Canoe hoists

I have two canoes that I need to get up in the air in my garage. Both are ultralights, so it doesn’t have to be anything special.

Any particular brands that you guys like? I’d rather not piece something together and am fine paying extra for a kit.

I have a kayak and at another place a canoe by this system.

The 2x4 spans the truss lower cord locations. Angles are lag screwed .

By far the easiest and most sound system from the company “Handy Hooker”. Solid product solid company.

Could not get the link above to work. Try this one:

Handy-Hooker Canoe and Kayak Storage Hoist (


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It is not difficult to make your own hoist system. just copy from some of images from commercial products, easy to find with a google search. A few pulleys and hardware grade carabiners from the hardware store and there you have it. I have made five such systems in my high rafter garage and shed for my canoes. Easy to hoist by myself, except the heavier guideboat may require two people, or it can be done with some creativity using a couple of ladders.

Thanks. That looks like a very nice system.

I tried a pulley system & found it easier to put a couple of hooks into the 2x6 in the garage, & tie a rope loop at each end of the canoe. Then, with a short ladder or step stool hang one end of the canoe then the other end.
That could mount the canoe flush against the beams. I nevet could get a pulley systen that raised both ends at the same time to do this. One end always hung a tad low and required an inordant effort to get the canoe flush.
But i only have 1" clearance between the bottom of the canoe & the roof racks on my Jeep. So a flush fit is about necessary. But then your requirements or luck may be different than mine.

Same experience here… one end always low.

Years ago I had a pulley system similar to the Harbor Freight bike/kayak lift. The unit had 2 ropes instead of the 1 rope. I could control the lifting much easier and get it level as each lift hook had a separate rope. I don’t remember where I bought the system.

One rope or two, either will work if you design it properly. It is not difficult to engiineer a pulley system that will lift a canoe evenly.

Not looking to engineer anything. My time is better spent on other projects right now. Just need the canoes off the ground.

The heaviest one is about 35 lbs, so handling it and adjusting for level shouldnt be a problem at all, IMO

My plan for this fall is two 12’ cam straps. Screw two eye hooks in the ceiling put the hook in the eye and pull them up a little at a time. To let them down get on my step ladder and hold the strap and release the cam. Two person job or one if you can hold back half the weight of your canoe. :canoe:

That sounds like a great way to drop a canoe in the ground. Lowering via cam straps?

My cam straps have a max load rating of 900 lbs so I doubt half the weight of a 50 lb boat will cause them to fail. In my case they are going up in the fall and coming down in the spring so I don’t see it a big deal to pull down on the strap and release the cam and lower it down just like I picked it up.

Pulley systems can be sketchy also if allowed to freewheel.

It is not uncommon in the fall to see someone’s 150 lb white tail deer hanging in front of their camp hoisted on a cam strap in a tree.

One nice thing is a kid or a thief won’t have access to the cam to drop the boat quickly.

Everyone has different needs pick the one that suits you best. If mine sounds risky to you then don’t do it.

The cam straps are obviously strong enough. I could hang my canoes with Mason line and it would hold fine

The issue is that there is no great way to lower them with that mechanism, but as you said, to each their own.

I use two beefy cam straps to hang my canoe from the ceiling. They are only a few feet apart so lowering them a bit at a time is pretty easy. I have never had an issue with a cam strap letting go or slipping. And definitely not any breaking.

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I’ve made my own, which I realize you’re not looking to do, but some advice I learned from the experience: make sure you have enough mechanical advantage, or go without pulleys. I hang a 50lb kayak that I can lift easily, but hauling it up with the pulleys (holding the rope) is much more effort than just lifting the boat. So buy a system with mechanical advantage and progress capture (cams or similar, so you don’t have to hold a loaded rope with one hand while tying off with the other hand). You could take Snarvol’s advice and just lift loops onto hooks, but then the boat is hanging by end straps, whereas a lot of folks will claim you can hog your keel line over time doing that, vs straps about a third of the way in from each end (obviously potential for damage hanging by ends depends on material of boat, etc).

My canoes are hung using pulleys and webbing straps around gunwales about a third of the way from each end with the canoe being supported upside down, which I believe is the recommended least stressful way to support.

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I have a Harden Kayak Hoist and very happy with it. It does take a little time to adjust the 1" wide straps to get the kayak level but that is a one-time job. I have 2-1 mechanical advantage but they have other models with more advantage.

I also have a crude, home made system and I have to hoist each end of the boat separately, e.g. lift the bow 2 feet, tie off, go to stern, lift stern 4 feet, tie off, go back to bow, lift bow 4 feet, etc. And I’ve found that using one arm to actually lift the boat and then just snugging up the pulley rope is easier than lifting by pulling on the pulley rope.

So a 3:1 or even 4:1 mechanical advantage on a pulley system might be best to haul the entire weight of a canoe all at once.