Canoe racking

I was wondering about transporting a canoe right side up…any disadvantages? When up-side down on top of the vehicle the canoe catches a lot of air underneath causing a great amount of resistance. Other than catching a lot of rain if right-side-up are there other problems? Can you buy saddle-racks for canoes like are made for kayaks.

Papa Squirrel

up or down?
I would think carrying a canoe right side up would put undue stress on the bottom, possibly leading to oilcan problems. Certainly weakness will develop where the canoe rests on the rack.

I’d vote for upside down and resting on the gunnels.

Gunnels down EOM

Right Side Up…
…is the wrong way to go. Forget about aerodynamics. How will you get the boat off the car after you have driven two hours in the rain?

And then there’s that slightly…
… unsightly problem, on those occasional trips to the shore, of removing the fecal-fallout left by that following flock of seagulls. You know, the winged-horde divebombing above your roof to dine upon those discombobulated hitchhiker june bugs staggering about your boat’s innards.


Please don’t transport your…
…canoe right side up.

You will have everyone at the put in in hysterics.



I have
hauled canoes right side up, but only if they are sitting on something flat,like the back of a pickup or on the bottom of another canoe on a trailer. Above posts are correct in that a canoe right side up on a rack will probably put permantent bends where it sits. Kayaks are hauled that way, but most of the proper racks have a very wide contact point compared to roof racks. Having said that, if you can do it and not hurt the boat and the sky looks clear, go for it.

I have been hauling mine upright in the back of my truck. This way gives me a place to carry my cooler and fishing gear.

saw one fold up once…
In a pickup truck bed held down only by a single rope across the width of the bed. It wasn’t a pretty sight and made a one hell of a noise…

No reason for that…
I don’t belive there is as much “up force” as you think. I think a lot of the pressure is equalled out by the presure on the front and top. It seems most car top racks are lower in the front of the car. Not to say it won’t launch if left untied on the highway. I drive with a 65 lbs canoe up to 30mph with out being tied at all when suttling short distances back up river. I’ve also been driveing cross contry with only two straps on the rack and no bow or stern line for 10 years with no problems. Windy days and big rigs cause the most danger. I actuall sat thruogh a tornado last April in Leasburg Missouri. The wind blew 40 foot trees to the ground less than 10 feet from my car! I thought I would die. The boats didn’t move! I have two NRS 1 1/2" straps on a Yak rack. So I think it’s much more aerodynamic to have the gunwale down. The car forces air over itself and out the back. The “right-side-up” canoe would have more drag pulling air into it. Your gas millage would suffer and the boat would be less stable on its hull.