Car Topping Canoe with Tumblehome

I just bought a Bell Majic and want to carry it on my Yak Rack. I was going to buy the Gunwale Brackets but I’m afraid the top of the bracket will hit the side of the canoe because of the high amount of Tumblehome. Does anybody use the Yakima Gunwale Bracket with their Bell Majic? Any other car topping solutions that are easy and avoid it swinging from side to side?

thanks in advance…

Simple answer: take a saw or some
tin snips and cut the Yakima gunwale bracket uprights down until they have just the right amount of contact with the gunwales.

Actually I think that most owners of these brackets should cut them down some. At their standard height, they are an impediment to easy loading.

Have you actually tried the brackets?
My Rapidfire haas a lot of tumblehome and there is no interference. I hope they work for you; they are great!

Gunwale brackets for Bell Magic

– Last Updated: May-11-08 10:47 PM EST –

Yakima gunwale brackets should work fine if you have enough spread between the cross bars.

If you're driving a small sedan with close together bars, get Yakima Load Stops and cut the vertical down with a hacksaw.

Simplest solution…

– Last Updated: May-11-08 10:50 PM EST –

Turn the brackets around so they hold from INSIDE the canoe instead of from the OUTSIDE. You just need to get them adjusted so they are snug against the inwhale and they will keep the canoe stable just fine. That way they won't hit the tumblehome and you don't need to trim them down.

I own them, and the uprights do (did)
contact the tumblehome on two of my canoes, until I cut them down.

Cut them down.

The best solution is to cut the uprights

Cut them down. Loading the boats will be easier, and they will make less wind noise when the boats aren’t on the car.

Cut them down.

I expect a Nobel Prize for this.

Sorry g2d…
I respectfully disagree. I don’t find them especially hard to get the boats onto and I don’t believe the “extra wind noise” claim would be a big deal. No Nobel from me! Just turning them around is simple and works fine.

Do you think they s/b cut down?

Older gunnel brackets?
My old Yakima gunnel brackets may have needed some cutting, but the newest versions appear to be a good 3/4 inches shorter. They don’t interfere at all with the tumble-home of my SRT.


Turn em around !
I have been using them like that for years as they touched my Voyager and the Advantage too I think.

This is the old style (cheap) ones that they still sell (called LoadStops now) but for loading plywood, ladders and stuff, not marketed for canoes these days.

The ones currently sold as Gunnel Brackets are already very short.

I have a set of each.

Don’t cut em. When You want to carry several sheets of plywood or a heavy extention ladder your going to see how goofy cutting them would have been.

pad them with foam
surely as a boat owner there must be some pieces floating around.

Personally its never been a problem though my Yakima brackets are the high ones, they are over 15 years old and may be a different dimension than the Loadstops.

I have a RapidFire, FlashFire, Heron and an assortment of other tumblehomed boats.

I don’t bother with the brackets

– Last Updated: May-12-08 6:34 AM EST –

Found that moving them around for different boats was more bother than it was worth - especially after I lost the nut which allows you to hand tighten the bracket. If I had more than one boat on the rack, I couldn't use the brackets anyway. I do tie down the bow and stern. Haven’t had a problem with the boat moving – yet.

p.s - have a Thule rack with the old square load bars.

Real World experience
No speculation here: I carry my Magic on Yakima barswith a spread of 30" exactly. Yakima Gunwale Brackets work perfectly set up on the outwale side. Thousands of miles and no shifting.

The LoadStops MIGHT be too tall though.

BTW, I do not try to get the straps hooked under the nubbin underneath the bracket - just bring the strap down to the bar vertically.


Did anyone else see the advice to,
turn 'em around on the bar??? I use the Thule versions and turn 'em around on my Magic and J-200. No problem.

I have used Thule canoe brackets on my Advantage and Voyageur with no problem . Just about all Thule and Yakima accessories can be adapted to fit the other brands load bars . Check out the Thule Canoe Carrier.

cut 'em down, turn 'em around
pad 'em, then remove 'em. Make everybody happy. I expect to compete with Mother Theresa and Indira Gandhi for my suggestion.

Cant turn mine around
they are older and better and have a reinforcing triangle shape on the outside.

So think what works best for you and discard all other advice…thats the real world.

Paddle a Magic and use Yakima
No problem at all with fit. No need to cut down or turn inside out.

Have fun


I do have an issue with putting the
gunwale bracket uprights inside the gunwale rather than outside. I always have to load my open boats on my own. I am quite tall and decently strong for my age, but after I have dropped the gunwale down over the near bracket, and rock or slide the gunwale across the bars to the far bracket, it is quite a bit harder to jump the gunwale OVER the far uprights if they are set to be inside the gunwale. Of course, >cutting the uprights down< would make it a good deal easier to do that. If I set the brackets so the uprights are outside the gunwales, then when I slide that far gunwale over the bar, it only has to be jumped a speck to get onto the pad.

But, if the brackets are set in the normal, outside configuration, they hit the tumblehome bulge on both my MR Synergy WW boat, my Bluewater Chippewa tandem, and my new Millbrook WW boat. Or they would, if I hadn’t cut them all down in about 5 minutes, using some tin snips.

Mounting bracket uprights has some positives, as long as one has help to get the boat over the far bracket. However, I messed with inside mounting once, and I found it less convenient to change the spacing when changeing boats. YMMV.

On another note, cut-down brackets will control a big heavy ladder just as well as full-height brackets. As for plywood, sheetrock, and loads of cedar decking, the ones I have carried have all been too high for the brackets to control more than the lower one or two pieces, so good rope work was the answer. I once carried 350 lbs of plywood and sheetrock on a Quick’n’Easy rack mounted on a VW Dasher Wagon with no brackets. Good rope work did the job.