Best way to tote a pontoon boat

#1
Folks- I am trying to figure out a creative way to carry my 8' fishcat pontoon boat. I have a Jeep Patriot. I don't wanna put it together/take it apart whenever I have to go anywhere. Are there any roof racks that would work? I had an EZpacker, which was great for short trips, but it was cumbersome on my rig for longer trips. I'll take trailer suggestions, but I am hoping to not have to buy a trailer.
 
#5
I've considered building one of these for a few years now. I'm skeptical it'd work at highway speeds though.
I wouldn't leave the oars and the like on it, but I'd guess with some decent strapping down it would be ok. The tail/trailer lights are a darn good idea.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#7
Maybe a partial solution.....
How about strapping the assembled frame on the roof of the Jeep so the only thing you need to do is pump up the pontoons and strap them on to the frame?
That is what I did with mine as I always felt putting the frame together was the biggest pain in the ass.
SF
 
#8
Might be more than you want to spend (& not at all creative): I just put Yakama rails and crossbars on my Frontier bed cap. Throw my Pac800 up and all I need is 4 NRS cam straps to hit the road..... Simple, quick, secure.
 
Last edited:
#9
What is it about the EZpacker that is cumbersome? I’ve never had one but it looks cool to me. Seems like the ticket for what you want.....

I used to have a Ford Explorer and would put my boat on top and strap it down like Ron. Then I got a pickup. Life is better now. Except parking it, especially when I visit Seattle.

Wayne
 
#10
Re: EZpacker... The above-car sail on the highway was a challenge. It might be better in a bigger car than the patriot. Also, I had one time when I descended off a mountain pass, and the durn boat deflated enough that it dragged on the ground for a while. I was lucky, only the D-rings wore off on the front of the tubes. Obviously my mistake, but it always rode pretty low on my car. Finally, it is quite heavy and it was hard to get the apparatus into the trailer-hitch-slot by my geezer self. I was bummed that it didn't work for me, cuz it is a great idea. thanks for the suggestions.
 
#11
I've a pickup with a pace Edwards jackrabbit roll top tonneau. My southfork goes right on top, straps down to hold downs on the corners of the bed. Oars under the tonneau with my stuff, electronics inside. If I go with a buddy, his 1 (or 2) other pontoons stack quite nicely. Before I had the tonneau, I just stuck it in the bed and threw a strap over it.

Knelson's solution up above seems pointless for a pickup. But of course I don't know what other problems he's solving with that....
 

Triggw

Active Member
#12
I did it every way. Finally bit the bullet and got a trailer.



That's a Harbor Freight heavy duty trailer with about a 10 inch deep box on top. The lids open front and back, and I store oars, trolling motor, and everything else inside. I'm into it for about $500 and some effort, but works great. My camper goes in the bed of the truck.
 
#13
Knelson's solution up above seems pointless for a pickup. But of course I don't know what other problems he'ssolving with that....
The original poster has a Jeep Patriot. The picture was just for reference. I haven't built one yet, nor do I own the truck. It doesn't seem pointless if you have an inbed camper, canopy, or truck full of stuff............
 

Starman77

Active Member
#14
I did it every way. Finally bit the bullet and got a trailer.



That's a Harbor Freight heavy duty trailer with about a 10 inch deep box on top. The lids open front and back, and I store oars, trolling motor, and everything else inside. I'm into it for about $500 and some effort, but works great. My camper goes in the bed of the truck.
Very nice! I like it! Did you buy some plans or did you design it yourself?

What's that darker gray material on top in two strips along the side?

Are you using marine grade plywood for the top or just regular plywood, and how is it holding up?

My brother-in-law bought the same or similar trailer from HF, but he constantly had the brake/tail lights shorting out or burning out; have you had similar problems with your HF trailer? Any problems with the wheel bearings on long trips?

When you drive on dusty logging roads, do you get a lot of dust into the box? How do you keep those two lids tightly shut to prevent dust and rainwater from getting inside the box?

Rex
 

Triggw

Active Member
#15
Thanks. I designed it myself after a lot of thought. The two strips are strips of rubber material that come off a roll at Home Depot. Don't recall what it's called. It's just stapled to the deck, and that's where the pontoons ride. I used regular grade plywood throughout, and tried to seal it well with paint. The top is starting to delaminate a little on the front corners after, I think, 4-5 years, but I could replace the top pieces pretty easily. Fortunately, haven't had any trouble with the lights. I tow it about 1000 miles locally each year, and I've towed it from Colorado to Montana and back a couple of times (1000-1200 or so miles RT). In both cases, I repacked the wheel bearing before the trip. So far, no problems.

I don't do enough dusty-back-road travel for that to be a problem, but I do get a little leakage inside if I'm towing and it's raining. There's enough water thrown up under the top panel that some seeps inside. What I need to do is install a rubber strip (like those strips you use to seal around the exterior of windows when you install them) where the top panels meet the sides. I think that would solve it. It just hasn't been enough of a problem to do it yet. Maybe this spring.
 

Latest posts