Overhead clearance might not be a problem for you. I just did some checking, and my garage has no ceiling so the rafter stringers are bare, and they are 8' 2" to 8' 3" above the floor. That's just a little higher than what you say you have, perhaps partly on account of the fact that my garage is 55 years old and 2x4s were a little thicker in those days than they are now (there are two layers of 2x4 above the wall studs and one layer below, so the difference in thickness, multiplied by three, would probably be the difference in overall height, unless they make wall studs longer these days to account for that). On the other hand, if dimensions are "rounded off", my rafter stringers are "8 feet high" too.
For my two canoes of "normal" dimensions, the bottoms of the gunwale brackets are 6' 11" off the floor. For my Supernova, which is much deeper than any general-purpose canoe you are likely to find (so it hangs a bit lower), the gunwale brackets are 6' 8" off the floor, and the stems of that boat (also higher than those of most canoes, which means they hang lower still) are 6' 4" off the floor. Since my garage has no ceiling, the lifting pulleys are mounted just below the roof on 2x6's strung between roof rafters, meaning there's no hardware in the way to prevent me from raising each boat until the bottom of its hull almost touches the rafter stringers (the boats I just measured could all be raised another inch if I wished).
I won't try to talk you into hanging your boats upside-down, but if you are considering that, I bet if you check your dimensions you'll find that you have more clearance than you thought. Just remember that for an upside-down canoe, the stems will hang lower than the support brackets.
Classic Freestanding Rack
Heel and Pegpads™
Wall Mount Boat Racks
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