Posted by: kimoj44 on Feb-12-14 10:01 PM (EST) Category: Canoes
-- Last Updated: Feb-12-14 10:04 PM EST --
I currently own a Tripper, but because of a growing family am looking to purchase another canoe -- a bit smaller.
As I only have a Honda van with a roof rack.......what options are there for me to safely transport two canoes at the same time?
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- carrying double - kimoj44 - Feb-12-14 10:01 PM
A clamp on roof rack systems|
Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-12-14 10:04 PM (EST)
Yakima ought to have one that allows you to clamp a 78 inch crossbar onto your factory racks,
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Plus one for Yakima.|
Posted by: deuce on Feb-13-14 9:57 AM (EST)
It's expensive, but once it's done it's done. I went with the rail grab system and 78 inch bars which will most likely also work for you. I can carry two tandem canoes, one canoe one yak, one canoe two yaks, or even two of each if I get creative, although when it reaches that point it's usually a multi-day trip with a big crew and I'm towing the boat/gear trailer anyway. The bars are also great for carrying awkward items like fishing poles in a rod tube on long trips. This time of year there's usually a sale going on Yakima stuff and you get a little price break plus things like free locking cores which I highly recommend.
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Posted by: JustPaddle on Feb-12-14 10:56 PM (EST)
I installed mounts and 78 in. crossbars to the factory side rails on my minivan. It was a really easy installation and I store the bars in the garage when I'm not using them. I also added canoe brackets to carry a tandem and solo canoe together. Both Yakima and Thule have 'Fit My Car' type guides.
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Posted by: jackl on Feb-13-14 9:57 AM (EST)
You can carry two canoes.
Right now I have two kayaks and one canoe on mine, but you can mix and match.
Make sure with your two canoes, you use load stops(gunnel brackets). They help keep them nice and secure
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Posted by: Celia on Feb-15-14 8:35 AM (EST)
You'll need to get a third party system with towers and quite long crossbars, as JackL says 78" is the minimum.
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I have 68" Yakima bars|
Posted by: castoff on Feb-15-14 9:12 AM (EST)
but would need 78" to carry 2 tandem canoes. I can carry 2 kayaks or 2 solo canoes with the 68".
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I carry 2 tandems on 50" bars|
Posted by: eckilson on Feb-15-14 9:28 AM (EST)
One flat, and one leaning or on edge - it works fine. I do use bow and stern tie downs. Even with my van, I would constantly be hitting my head with 78" bars. For the number of times I carry two tandems, 78" bars arent worth the hassle. My favorite picture of tandem canoes (on 78" bars) on the road from DougD:
Or copy this:
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No need for head-banging|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Feb-15-14 10:17 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Feb-15-14 2:30 PM EST --
First, if you can provide reasonable spread between your bars, you don't need them to be 78" to carry two tandem canoes. To need bars that long, both crossbars would need to be right near the very widest part of the canoes. If the bars have some spread between them, they will be a good distance forward and backward from the widest part, and can be narrower. The greater the spread, the shorter the bars can be. On many cars, getting much bar spread isn't possible, so the needed length will be greater.
One trick for occasionally carrying two boats that are a little bit too wide for your bars is to position one of them a few feet farther back than than normal, and if still desperate for space, shift the other one slightly forward (shifting a boat forward makes it a lot less stable in crosswinds and truck turbulence though). The total width needed for the two boats is greatly reduced this way.
That said, even with long bars, there's no need to risk banging your head on them. I no longer have photos of my method for preventing head-banging on long bars, but I can describe it. A length of thick rope hangs from the end of each cross bar. Each rope is about 10" long. There's an overhand knot at the end of the rope, which provides some "heft" that you will feel if you get out of the car and start standing up beneath the bar. For the other common head-hit scenario, not looking high enough as you turn your head or walk alongside the car (often due to wearing a brimmed hat), the rope is right there hanging in your face or your perimeter vision, signaling you to halt! In the 6 or 8 years I've been using that system, no one has ever hit their head on my long cross bars. Of course, they don't stick out as far as some people's bars do (for the reason described above), but they stick out far enough that head hits would most certainly happen sometimes if the warning ropes were not there.
Lots of people put a tennis ball on each bar end. I chose my method because I wanted to prevent hitting my head rather than just cushion the impact (even a cushioned impact can damage a pair of eyeglasses).
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more details on tie-down method, please|
Posted by: melenas on Feb-17-14 12:17 PM (EST)
do you get by with two belly lines and two end lines for the entire package or do you use individual end lines for each canoe? Or maybe individual belly lines?
I've been wanting to put a tandem and a solo on my factory rack and am interested in a tie-down system.
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Posted by: pgeorg on Feb-18-14 6:53 AM (EST)
Use four belly lines and four bow and stern lines. This way boats won't be rubbing against one another and a single strap failure will only affect one boat.
I prefer to cross the bow and stern lines. I always rig bow lines so as not to threaten the driver behind me with a canoe through the windshiled. I sometimes do without the stern lines accepting that if I brake hard, and the whole load slides off the front, I'll be the one to run it over.
I carry two canoes frequently, and without trouble, on a small staion wagon.
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Posted by: melenas on Feb-18-14 9:49 AM (EST)
I would have to put the second canoe on edge, so I'm afraid that once I'm done tying down the first canoe with belly lines, those lines would be in the way of putting the second canoe on the roof. So I'm not sure how to use two belly lines each if one canoe is on edge.
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Probably not a problem|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Feb-18-14 11:38 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Feb-18-14 11:55 AM EST --
Chances are, the contact points between the gunwale of the tilted canoe and the hull of the non-tilted one won't be at the same place as the belly tie-downs anyway. If it turns out that they are, I still wouldn't worry unless traveling a thousand miles. If everything is tight and the boats don't move much, there won't be much chafing of the lines. Wouldn't hurt to take a peek at their condition during fuel stops, but other than that, don't worry. Also, you could put some padding between those contact points, and that may be a good idea if you want to avoid some extra wear of the hull at those spots on a long trip (whitewater boaters would be correct to scoff at this).
Maybe I misunderstood you concern. Do you think the belly straps holding down the first canoe will actually be in the way? If they are aligned vertically along each side of the hull, they won't be in the way at all. If you currently route the lines off at an angle from the edges of the hull (so that they might be in the way of the tilted boat), consider running them vertically down to the cross bars as a matter of principle. The downward holding force is tremendously greater with a straight-down pull than with a wide, angled-downward pull, at least for a given amount of strap tension. You can achieve the same hold-down force either way, but it makes sense to do it in the way that's most efficient. Also, when without gunwale blocks, the canoe can't drift much side to side if the straps come off the hull and straight down to the bars.
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Currently I tie the belly lines|
Posted by: melenas on Feb-18-14 12:26 PM (EST)
to the four sliders that support the two cross bars of my factory rack, so they're at an angle. I never thought about tying it to the cross bar itself, since I'd have to climb on the roof of my SUV to reach those points. I'll have to try a step stool.
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Convenient access to the roof|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Feb-18-14 12:37 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Feb-18-14 2:07 PM EST --
I have that same problem. To reach the rear bar above the roof, I usually stand on the rear tire (I hold onto the rack with one hand to keep from falling backward while arranging lines, but when tying knots or tensioning buckles with both hands, that process in itself is enough of a hand-hold). An alternative for the rear is to stand on either the bumper or tailgate (if you have one). I use all three of these methods for the rear bar. For the front bar, I open the front door and stand on the floor/rocker panel alongside the seat. Works for me. Some people prefer a step-stool though.
By the way, for the situation described in this part of the thread, the non-tilted boat will be off-center toward one edge of the car. For straps, position the wrap-around connection at the less-accessible side, and your buckle at the side that's at the edge of the car. You won't need any manual dexterity for the less-accessible bar connection that way. If you use rope and a trucker's hitch, the "anchor end" of the rope can be at the less-accessible location - just tie two half-hitches there, a very easy knot to tie when reaching out over the roof. Put your trucker's hitch on the side that's easier to reach.
By the way, if you are attaching to the four sliders of your factory rack, I'm guessing you might be using straps with a hook at each end. The kind that's just a single strap with a buckle at one end and nothing at the other (no hooks) is much more versatile when it comes to tying boats to cross bars, and it's the use of that kind of strap that is described in the previous paragraph.
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I use two camlock buckle straps.|
Posted by: jackl on Feb-18-14 8:22 AM (EST)
on each canoe with gunnel blocks.
I don't use any front or rear tie downs with my 17 foot and under canoes.
I use a front one if I have my ultralight racing canoes on just to protect them from sideways torque on the front long overhang.
I have never trusted the factory racks and my racks are bolted to the roof.
If I was using factory racks I would probably use front and rear tie downs on all my boats
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Posted by: jcurtis5 on Feb-18-14 10:09 AM (EST)
When carrying two canoes side by side on my SUV I found it very helpful to use gunwale brackets on the front bar to prevent the tendency of the canoes to want to spread apart from the wind flowing up and over the hood. Brackets were not needed on the rear bar only the front one. It made for a much more secure setup. Front & rear tie downs were needed as well of course. I always use parachute chord which is strong yet thin enough that it doesn't interfere with forward vision.
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DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF FACTORY RACK|
Posted by: scupperfrank on Feb-19-14 11:53 AM (EST)
you can use it to mount brackets to hold the crossbars.
If I'm right regarding your Honda van, you probably won't need the , just plain roofs.
We had a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a roof rack that had factory sliding cross-bars -but while OK for one boat, couldn't fit two side-by-side. We bought Yakima RailRiders, which fit the grooves in the factory rack, and held our wider Yakima crossbars that allowed us to easily transport two boats together.
We now have a Mazda6 SportWagon with raised factory roof rails. For this one we bought Thule CrossRoads, which clamp to the permanent side rails, and hold the Thule crossbars and allow us to safely secure two boats side-by-side.
Whichever type you have of the above factory roof racks/rails, Yakima and Thule probably each have a groove-fitting rail-insert tower to fit your van, or a generic roof rail-clamp to tighten onto your raised fore-and-aft roof rails. Other major manufacturers such as Malone may also have similar fit kits.
If you're worried about earning the Paddler's Red, Black, & Blue Badge of Honor -that lump you get when you hit your head on a cross bar that extends out beyond the side roofline of the car (we've all done it6 I'm pretty sure), get some bright yellow tennis balls and cut holes in them and slide them over the ends, or slit a section of a brightly-colored pool noodle and tape it over the end. Aids in avoiding the bars in the first place, softens the blow if that doesn't work...
Use hand NOT ratchet-tightening cam straps to hold your boats to the rack; you want a tight but NOT death-grip snug-down. And consider using bow & stern-stabilizing running from the boats' ends to the front & rear bumpers, or under-hood/under-trunk bars as safety lines if you want the extra security of hanging onto your boats at speed.
ANd then rack'em up there, tighten'em down, and head on out to where you can
-Frank in Miami
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Posted by: peterj on Mar-12-14 10:57 PM (EST)
I strapped two 70" 2x4 s to the factory rack with cam buckle cargo straps. The 2x4s need to be kept close as possible to the feet of the factory rack. I used the factory cross bars p;ushed up tight to the wood. I bolted a wood block in the center of each 2x4 to keep the boats from rubbing in the middle. My son has those 2x4s on his car now. I started them in 1976 and used them on about four different outfits over the years. Look for white, soft, stud grade lumber with small knots. The soft wood is kind too ash rail and thin aluminum as well. Always tie down both ends of the canoes so the rack never has to handle any uplift.
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Posted by: OptiMystic on Mar-13-14 7:15 AM (EST)
I look at it this way - a rack is designed to keep stuff off your car; tying it down is what keeps it on the car.
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All factory racks|
Posted by: pgeorg on Mar-13-14 8:27 AM (EST)
are not equal. Some are more for show than function - reportedly, the worst are attached with sheet metal screws. In a previous thread on this same subject several people told horror stories about the rack coming right off the car, boat(s) and all. If you are using a factory rack as the base for hauling boats fore and aft tie downs are probably more important than they were in the old days when we clamped the racks to the rain gutters.
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Posted by: Mattt on Mar-13-14 9:04 AM (EST)
if I had a vehicle with a factory roof rack on it, I'd just cobble together my own canoe rack using 2x4s
as someone said above, screw a block in the middle wide enough to keep the two canoes seperated so they don't rub together. I'd likely add small blocks on the bottom, positioned on both sides of the rail of the factory rack (i.e. inside and outside, on both passenger and driver's sides) to prevent the 2x4s from sliding sideways - U bolt clamps to hold the wood to the rails.
I'd never trus a factory roof rack completely - useing bow and stern tie downs helps hold the roof rack to the roof as well as holding the canoes to the rack - along with straps over the hulls
the only real advantage for a Yakima or Thule rack is they generally going to be quicker to put on and take off than a 2x4 rig - Yakima or Thule racks with seperate towers (rather than using the factory roof rack) would likely be a stronger setup.
the obvious disadvantage to Yakima/Thule etal is the cost, which can easily run to several hundred dollars, depending on what you buy
I don't have a vehicle with factory roof rack - so I use a Yakima rack system for my Dodge Dakota, and a Quick n' Easy rack for my F-150. both work well
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