Advice needed on loading/unloading cartopper pram

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by toad37, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. toad37

    toad37 New Member

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    Hi,
    I found what seemed to be a pretty good deal on a 10 ft (supposedly Smith Brothers) pram. I was wondering if any one could offer advice on a loading/unloading technique that won't bruise the hell out of me or my car. :hmmm:

    It weighs around 80 pounds.

    Thanks for any pointers.

    Toad
     
  2. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

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    Nice pram....80lbs is light for a ten footer. Does it have a padded seat in the middle? If so, I pick mine up and rest my head on the middle of the seeat as i walk with it to my subaru. I have found balancing it on my head lets my set the front on my back bar of my yakima rack and then I can relieve some of the weight while I walk it onto the car rack from the back. Your vehicle is higher and it looks like you have the rack set toward the front quite a bit so this might not be feasible for you.
     
  3. toad37

    toad37 New Member

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    Thanks Gorgefly. The seat is one of those swivel plastic ones with a back. I took it off before putting it on the car. Next time I'll probably just bungy it down so I can just keep it on there. But that is good advice. Maybe it is more than 80 lbs, could be closer to 90. I'll probably move the back rack more towards the rear, it should help if I end up doing what you suggested. Thanks again...
     
  4. islandfisherman

    islandfisherman islandfisherman

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    Try a rubber backed rug like you would use in a bathroom it works for loading my kayak....Alan
     
  5. toad37

    toad37 New Member

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    Thanks Alan, good idea!
     
  6. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Do a web search for a canoe loading system. These things have a post mounted to the draw bar of a receiver type hitch and a transom clamp that mounts on the post. The transom clamp is adjustable for height, and swivels on the post. Secure the transome to the clamp, pick up the bow and walk around to the car, deposting the bow end on a single cross bar. SImple one man operation.
     
  7. toad37

    toad37 New Member

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    Thanks speyfisher. I'll search right now!
     
  8. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Another really inexpensive easy option if you have Yakima or Thule racks is Boat Loader bars. These solid bars sit inside the main bar and pull out about 3' to the side for loading. I've used them for years on my cars and they make loading everything easier - canoes. kayaks, pontoon, etc. http://www.yakima.com/shop/water/top/boatloader

    Also, I would highly recommend moving your rear rack back as you have way too much boat hanging out over the hood. This presents way too much surface area for wind to get up under and possibly rip the racks right off your rig. This sometimes happens with long Yakima and Thule car top boxes when people use a longer box than is specified for their roof length. This would also allow you to get the strap around a narrower section of the bow further decreasing the chance of it sliding forward if you ever slammed on the brakes. Straps often stretch on a long trip and the way it is currently strapped, I'd also be worried about that too. People often overestimate the security of their racks and straps and underestimate the forces involved in emergency situations. When I used to sell and install racks, people would often say things like "No worries, I have insurance so I can replace the ___ if it comes off". My response was "Sure you can replace the ___, but how are you going to replace the parent or child of the person in the car behind you if that thing goes flying and kills someone or causes a wreck?". Talk to any shop that sells racks and they will tell you horror stories. So strap it well, check it and then recheck it several times during a long trip. Have fun with your new pram!
     
  9. toad37

    toad37 New Member

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    Thanks Freestone. I'll check out that Yakima loader. That could be the ticket, because I have a Yakima. And I'll definitely move the rear rack back as far as I can. Thanks for excellent advice!!
     
  10. Matt Roelofs

    Matt Roelofs Member

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    You might also take a look at the Yakima Showboat - it is a pull-out roller system that allows you to load from the back. Looks like it would do the job. Here's a to a video showing how it works. I'm in the same boat (ugh - bad pun) as you are...I just picked up a 10' Hopper II from somebody on the board and after one load / unload operation with our Subaru, my wife has declared that we need a small utility trailer...so I'm going shopping this weekend.
     
  11. Jim Wheeler

    Jim Wheeler Full time single dad and pram builder

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    Ok, first the Yakima Boat Loaders are realay cool looking but don't work very well for a pram for a couple of reasons. One, the boat is too heavy and wide for them and you can't get enough "purchase" on them to make them work right.

    An idea that has worked for countless Spring Creek pram customers. Ok, you already have the bars going across the car. Buy two more bars and connect the two bars a bit out over the side of the car so that when you load the boat it won't touch the car. You now have built a square on top of the car. Got it? Now go buy Yakima Load Stops (part #5000). Position the Load Stops in the right position for the boat once it's on top and ready to strap down. Bring the boat to the "side" of the car stern closest to the car, right side up. Go to the bow and lift it all the way over so the bow is now resting on it's gunwales on the two bars you just connected to the rack. Lift the boat on the bar and push it across the car to the other bar hanging out over the other side. The boat is now across the car. Hook a gunwale on on of the Load Stops and use them to help you turn the boat 90 degrees to your traveling position down in the Load Stops. Strap it down and you're off. You can use 2x4's or iron pipe for the side bars but the Yakima bars make for a better application. Any questions give me a call.

    And yes, too much boat out over the windshield. The issue is more wind torque then anything else. And Matt, look at Micahs Trailers in Malaga (South of Wenatchee) He builds them for us. Best trailer on the market. Don't go cheap.

    Jim Wheeler
    Spring Creek Prams
    509-486-0599
     
  12. In_too_deep

    In_too_deep Member

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    I have a 10' Hopper 2 that weighs 115 pounds, not the Lite version. I also have a 3/4 ton Chev with racks on top of the canopy, over 6' above the ground. I weigh 145 pounds and can get this thing onto the rack alone. Lay the boat inverted with the bow pointing at the tailgate. Put a foam pad on the transom between the boat and the ground. Pick up the bow and lift it over your head, turn around so you are inside the boat (under the bow). Drag the boat forward until the bow is resting on the rear bar. Go to the rear of the boat and lift up the stern while pushing the boat forward and it slides onto the rack. I have side stops on the bars to prevent the boat from slipping sideways off the bars. There is also a roller on the rear bar to make it easier but not necessary. You have to be able to lift 60 pounds over your head but most people should be able to do that.
     
  13. toad37

    toad37 New Member

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    Thanks Jim and In_to_deep! EXCELLENT advice. Very appreciated!
     
  14. Michael Nelson

    Michael Nelson Old And In The Way

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    I'm another fan of the Yakima Boatloader. I used it on my Honda Civic to load and unload my Spring Creek Hopper II, which is no lightweight. You just extend the bar, lean the pram on it and lift the rear. If you have the pram at a 45 degree angle, you only have to lift 1/2 the weight of the pram, and as it gets higher more and more of the weight of the pram is on the bar, and less and less on you.

    Worked great for me, dunno why Jim Wheeler thinks they don't work well.

    PS: I also used the Yakima ratcheting tiedowns, two in front going from the middle of the bow (the handle) to the front corners of the car, and two in the rear to the two handles and the rear corners. I think it is a major safety enhancement over just cross straps.
     
  15. Jim Wheeler

    Jim Wheeler Full time single dad and pram builder

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    Because two out of three of the ones I know about have bent. They were both with 10' Hopper II's, one guy loading. What seems to have happened is all the weight when they tried to move the boat onto the rack went to the outermost point and apparently was too much for it. Your Hopper II is an 8' I think?

    Jim Wheeler
     
  16. Michael Nelson

    Michael Nelson Old And In The Way

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    Yes, my Hopper II was an 8'(sold it). But I also never found it necessary to extend the Boatloader bar clear out, either. I would just extend it a foot to a foot and a half, and that was all that was needed for loading. I can see how extending it all the way out and then putting the weight of the boat clear out there could bend it, but that simply isn't necessary.
     

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