Car Rack for Canoe


I am looking to buy a new Old Town Osprey Angler canoe and have become very confused about the racks. I would love a rack that I can move from one vehicle to another. The canoe is a few inches wider than the factory installed rails on at least one of the vehicles. Does anyone have any suggestions? Something that locks it in place would be preferred as well. I have no issues with purchasing a base rack but want to make sure there is a decent canoe rack that goes with it.

Any input greatly appreciated.


type of vehicles?
IMO when you have the rack with standard crossbars, you have all you need to haul a canoe, minus padding on the crossbars and some tie-downs.

What kinds of cars do you want to switch this rack from one to the other on?

Thule or Yakima.

– Last Updated: May-15-13 11:11 PM EST –

If the canoe is wider than the cross bars it can be difficult to secure it without it shifting. If the canoe is not wider than the racks, then like Slushpaddler says, the stock racks can work quite nicely.

For me and my personal experience and use, Thule and Yakima both have nice setups. I use Thule feet and cross bars, just like the square bars. Some like the round of Yakima. Thule has a nice website and you can 'fit your vehicle' on the site. It will let you know what feet options you have for your application.

Some of the feet will fit several vehicles and may or may not work on more than one of yours. The cross bars can be used with all different feet. The feet being what ties the bars to the top of the car either by gutter mount or attaching to your existing rack.

I haul more than one boat or a boat and a cargo carrier and the wide load bars work nicely for fitting them all up there. It also provides for great attaching points and just has a nice stout and secure feeling to the hole rack.

Good luck and play around with both those sites with the fit your vehicle feature. Once I found which feet I needed I bought them used off of Craigslist or Ebay.

had luck
when vehicle had racks that were narrower then the canoe I have used hose clamps to mount longer cross bars to the factory crossbars. I have also seen

U-bolts used with conduit or black iron pipes. Please

use some for-thought about crosswinds and roof racks.

The more I mickey mouse my racks the more tie downs I use to other pointsthen the racks.

Canoe wider than rails
Check and see, but the boat being wider than the factory rack is often not a problem because the locations on the boat which actually sit on the cross bars are most likely narrow enough. The wide, center section of the canoe normally is not in contact with anything at all, so the rack need not be as wide as that.