El Cheapo canoe rack for truck....

Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Some time ago I was looking for a sturdy rack for my truck, checked out the commercial kind; My Stars!! what prices they are asking!
Once I got my heart started again, I decided I'd build it myself and cheaply too. Using scraps around my shop, about the only things that are not self evident are the grey parts were once upon a time those squeeze on the gunnel foam blocks that sit on the car roof. Never thought much of them as mine tended to slide around a little, too much if you're going down the highway. Under the grey foam part, stuck on the roof of the truck is a strip of 4" wide non-skid tape; that stuff that they put on steps and what not to keep from slipping. Black in color and very aggressive grit.

It was fun getting the angles right so that the rack would sit upright but the foot would be cut to fit the angle of the roof at that point. My sliding T bevel got a workout. Every thing is held together with that Gorilla glue. Even the foam.




Of course everyone's truck is different but I don't see why most times a rig like this wouldn't work. The cross pieces are old "dunnage" from the scrap at the lumber yard, they seem to be made from some glued up beam material; I expect they'll prove strong enough. (little joke)
My original idea was that these racks would be a proto type and if it worked out I'd make some nice ones out of fancy lumber. The problem is that they work so well and I'm so cheap it looks like I'll just keep them.

I know that I'm posting a lot but I wanted to practice with this photo stuff before my daughter goes home on the chance she might need to straighten me out some more about the computer.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Seeker, I attached anchor points from the bracket holding the one end of the leaf spring and loop a 4" nylon belt over the top of the canoe and secure it with a truckers hitch. The idea with the nylon belt is that the pressure is distributed over a wider area than would be true for just a rope, that could rub into the belly of my canoe. By happy coincidence the belt falls just half way down the canoe. Each pointy end has two lines, each going to a eyelet mounted on the end of each bumper. So my little green canoe is secured six ways.

A little word of caution for anyone who's doing this stuff for the first time: With a hitch like a truckers hitch it's possible to develop a surprising amount of pull; yes, you want the canoe it stay put but you don't want to break it's back by getting carried away tugging on the lashing. What I would suggest is to practice around home; develop a "feel" for how tight the lines are. Drive around and check to see if the rig has shifted at all. If it has, reposition everything and make it a little bit tighter. (more art than science here) To my mind the "acid test" is when one of those big trucks passes you and the whole rig rocks back and forth in his wake. Every time I stop for anything I try to remember to walk around and check all the lines to be sure nothing has worked loose.

Now here's a bit of blab that hasn't anything to do with canoes at all: I slipped and fell in the shower a couple of years ago, a suprisingly rapid process. I did have those little dumb rubber gripper things in the tub but they didn't do anything helpful. I tore them all out and laid down four strips of that 4" non-skid adhesive tape talked about above. Where there was a square corner I rounded it off just a little to help the tape to stay stuck. You couldn't slip now if your life depended on it! There is one down side though; if you take a sit down bath the strips will bring a blush to your cheeks. If you suffer with pressure corns on your feet just scruff them back and forth on the non-skid and they are gone. Thanks for indulging me.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
Thanks. you touched on something I hadn't thought of... does one need to take "different" care in strapping down a wood/canvas canoe so as not to damage the canvas?
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Hi Seeker, I don't have a wood canvas canoe but I have witnessed how small but repeated movement can produce wear where you wouldn't expect it. Imagine how road dust and bugs caught under a rope might get to working over a long trip against the hull. And as I understand it, with a w/c canoe what is being rubbed is either paint or varnish? Robin would know.
rob
 
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