Author Topic: Carrying a canoe on a small car  (Read 3863 times)

scottish

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Carrying a canoe on a small car
« on: November 29, 2015, 12:52:53 PM »
My pickup truck is getting pretty old & I think I want something smaller and more efficient next time.   But I need to be able to carry my canoe around.

On the smaller cars (like the Subaru Impreza for example), the roof racks are pretty close together which means you really need to secure the bow and stern of your canoe somehow.   The last time I owned a car the bumpers were all metal, so it was easy to tie the boat off to the bumpers.   But modern cars have pedestrian friendly plastic bumpers which don't look suitable to this task.

I've found these straps you can attach to your car body - under the hood for example.
http://trailheadpaddleshack.ca/store/trailhead-hood-loop-grommet-%28each%29/dp/45997
They're supposed to give you tie down points for your boat.   

Does anyone have experience with them?   In particular, are they solid?   And did they damage your hood or body?

thank you!

Murr

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2015, 01:13:30 PM »
I don't have any experience with the straps you linked to, but do have an outback and routinely carry a canoe on the rack. The bumpers are plastic, which as you said, are not ideal. There is still plenty of metal under the car though so I just tie off to something else. No issues in 3 years doing it this way.

scottish

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 05:28:49 PM »
I imagine there are recovery points under the vehicle you can tie off to.    Doesn't this bend the bumper cover around quite a bit when you tighten the ropes?

No Name Guy

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 07:54:22 PM »
21' double kayak on a Toyota Corolla here.  If you get a small sedan like the Corolla the rack bars are reasonably far apart.  It's the 2 door coupes that will hose you in this regard.  I have no problem finding suitable places front and back (as noted, the recovery points) to hook the bow and stern lines to.  No issues with the bumper covers being damaged even though I use one way ratchet pulley tensioners with rope.  If you're worried then use the straps with flat webbing and / or cut small pieces of closed cell foam to pad the bumper with.  Duct tape the foam  in place to the line / strap. A cheap flat camping sleeping pad is ideal material.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 09:05:06 PM »
It can be helpful to use S hooks from the hardware store to attach to the steel under the car.

Cwadda

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 09:19:39 PM »
Have you used these before?

They've always worked for me for canoes, Christmas trees, and any other items that go over the top of a car. You can cinch each strap to make it adjustable and tight. Handy and versatile tool. I don't have experience with the straps you linked though.

whitewaterchica

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2015, 11:06:57 AM »
Subarus, and many (most?) other cars, have tie-down points which make securing longer canoes and kayaks super easy.  A google search for each car you are considering should give you the info you need.

whitewaterchica

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2015, 11:09:30 AM »
Subaru towing and tie-down hooks/holes...

http://www.subarumanuals.org/subaru-888.html

scottish

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2015, 03:54:38 PM »
Thanks for all the advice.   Most of the websites I've seen suggest straps going into the hood.   This makes me a little nervous because of all the moving parts they could contact.

I'll take another careful look at the bumper cover.   Also, I think it's time to switch to webbing straps from rope as Cwadda suggested.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Carrying a canoe on a small car
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 09:46:15 PM »
The ratchet straps that Cwadda suggested will work, but most people use smaller cam straps like these:

http://www.nrs.com/product/1440/nrs-1-hd-tie-down-straps

You can also use clear flexible tubing from the hardware store to protect your bumpers.  Run the cam straps through the tubing.