Car Topping with a Convertible?

I am wondering if anyone has experience with a "car-top" rig for use with a convertible?  I have a recent vintage Saab convertible and a Mill Creek 16.5.  I can invisage a tee bar that fits into a square socket hitch on front and back.  The kayak would obviously be supported only by the two tees, along with the bow and stern lines, but the MC's flat bottom might just accomodate such a rig.

 Don't know whether the underbody of the Saab could accept the mountings, and I don't know that the aerodynamics would be acceptable.  Obvisously I'd want to be able to remove the tee bars when not in use.

 Any thoughts?


11 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?

Ross, please post photos when you get this lashup all tuned up and working good.

Or, have your surviving family members post the photos, no problem.  And remember, we're all in this together.

RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?

Interesting idea (assumming you don't mind a class III hitch on your front bumper), but you would need to get a much longer boat or a much shorter car.

RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?

I once saw a guy carrying a canoe on a convertible using the windscreen as a front mouning point, and the opened trunk as the rear point.  Only saw it for a few seconds, so not sure of the details, but he appeared to have tied it to points on the 'screen and trunk themselves, and was also using bow and stern lines to the front and rear bumper areas.

I imagine you could cut a broom handle or something long enought to prop the trunk open, and install (or, with luck, find) inconspicuous anchorpoints on the 'screen 'frame' and just inside the trunk door (maybe as simple as drilling a 1/4" hole that a tie-down hook could sit in...) 

Hope that helps!  

RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?

I vote to go with a 4 by 6 utility trailer and put a hitch on the car.



RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?

Maybe possible, but a trailer, or an old beat-up Volvo, would seem to me to be a much better idea. 

I was getting out of my boat at Brown's Bridge on Rocky Gorge one day, while another boater was getting ready to launch his aluminum fishing boat.  If you've ever been to Brown's Bridge, its a bit tricky to launch at with a trailer...... its maybe  1/8 of a mile down a fairly steep hill to the water, with room enough for two cars to pass if you're really careful, but not much hope of turning around a trailer rig, you either back in or back out. 

The fishing feller had succeeded in backing in, and when he saw me getting out he inched over to the side so I could pull down in if I wanted to.  We said howdy, he said he'd be a bit untying his boat, that I should go ahead, I said no, I'm just chillin', you go ahead.  While we were working out who was going first, how's the fishing lately, etc.... this little car pulling a kayak trailer came flying by the both of us, heading down into the lake.  He was having a bad day or something, was probably doing 30 when he passed us, I can't believe he got stopped without running into the lake.  I looked at my newfound fishin' buddy and said 'Man, stay out of that guy's way, he owns this here lake'.  He laughed, and said 'Yeah, but now he's got to back that rig out of here, and I'm not going to be too quick getting out of his way!'. 

In the end, he had the last laugh, though.  He hopped out, unclipped the trailer, maneuvered it around like a wheelbarrow to launch the boats (3 of them), turned the car around, clipped the trailer back on, and blew right by us again going uphill...... all in probably less time than it takes to read this.

Get a kayak trailer.

RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?

 Here is a "good old days" story for you.

 Back in 1966 I had a Triumph sports car and a canvas covered canoe. It turned out to be cheaper to buy a used '56 Chevy sedan and roof racks for $70 than to buy a boat trailer. It also then allowed me to start a carpool to work.

 I wish I still had the Triumph,the '56 Chevy, and the canvas covered canoe but they are long gone!

RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?


Yes, Woodcarver, but don't you still have a little British sports car?


John's 1965 Austin Cooper S

Wheeeeeeee!  Sorry, I already sold it on eBay.

RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?

>>>> Don't know whether the underbody of the Saab could accept the mountings, and I don't know that the aerodynamics would be acceptable.>>>>


I had a proper trailer hitch on my '88 Saab 900, certainly strong enough for a T-bar.  (I towed a racing dinghy many miles with it.)  What I've seen other convertible-owning paddlers do is use a T-bar, and just rest the front of the boat on a cushion on the window frame.  That frame is bloody strong, because it's part of the rollover protection scheme.

A bowline to the front bumper holds the thing in place.

I've seen Miata owners with kayaks rigged this way!

RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?


Bet that pocket car fits into the Pocketship.



RE: Car Topping with a Convertible?

Thanks for the advice, comments, and wisdom.  As the base case is to use the wife's SUV with a proper roofrack there is no urgency to the request.  The recognition that 16.5 is probably approaching the length of a Saab with even modest rack extentions, probably makes this a non-starter.  And next of kin would not want to fwd photos anyway.

The teebar/windscreen option is certainly doable, but does carry with it the modest weather issue.  And all manner of trailing appendages do require that the appendage have a place to live when not in use - not a given in my circumstance.

 Sooo, thanks to all.  Maybe one day I'll have the photo of me and Saab cruising toward the Bay with only a MC for a roof.



« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.


Follow us on Instagram: @clcboats & @clcteardrop