Stitch & Glue Roof Rack Sail Mast Carrier

As both a sea kayaker and long time windsurfer I have years of experience loading both kayaks and windsurf boards and gear in and out of my vehicles. Recently, becoming frustrated with having to carry all my windsurfing sails and masts inside my Volvo XC, leaving no room for anyone else to sit, I began to think about better ways to securely carry them on my roof racks.

  Looking at the exisiting roof rack mounted Yakima and Tule type sport cargo boxes, none were long enough to accomodate my larger windsurfing sails and masts. So I decided to just build a sail/mast carrier.

  Having built both a Chesapeake 17 and 17Light kayaks from CLC kits a couple years ago, plus having a lot of composite epoxy building experience from working on hang gliders and ultralight sailplanes, I decided to use the basic stitch and glue technique to fashion a custom roof top carrier. 

  Below is the link to my photo building journal. The carrier is 10'2" overall and has 9'6" of usuable space inside. At the rear base it is 26" wide, 15" tall, and 18" wide at the top. From the rear it tapers forward. In this way the longest sails and masts fit all the way forward while shorter masts and sails fill up the larger section.

  The final weight is 40 pounds as there is quite a bit of surface area plus the bottom panel is glassed both sides.  If I built again I would use 3mm plywood for the sides and top, vice 4mm. 3mm plywood here in Belgium is hard to find and very expensive. I also would use 4 ounce glass on top and sides vice the 6 ounce I used for this prototype.  

  I have used it a couple times now and it works very well. The great thing about it is that you can build one to any dimensions you might want.

Here is the link to my photo building journal. 



  Good paddling and windsurfing,


Chuck R

 Ronquieres, Belgium


5 replies:

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RE: Stitch & Glue Roof Rack Sail Mast Carrier

Great design and nice job, Chuck. Looks like a lot of thought went into it, especially to keep the hit to fuel consumption to a minimum, by making it aerodynamic.

RE: Stitch & Glue Roof Rack Sail Mast Carrier


Great design, very clever!!

At first, I thought I had accidentally linked to a Passagemaker Dinghy build sequence.  Your roof-top carrier would make a very nice pram!!  When will you christen/launch it??

Seriously, maybe CLC should consider a kit? 

RE: Stitch & Glue Roof Rack Sail Mast Carrier


 Thanks for the compliments on my sail/mast carrier.  It was a lot of fun to build and I liked the challenge of designing it as I went along. I started with the basic idea and dimensions but as I cut out wood and started stitching things together etc. I would come up with new ideas on how to make it come together better than my original plan.

 My neighbors thought it was some kind of boat when they saw me out in the backyard sanding and painting it too. 

I do think it would easily lend itself to becoming a kit to in multiple sizes, widths etc. Plus it will work well on a trailer rack, top of an RV and would be good for carrying kayak paddles, gear etc. too. It keeps wet, sandy, gear out of your vehicle on the way home too!  The  three inside base, side and top band reinforcements allow you to carry more gear on top of the box too if you would like.

Chuck R




RE: Stitch & Glue Roof Rack Sail Mast Carrier

Brilliant!  It could only be better if you strip built it!   I like the back opening.  Makes me think about things I want to build.  wood and fiberglas is so much fun! 

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