Chepo car topping

I am looking for a way to tie on a canoe and yak to my Protégé` at the same time without having to buy a rack (which I can’t afford at the moment). Anyway I was wondering if 2X4’s or tubular (its square really but I believe its still called tubular) steel rod would 1/2" would work.

I’ve got normal car topping gunwale pads for instance I could turn them so the gunwale channel faces across the roof instead of front to back and stick the steel beams in the channel. I could run the nylon webbing down the length of the beam inside. So it wouldn’t slip off.

The only problem I can see with this would be front to back movement; I don’t think it would take too much to fix that, maybe some PVC or ABS pipe with T sections on the ends that the beams would slip through.

The other idea would be to stack the yak on top of the canoe but I don’t know if this is safe to do either.


foam kayak pads
one strap for front pads, one strap for rear pads then three straps for the boats and independant bow and stern lines for each boat, tied in an A with boat at apex.

You can leave the foam blocks on the straps so it would not be hideous to set up, once you had done it a couple of times.

Look for used rack bits. If you e-mail me we can talk about it.

Not sure if I can picture this… My roof is NOT wide enough alone to put both on top, the canoe alone only leaves a few inches of slack on each side.

as if the biggest problems are the cross bars are not locked in place to the vehicle. You could strap em to the thwarts and use plenty of foam to protect your vehicle. Is there anywhere to hook the straps to the vehicle?

I would have to use webbing straps though the doorways and angling the straps so the front bar at least was anchored in the rear doorways.

I think the yak would have to sit on its side which makes it harder to tie down, Probably have to strap it to the canoe side with some padding between. I’ve got some foam for a yak that MIGHT work with it on sideways but I’m not sure.

I am the last person
to say that more gear is what you need, but some things are just not easy to manufacture on your own. Or at least some things are hard to build that are as good as yakima or thule’s products. Unless you are really really gifted with welding, engineering, and sheet metal fabrication- I recommend spending the money. If the above are your forte, go get em tiger.

Also your auto insurance company tends to get jumpy about paying claims when you go A-team on your kayak rack.

“I just love it when a plan comes together.”

as long
as you wear gold chains it will be alright!

I guess it’s been a while since I’ve cartopped a canoe.

I love my Protege…

– Last Updated: May-17-04 1:01 AM EST –

...but I can't imagine carrying two craft on top without racks. I don't know where you live in NC, but I'd encourage you to advertise for used ones perhaps. Also, advertise on this site-look to the left. FREE! And there seem to be lots of Southerners on board, some one of whom may have used racks.
I now carry my canoe in the back of my pickup, but I have carried it on the Protege without a rack, and know you could carry the yak without a rack, but not together. The cheapo solution I used was pipe insulation from Lowe's or Home Depot, duct-taped to the kayak coaming or canoe gunwales. This provides adequate protection and a slightly lower distance to lift. Lines to the front and back (find tie points under the car-two lines splayed out R and L- and at lest one tiedown over the top and run through the rear door openings before you close the doors. I use "parachute cord" nylon line, because it's cheap and you can tie loops anywhere for a trucker's hitch.

Talk about an “el cheapo”…
roof rack !

when we were up in AK last year we paddled a section of the Yukon River,(in Yukon Territory) and we hunted around for a local to shuttle our two 17 foot yaks.

After talking with several First Nations natives, they got us up with a German guy who came over on vacation, fell in love with the place and decided to stay.

He used two cross 2" x 4’s" and just tied them down with rope running through his windows. then he tied the two yaks to them and used front and rear rope tie downs.

I don’t know what kind of knots he used, but we drove about fifty miles @ about 50 MPH over a rough bumpy dirt and gravel road, and the yaks never moved an inch.

I was worried about him scratching his roof, but he didn’t seem to mind.

The guy was so nice that in the evening when we pulled up to our camping place, he was waiting, (for a couple of hours) to make sure we got back down safely.

I don’t think you would find that kind of shuttle in the lower states.



I still think the things would hold more then enough weight but the Yakima site has me kinda iffy as for their rack on my car they are suggesting only 140 pounds which I’d break and 14 feet which is small then both boats. The rack and attaching the rack I know I can get to work, its attaching the vessels to the rack, especially a yak on its side that I’m really iffy about doing. Will most likely just end up taking two cars I supose.

I just need a Jeep Unlimited and a trailer.

No one commented on stacking the two boats… if I cut a notch out of the foam for the yak it will sit nicely on the bottom of the canoe. Getting it up there would be sorta tricky though.

Go to Wal-Mart. In the automotive section they have roof bars. You get 2 bars with risers and straps for about $20. They work fine. You don’t need rain gutters on your roof, they clip into windows or door frames.

I have been using one for 2 years now with no problems. I did add a wooden piece to the top of mine to make it wide enough for 2 canoes. It also raises it so the bow of the canoe does not hit the roof of the truck.

Be careful if you improvise
Whatever you decide,

compare the cost/value of your two boats to the cost of a decent rack system.

One day, a few years ago, I was driving on the Garden State Parkway in NJ. Passing by quickly went a pick-up with an improvised system securing a windsailing board. The driver must have had the music turned up because he coulded hear the othe cars beeping at him for the quickly loosening set-up. After a couple of normal road bumps, it was kind of neat to watch the board do the “slide for life” just like in the old Wide World or Sports show. You’d be surprised just how far and how fast generally flat objects slide on pavement.