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John E Davies

Carrying a kayak or canoe

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This is probably way off topic, but I am hoping Buzzy or another member can help me out.

 

I just got back into canoeing after a 35 year hiatus. I bought a used Wenonah 17 ft canoe (59 lbs) and need some advice.

 

My Ram 3500 Quad Cab has a Leer topper, so I have been using a cab mounted Yakima Q Tower system with a Boat Loader attachment . I really really loath this rack, though it seems to work OK. Getting the canoe up there is a real chore and while I have the bow tied down to the front tow hooks, I have no way to tie the stern without damaging the paint on the canopy or blocking access to the hatch. The Q clips grab the rain gutter on top of the weather seals. This compresses the seals and traps water in the gutter. Replacement seals are $100 so I really don't like to think about replacing them.

 

I have a ton of wind noise, and I cannot use a fairing because my truck has running lights across the front that interfere.

 

I am unwilling to bolt a rack directly on the canopy, because it has a ridiculously low load rating, plus going off pavement would really stress the connections.

 

I think an "outside the canopy" ladder rack would work well, but I will not get one made out of steel (rust and staining) and the really nice aluminum ones are serious $$$. Being able to load from the back with a crossbar near the tailgate should be much easier. I would be able to tie down the stern. I am afraid that it would still be loud as heck, both empty and with the canoe up top, and I would not be able to remove it easily, like the roof rack (it's one positive feature).

 

With a long ladder rack like this, I could carry the boat pretty far forward, so I don't think there would be any clearance issues with an Ollie in tow.

 

Ryder Racks

 

Any comments? Grit my teeth and keep using the roof rack?

 

Buy a folding boat? There is still the problem with how to transport it. An inflatable is out of the question - I hate those for paddling.

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John,

 

Looking at that track system, it seems the way it mounts would eliminate being able to use any brand topper with it. While expensive, the long term investment and extra security value of a full Leer cap with the Thule option would seem your best bet.

 

I wonder if they make a rack option that mounts to a topper, so long as the mounting setup is on the outer edges, loading shouldn't be an issue as the bed rails would carry most of it.


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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John, Looking at that track system, it seems the way it mounts would eliminate being able to use any brand topper with it. While expensive, the long term investment and extra security value of a full Leer cap with the Thule option would seem your best bet. I wonder if they make a rack option that mounts to a topper, so long as the mounting setup is on the outer edges, loading shouldn’t be an issue as the bed rails would carry most of it.

Randy, I was considering the version of the rack in that picture that goes outside the canopy, carrying the load straight down to the bed rails. It would probably be $2000 after shipping. I could get a Leer canopy with the factory installed rails but that would be even more.

 

I may just do major surgery on my regular canopy, by opening up the headliner and bonding a couple of 4 inch x 1/8 inch x 72 inch aluminum plates to the underside of the fiberglass, to distribute the load from a pair of aluminum roof rack rails.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Buzzy, thanks for the comments. My main concern about my Q Towers is the really unsecure way they attach to the rain gutters, OVER the squishy rubber. They just don't feel like they will stay on the truck. They will certainly damage the rubber, eventually. It just feels like a shade tree design to me.

 

I don't have any trouble lifting overhead, and my wife is there to help. The problem is that the canoe is most easily lifted upside down, and the approach angle from the side is darned awkward, even with the Boat Loader extended, and I feel that I may damage the truck. Once it is up onto the crossbars, I have no trouble securing it. It would be very awkward to put the canoe up top right side up, then flip it. It is just too darned high. The canoe has a 35 inch beam, so flipping on the roof requires a lot of struggling.

 

I think loading from the very back, with the tailgate for a standing platform, will work out best, if I can get my canopy beefed up enough to accept some long rack rails.

 

I already have a trailer that the canoe can ride on, but that is not an option for when I in finally get an Oliver. I am trying to figure out this scenario while I have time to experiment.

 

BTW the canoe is an old Sundowner 17 Tuff-Weave, but it still paddles great. I may sell it off in a year and buy a new canoe in Kevlar (39 lbs) that is not beat to heck on the bottom. I used to have a lovely Wenonah Jensen 18 (with a low, skinny semi-racing flat water hull) and really enjoyed it, but that would be too risky for this older body. At 64 my balance is not so good now. This one is more forgiving and I have only dumped it once, so far. When I get the two labradoodles into it, I think that will happen more often. I am going to try a set of stabilizers for that!

 

Question: Am I worrying too much about a stern line? I need a bow line because the canoe rides inverted and a huge amount of wind goes up and under the bow, trying to peel it back off the roof. I guess the stern line would help to keep the boat from exiting forward in the event of a collision, but otherwise would not do much else. Correct? I am using Yakima gunwale brackets, which keep the canoe pretty well anchored fore and aft.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John take look at this-https://www.usrack.com/v_rack.php

 

US Racks V rack. I too am trying to figure out a system for my F150 Super Crew Cab with a canoe and Ollie in tow. I may go this route or just try Yakima rack on the trucks cab. I would like that extra rear support though. Only negative is having to drop it down and unhitch the Oliie to get to the truck bed for me because I use a Leer trifold top called a Leer Trilogy.

 

randy

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John take look at this-https://www.usrack.com/v_rack.php

That is interesting, I had not even heard of that device before. I think it might be a viable option for you, but the warnings at the beginning of the installation instructions are sobering. They do not recommend driving on rough roads. That kills it for me....

 

https://www.usrack.com/instructions/v_rack_instructions.pdf

 

With a canopy installed  I would have to completely unhook that device before getting into the bed. That is not good, in any way.

 

BTW to insert a clickable link you must use the toolbar button - click the third button from the right, paste your copied url into the box that pops up, then click the white arrow to insert the link into your post.

 

One critical thing to understand about body on frame trucks is that the bed moves independently from the cab as you get on really uneven surfaces. If your canoe is secured hard at the bed and also at,the roof of the cab, you will subject the hull to severe wracking forces that are not good for it! You can have an extra support at the back, but it should be supporting the pointy part and not across the gunwales. If the support rotates under the pointed stern with a bungee cord that has some give, it will not wrack the hull. Does that make any sense?

 

http://blog.caranddriver.com/chevrolet-rolls-its-own-silverado-hd-vs-ford-f-250-in-pickup-flex-fest-video/

 

BTW frame flex is NOT necessarily bad .... It give the truck extra suspension articulation off pavement, which keeps you from getting stuck, maybe. The Ford in the pic is much better offroad than the Chevy, because it can keep its tires better planted on the ground. The flip side is that you would destroy a canoe strapped down to a bumper rack and the cab on the Ford. Maybe not in the Chevy.

 

I think either a complete cab rack, or a complete bed/ canopy rack is best, but not a combination of the two. Unless you never venture off pavement.

 

I don't know how your tonneau mounts to the rails, but is there any way you could re-engineer it to mount a bed rack something like this? The rack alone is about $300.

 

Combo

 

http://shop.agricover.com/product/loradoandadarac

 

I think that is what you should be aiming for. You can stand on the bed or the open gate to secure the load and it in no way limits access, nor does it wrack the boat. Plus it is way cool looking, which is always a plus. The side rails mount permanently into the stake pockets, but the vertical bars can be removed with hand tools.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John-yeah saw that one after I had mine. Mine is a trifold cover. I have a friend who does welding and has for years and I'm going to see if he can manufacture something in aluminum that slips under the trifold cover and into the rails.

 

Buzzy-I knew you had an NDK Explorer for a reason! Great sea kayak! I had a Romany that I taught my self to roll in and had many DVDs including the Nigel Foster series. Even took a couple classes with him and Leon and Shawna from BBB. After I gave the Romany to a friends grand daughters I bought an Explorer in the exact color as yours. Sold it because I found I love canoeing more as I get older.

 

randy

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John, Your main objective must always be to maintain the safe transport of your canoe to avoid any hazard to yourself or other drivers. If you feel the crossbar connection is not reliable, you should definitely use a stern tie down. Some owners use inferior material for their bow tie downs which could break and without a stern tie down you have the risk of the canoe going air bound and landing on another vehicle windshield. I tend to be very safety minded especially when traveling at 65+ miles per hour on the highway. That is why I use very secure crossbars and Thule straps. Even the proper method for attaching the straps to the crossbars is critical. Please realize I am a registered Maine Guide for Sea Kayaking. I focus on these issues as part of my training and teaching. Sorry if this sounds too much like a “belt and suspends” approach to a simple issue. Buzzy

 

Buzzy, thanks for the info. I thought the rear tie down was in case of a collision, and had not considered it to be a last resort safety device to stop the canoe from flying completely backwards. I guess I need to re-engineer my bow and stern tie downs. I have 1 inch nylon tie down straps simply looped around the front and rear aluminum gunwale braces (I don't know the correct term). I am not sure that two soft aluminum rivets holding each brace would take the force of an airborne boat without shearing completely.

 

Should I drill the hull at both ends and install strong loops through the boat structure? I don't ever plan to line the boat through white water, but it would be nice to be able to secure it with a cable lock.

 

Do you recommend this product?

 

http://www.tugeye.com

 

I do value your advice, I am a level headed person but never had any training about boats. When I started out there simply wasn't much easily accessible info, except for the Boy Scouts which I never joined. It was an information wasteland back then ;)

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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OK, this crash test video from Scandinavia is very disturbing. It just popped up on Jalopnik this morning.

 

Notice all the gear flying forward to kill the occupants. At least the dummies "died" instantaneously. I am very aware of this hazard and (try to) use a cargo barrier in an SUV or wagon. The Aussies are very strung up about proper cargo containment - Milford offers super strong steel barriers for most common vehicles, but good ones designed to stop a flying toolbox (not a 20 pound terrier) are almost impossible to find in the USA. I find this to be strange....

 

Notice the kayak launching forward like a huge spear. It slides right out of the rear strap and rips the entire front crossbar completely off the roof of the car.

 

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/disturbing-crash-test-footage-shows-why-you-should-stra-1785993523

 

This is the scenario I had in my mind when considering a stern tie down. Maybe, just maybe, a stout strap at the back, going to the rear bumper, would stop the boat from going into Warp 6 in the event of a collision..

 

EDIT: I used a convenient online converter to figure the kinetic energy of a flying canoe:

 

80 pounds (I added the weight of the front crossbar) moving at 65 mph is 11,300 foot pounds. (Tho it would probably slow down a little while ripping off the rack.) This is way more than even a humongous .700 Nitro Express big game cartridge. Your typical .308 bullet delivers about 2700 ft lbs. I would much rather be shot by the .308 than be hit by a 65 mph canoe....

 

Looking at those figures it is obvious to me that there is NO way to keep the boat on the roof in a collision at freeway speeds - even if you used steel cables the hull would come apart. I guess all we can plan for is the survivable ones that occur at less than 30 mph.... and try to slow down the speed of the departing boat.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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