The Art of Safely Transporting a Canoe

Transporting a canoe can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge, you can ensure a smooth journey without any damage to your canoe or vehicle. Whether you have a roof rack or not, we’ve got you covered!

Lifting Your Canoe to Your Vehicle’s Roof

When placing your canoe on the roof of your vehicle, make sure to handle it with care. You wouldn’t want to accidentally scratch your vehicle while doing so. Consider lifting it with a friend or alone, using the center yoke for support. Imagine it as if you were portaging. This way, you can guarantee a safe and secure placement.

man lifting a canoe, ready to put it on his roof rack; another man walking towards him to help

Rope or Cam Straps?

Deciding between rope and cam straps is a matter of personal preference and budget. While rope has been the traditional choice for securing canoes, cam straps offer convenience and protection. Unlike ratchet straps, cam straps won’t harm your canoe’s surface. They come with rubber fittings to ensure a scratch-free experience. If you opt for rope, make sure to use good knots and choose a non-stretch material for wet conditions.

Transporting a Canoe on a Vehicle with a Roof Rack

If your vehicle is equipped with a roof rack, it’s crucial to ensure its stability and condition before loading your canoe. If crossbars are absent, make sure to install them properly. Once the rack is ready, center your canoe between the crossbars, both side to side and front to back. For utmost security, position the center yoke of the canoe between the two crossbars. Use straps to firmly tie down the canoe, ensuring it won’t move an inch during transit.

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man ties a canoe down to his roof rack

Transporting a Canoe on a Vehicle without a Roof Rack

For vehicles without a roof rack, there are still options available. Foam blocks designed for this purpose offer a safe and scratch-free solution. Simply attach them to the canoe’s gunnels before lifting it onto your vehicle’s roof. Alternatively, pool noodles can be used with the assistance of another person. To secure the canoe, run cam straps or rope through your vehicle’s windows or doors. Be cautious of the weather stripping and ensure a tight fit. For longer trips, tying down the bow and stern provides extra security.

two men work on getting a canoe strapped down to a vehicle

Transporting Two Canoes

If you’re transporting two canoes, a roof rack with adjustable crossbars is essential. Make sure the crossbars can accommodate both canoes securely. Use four lengths of rope or cam straps, fastening each canoe to the middle and the outside end of the crossbar. Additionally, tie down the bow and stern of each canoe to the front and back of your vehicle. Remember, it’s your responsibility to secure your canoes properly to prevent any potential damage or accidents on the road.

By following these guidelines, you can transport your canoe with confidence and peace of mind. Happy paddling!

Do you have paddle-related questions? Our friendly Customer Service Team is here to assist you. Contact them at 715-755-3405 or [email protected]

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