A fellow p.com forum member is interested in buying my canoe-kayak trailer and brought up some questions about hauling a canoe on it that we could use some feedback about. The trailer was home-built by a guy who designed it to haul a pair of 17’ sea kayaks. I have only used it a couple of time to transport a 15’ and 17’ kayak and never a canoe. Since the location of my home is on a steep hill on a single lane dead end street with a dead end gravel alley 150’ in the back, it proved so difficult to store and hook up this trailer that I developed other transport options.
Attached are a couple of photos for reference. The prospective buyer wants to transport an 18’ 6" tandem canoe. The overall distance from the license plate to the front of the tongue is 14’ 9". Space between the cross bars with the adjustable cradles is 9’ 10" center to center.
Buyer is concerned about the rear overhang of a boat that long on the trailer. How close is practical to have the bow to the tow vehicle? With two boats it would be less since the farther to the edge of the front crossbar a boat sits the more closer it will be when the vehicle is turning and the angle changes between the car and the trailer. With the ball extension of about 3" there is about 5’ of actual clearance from the front crossbar to the back of the vehicle.
In our state PA (both buyer and I live here) you are allowed 6’ maximum overhang of a load off a vehicle. So that canoe could be loaded with a minimum of 2’ 6" (30") of extension beyond the front crossbar, putting the nose 30" from the vehicle. Presumably it could be slid forward a bit more than that, maybe 12" to 18" but that seems risky.
Do those of you who trailer canoes see potential problems with this set up? Is the 10’ spacing a problem for carrying on cradles or would it be better to haul such a long canoe upside down (how I have always hauled canoes)?
I had originally planned to build a treated wood or Trex platform to deck the central rectangular frame so I could use the trailer for hauling too, but ended up buying a 4’ x 8’ utility stake-side trailer shortly after getting this one so I didn’t bother. But I wonder if adding a third middle crossbar to the frame would add better support, or adding the deck and perhaps a box built onto that to store gear and paddles and to act as another mid-trailer support structure.
I have not tried it. but it is possible that the wing brackets on the narrow front crossbar could be moved to the front of the rectangular frame to allow closer spacing on the support and to allow mounting two wider boats. As set up now, the canoe would have to be centered and there would be no room for a second boat. I’ll try that out today to see if the bracket elevates high enough.
The trailer was inspected by PennDOT for safe construction and is registered. Pretty sturdy welded frame with good quality wiring and nice leaf springs on the axle. It tows nicely, better with heavier boats than I now have in the fleet.
Anyway, I can’t really advise him on how well this would work for his large canoe so some feedback from trailer using canoeistes would be welcome before he makes the trip across the state to see and possibly buy it.
Thanks in advance!