Canoe Management

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by JE, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. JE

    JE Active Member

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    Just inherited a sweet old 16' aluminum canoe. I have a great system for securing it to the top of the family van, but haven't been able to get that sucker on and off without the help of a friend as it is a little bit heavy and awkward (not unlike myself). My 5 year old did a great job of weighing down the front while we are in the water on our first trip out this weekend, but he is not much of a help with lifting it on my rooftop rack.

    Any suggestions on a system to help me gain my independence would be great.

    -JE
     
  2. sloppytypist

    sloppytypist New Member

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  3. Charapa

    Charapa New Member

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    you might try a 'gizmo' like this one...haven't used it but seen it done, very nice.
     
  4. Charapa

    Charapa New Member

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    ...meant to add, how it is used (most rack stores have it), pics taken from the net
     
  5. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I just position the canoe so I can lift the bow high, walk my hands down the rails to get the bow real high, and spin it off the stern and lean it against my truck just behind the front roof rack. (Put a pad down first to protect the vehicle's finish). Then I lift the stern up and slide the canoe onto the racks and strap it down. No gizmos necessary. Unloading is reverse.

    Remember to use a pad. Handling one end of the canoe at a time is a cinch.

    I also have a canoe trailer, a Trailex SUT 200, kind of expensive, but nice for places with boatramps.

    Jimbo
     
  6. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I agree with Jimbo. If you can lift 1/2 of it, you can get it done yourself. I load my alum boat and used to do my canoe alone all the time.

    With the canoe, I had a round bar rack I located at the far back of the top of my truck canopy. I'd slide the canoe up just behind and off to the side of the truck, overlapping by about a foot. Then stand behind the truck and lift the end canoe in one fluid motion up over my head spinning it as it goes so that by the time it is straight overhead, it is upside down. Then I just set it over onto the cross bar. Then you just lift the back end and push forward until it rests on the next cross bar and strap down.
     
  7. Mike Etgen

    Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

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    Chad and Jim are spot on. Even an old guy like myself, with arthritis in my back, and with a little practice, can get a canoe on and off a vehicle, alone. Take your time and think it through. You're smarter than a canoe...;) You may even be smarter than Jim, but he's too modest to show off. :rofl:

    It helps if you store it somewhere that keeps it off the ground, so you've got a head start. Sawhorses, for example. Canoe is upside down...positioned so that I can get under one end, then "walk" or pivot that end, and lift it onto the back rail or bar of my carrier. Leave it balanced there, then go to the other end and "lift and slide" the canoe up and on the rails. As Jim suggested, have something on top of your vehicle in case you "dip" the end of the canoe.

    I have seen advertised some of the devices mentioned earlier...and I used to have a website for canoeing accessories bookmarked - it was somwhere in Minnesota - but there's a bunch of them, and they have some really neat stuff.

    Enjoy it. I love mine, even though it doesn't get nearly enough work.
     
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    The method described by Jim and Chad work well. An alternative that is very effective, if the top of your van isn't more than head high, uses traditional canoe carry technique. The canoe needs a center thwart in order to do that. Face the canoe as it sits right side up on the ground. Place one hand on each gunwale to lift it. In a continuous - hopefully - smooth motion, lift and toss it up and over, so the boat is upside down, onto your shoulders. Sounds complicated, but isn't. Then stand along side your van and slide one gunwale up on the bar rack. Push the other gunwale up and over your head and onto the bar rack. Center the boat on the rack and tie it down.

    OK. This method doesn't seem to be for everyone. But I've been using it for 30 years or more, and people are always amazed to see how easy it is in action. If you're going to portage a canoe, it's always easier for one guy to carry the canoe by himself and the other guy to carry the gear.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  9. JE

    JE Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I continue to appreciate the insights and helpfulness of those on this board.
    -JE
     
  10. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    I dunno, Mike....sometimes I think my canoe is smarter than me. So far its gotten me to buy its way out of imprisonment in some warehouse, haul it all over the coutryside and take it out on all kinds of cool waters, refinish its hull, spiff it up with funky gadgetry, pay for everything, and screw up a disk in my spine portaging its 70 lb carcass to the river. I'm too old to portage it anymore except by dragging it...I fear its gonna outlive me...its sitting there in my driveway right now beckoning...threatening to mesmerize me into shirking my responsibilities and taking it out on the water somewhere...the thing is just plain evil:confused:

    Whatever you do, never let your canoe get the upper hand!:clown:

    Jimbo
     
  11. JE

    JE Active Member

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    I think my canoe may be smarter than me and perhaps a bit of a bully as well. It is about 40-50 years old (belonged to my wife's grandfather) and weighs a lot. My wife has memories of tipping over in it as a little girl and nearly losing her miniature shnauzer Bubba in the Lukimuit River (sp?) in Oregon. A grizzled veteran canoeist friend and I took it out for a spin the other day and he claimed that it was the heaviest canoe he had ever come into contact with. My wife's uncle tipped it over in Lake Wenatchee last week and he practically lives in his canoe - he is from Kalispell and his hobby is following the path of Lewis and Clark's voyage of discovery. I am 6'3", 230 pounds (33 years old) and can barely get it up on my rig by myself using the aforementioned methods on this thread, the threat of a cracked windshield, scratched paint or hernia is very real....certainly a risk worth taking.
    -JE
     

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