canoe rack plans

-- Last Updated: Oct-19-07 11:51 AM EST --

I am looking for a simple plan to build an outdoor storage structure for a canoe.


’canoe carrier’.

for the car? truck? trailer? rickshaw?

4X4- 2X4 and carriage bolts work great.


Two saw horses
will work fine.

I have two canoes sitting across two stacks of two high old railroad ties right now.



outdoor storage ?
A couple of considerations for outdoor storage is ultraviolet rays and wind. Many modern hull exteriors can be adversely effected by sunlight. Also if not secured, wind can easily pick up a hull and make a paraglider out of it, often with severe damage.

One of the simpleist racks I know of is (2), 2"x4"x8’leaned against a barn wall at about 45 degrees and spced to comfortably accommodate a hull to be placed across. Each had a 2"x 4" x 4" block nailed nailed flat agaist them about 18" above ground. A canoe is placed upside down on the 2x4’s and the blocks prevent them from slipping down. But, remember about sun and wind if using this rig.


Not only sun and wind …

– Last Updated: Oct-22-07 9:09 AM EST –

I don't know where you live, but another concern in my area if stored against a building is snow and ice falling off the building's roof. I had an old fiberglass that was damaged from a heavy load of snow coming off the roof.

All good points made so far: saw horses are good if inside a barn or gagarge; Outside needs to be anchored somehow because of wind; Outside needs something to protect from sun.

However, if you are talking about an aluminum canoe, no need for a lot of the above, just lay it on the ground leanned it against a fence.

Depending on where you live, you may want to chain it.

Rack Plans
We’ve posted pics and text for three rack options on the Placidboatworks web site.

good point
where I live it never snows, never!


Quality do-it-yourself solution
"4X4- 2X4 and carriage bolts work great"

I started with 2 sawhorses. When we got a 2nd canoe, my wife (a handy carpenter) used the above approach to construct a wonderful 3-craft rack. She used scraps of outdoor carpeting to cover the 2x4 cross-pieces. The 4x4 uprights are set in concrete.

For security, she took some inverted U-shaped hardware and set those in concrete beneath one of the 2x4s. Each canoe is secured to these using a 7 ft heavy gauge bicycle cable and a marine-grade combination padlock.

The entire project took her about 10-12 hours, not including trips to Lowes and West Marine.

my two cents

– Last Updated: Oct-22-07 1:18 PM EST –

To me, decent but cheap outdoor canoe storage is hard to recommend in the abstract. It depends on what features you have to work with at your place of storage and how many boats you need to store.

off the top of my head things to look for and consider:

- existing building that can be used as support and partial cover

- north side for shade

- trees for shade (but not ones with big dead stuff)

- fences that can be used for support

My outdoor storage is a 25' by 8' area enclosed by six foot high stockade fence with a door at one end. I currently have 4 canoes in there. They are all stored gunnels down. I have two different rack systems that allow me access to the lower boats. One uses 2 x 4s that are hinged so that they can be raised to allow access to the lower boat. On the other side I used a sturdier system where the removable 2 x 4 uprights go into PVC pipe sleves burried and cemented into the ground.

The surrounding stockade fence supports the 2x4 racks on the one side.

This past weekend I put a tarp over the whole affair since the leaves will soon be down and the boats would be exposed to the sun. The peak of the tarp is suppored by an aluminum ladder that is supported by a pole on one end and tree branch on the other.

The whole thing has been an evolutionary work in progress and is pretty hideous compared to the stuff other people here have done. But it's cheap, functional, and completely hidden.