Re: cartopping long boats

Posted by Laszlo on May 7, 2007

It depends entirely on the separation between the racks, the racks' flexibility and how tightly you can attach the boat to them.

I have a light pickup with T-Racs. They are 6 feet apart. The racks themselves are hollow, almost 2"x4" aluminum ovoids. This makes them very stiff, capable of supporting over the 750 lb. limit of my truck's sidewalls. The boats are ratchet-strapped to the racks (contrary to all the warnings, ratchet straps are just fine for chessies if you've left the deck beam in and make sure that it's positioned over the rack). I've hit the extreme conditons menioned in this thread and the boats have never budged, even without the benefit of bow or stern lines.

My wife's car, on the other hand, has Thule racks - small hollow square rods that flex if you push down in the center. They are mounted within a couple of feet of each other and can't be made to line up with the deckbeam, so ratchet straps would crush the hulls. There is now way we'd use her car to carry our boats without bow & stern lines. There's just not enough solid support in the correct positions.

So once again, life is not an absolute. If your rack system is properly sized & spaced, no lines are necessary. If not, then only a fool would do without the lines.

Be safe,


In Response to: cartopping long boats by Russ Hall on May 6, 2007