in one end to simplify attachment. Unfortunately attaching eyebolts has become more challenging with newer model vehicles with crushable bumpers.  There may be some actuarial evidence to support this approach.  To encourage the safe transport of their product, the Grumman canoe company guaranteed their canoes against all on-water damage, while ominously warning that those canoes that met an untimely end were mostly victims of careless attachments to vehicles which was not covered.  Thousands of those canoes that were well attached have outlasted the company.  My biggest cartopping challenge has been a 21 ft scull that I have been rowing for about a year. (I will get around to building the CLC version eventually). The six foot separation of the Yakima racks on my minivan did not seem adequate to protect that fragile hull from working in what amounts to a full gale of wind when traveling at highway speeds.  The method is still evolving but basically consists of a rigid frame constructed of steel Unistrut that is cantilevered over both ends of the existing racks to support the boat in cradles at each end.  The rack has worked well for support of the boat.  My principle dissatisfaction is that it weighs half again as much as the boat itself and I don't like to leave it on the car without the boat.  I expect I will encounter the same problem when I have finished my Shearwater.

In Response to: Re: cartopping long boats by Ed, NY on May 8, 2007



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