At the Bass Pro Shops Spring sale, I went nuts. Geez. Got everything under the sun – plenty of Gulp! baits, canoe blocks, new seats and… most important… a new way to load the canoe onto the truck.
In the past, I would put the foam blocks on the canoe rails and in one motion hump/hoist it over my head with my wife being coreographed to grab the very front of the boat to lift it up. This thing is not well balanced and needs an extra push from the pit crew to straighten it out. Then, I would do a bench press and put it onto the roof and tie it down. Pretty tough work given the awkwardness of the canoe and the fact that it weighs 83 pounds. So, when I saw this thing, I was excited. Here was an easy way to load the beast that would not require my wife’s involvement. In fact, they showed a woman doing it on the picture! Sweet!
Got this thing home and discovered that the box did not include any instructions. No problem, the website surely would have a file I could download. Nope – the link there said they were under development. Can’t believe you need to spend more than a few hours to develop a set of instructions on something this simple – I just needed to know where the various washers went. Anyway, I got it together – if you get one of these, just lay it out and you can figure out where all the bolts go. The only shortfall was that it needed a large washer to make it really secure to the tow hitch. When I removed the ball on my hitch, the hole it was bolted to was larger than the manufacturer anticipated and the lock washer provided was not large enough. I popped a heavy duty washer on and then cranked the lock washer down next to it – assembly complete.
Here’s the step by step on how to load the canoe:
Fit the support into the tow hitch
Place your boat, bottom side up with the back seat near the support
Pick up your canoe and place the rear on the support
Grab the front and walk around to the front
Place it on the roof
Strap it down in the rear and attach the bungee cords to the carrier
Strap it to the front
I was worried about so much of the rear being over the truck bed – I added these Ubolts to ensure that the tension was directed against the front.
I tried just putting the straps on the back, but did not get a sense they were secure back here. The support will vibrate back and forth – it’s not firm – and I was concerned that this would allow the straps to work loose
I also added Ubolts to the middle to allow me to sinch it down tight against the roof
Done and all rigged up – ready to roll!
For a discussion of how to mount the Ubolts (separate from the support kit), see this article.
One final point – when you look at the picture on the manufacturer’s website, it shows the rear only being held by a bungee cord. NO WAY would I run down the road at 50+ mph with that being the only thing holding this on in the back! So, although this comes with the bungee cord in the picturre, I recommend you tie your canoe down to prevent a tragedy.
You can order this from Amazon – Canoe Carrier
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore