first canoe decided and rack advice

-- Last Updated: Aug-19-06 9:38 AM EST --

For my first canoe I will most probably buy a Penobscot 17 when my wife is in a good mood. I will use it on the Wisconsin river and a local lake. The River will include a camping trip. The lake will include trips by myself and also my child and wife when she is in a good mood. I will need an add-on seat for the lake. By no means am I an expert. Just a beginner. I am tired of renting for the river trips. I have a Sienna and Honda Pilot. The Pilot has a 2 inch hitch and the Sienna has none. I am leaning toward using the Pilot. What would be the best choice for carrying it, the Pilot or Sienna? They both have standard roof racks. For the canoe rack, I read that Yakima is a good choice but what model product? Or what else do you recommend for canoe racks? I will be the one putting it on and taking it off. Thus, no help from the wife.

I was thinking of buying the canoe from Any one have dealings with them?

If you’re not Superman,

– Last Updated: Aug-19-06 9:39 AM EST –

May I suggest a hitch-mounted T-bar, for starters? These make roofing your canoe, by yourself, much easier. One end of canoe on the bar. Pick canoe up, over your jead. Walk it around, to front of your car. The T will swivel, as you go. Booomp. Put it down. Strap around the canoe. Front and rear ratcheting tie downs, and you're all set. No wrestling, no scratches.

Also, by having part of the boat's weight on the bar, the load on roof will not be as great. Less front overhang, too.

I don't know if the Pilot's rack has cross bars. If it does, you can use foam blocks.


– Last Updated: Aug-19-06 9:44 AM EST –

Strap around the canoe. Front and rear ratcheting tie downs, and you're all set.

Would this be part of a Yakima setup or do you purchase things separate?

I saw these tie downs at another post.

This looks good?

up to you.
Yakima and Thule make the tie downs. $30.00 for a pair. Orange Home suppy store sells them for $8.99 each. Same thing, no brand name. You can use 1 or 2 inch webbing, with buckles or ratchets, for the strap, as long as it will stay tight. I fasten to the thwart and run it inside the car, not under rack. This will keep it from flying off roof, should a tie-down fail or a cross wind catches canoe.

That’s something to keep in mind. You must have a 17 ft boat fully secured. They can do alot of damage, if they somehow find their way seperated from your vehichle.

I’m always paranoid, whether roofing boats or trailering them, on the highway. I check everything fifty times, and then stop along the way, and check again.

I can hang the canoe in the garage but what is the best mechanism to do this? I have exposed 2"x4".

yakima looks nice
Very sturdy. I’m not sure it pivots. Looks like you just put 'er up there and push forward.

these are the tie-downs I use. I have tow hooks on our vehichles, so I replace the factory hooks with snaps. They can’t slip.

I have this type of bar.

Sorry this made the page so big.

When im traveling
I usualy double strap the canoe, I had one break once

17 ft. is a good size for camping, took me 15 years to get my wife to go canoe camping, now she cant get enough of it. Another couple or two helps make it more fun

For hanging in the garage…
I used 4 big eye bolts. Then just put some extra NRS straps through the eyes and hung the canoe up this way gunnels down. I can send you a pic if you want. Lots of ways to do it…

16 Penobscot ?
Don’t mean to confuse issue but have you considered the 16’ version ? From your stated uses think it would fit the bill nicely. It’s lighter (7lbs), a bit cheaper, still has all the capacity you’ll likely need, maneuvers better if you decide in future to try some moving water, can be paddled solo when wife & child have other plans, gives up very little speed to it’s 11 inch longer big bros. & is available from your chosen dealer

Yes, I own one. No harm in test paddling both before you decide

17 foot can be paddled solo?
17 foot can be paddled solo? Right?

I have a 16 foot Penobscot
purchased from the same place (Bill is great to deal with!) I use it primarily for tandem camping trips. Recently I did a 7 night trip with a friend. Each of us weighs 200 pounds and we were loaded with about 100-125 pounds of gear. The 16 footer handled great even in wind and heavy waves. Being a symmetrical design the 16 handles well as a solo when paddled from the front seat but facing rear. I can’t speak for a 17 footer but I would be concerned about handling solo. It can be done but will be more susceptable to wind and not as maneuverable as the 16. Just my opinion.

Take a look at this Pilot set up

– Last Updated: Aug-19-06 10:41 PM EST –

For some reason Pilots do not come with cross bars. Take a look at this post (middle of page) and the picture of a pilot by a guy named "silver wolf". The post goes back to 2003. Is this still a viable set up in 2006? I would probably still add a T bar.

what oars do you use?
Jerryohare, what oars do you use?

I use a single blade Sawyer Manta double bent paddle for most uses. I carry a Sawyer single blade cruiser as a spare paddle. I maybe be a traditionalist but I prefer wood paddles.

Two straps are better than one. Here’s why:

The center thwart is at the widest part of the canoe. With one strap around the center, the canoe can squirt out like a banana during a sudden, emergency stop. With two straps around a narrower part of the boat, the wide part is less likely to slip through. When the strap is looped around the crossbar, (inside the towers-never outside) you essentially get four straps wrapped around the canoe securing it to the crossbars.

Two straps also minimize side-to-side wiggle,(pilots call it “yaw”) since there is no single pivot point as with one strap.

With a single strap, one is tempted to get it REALLY TIGHT! Rather than securing, you may just be crushing your canoe, especially with ratchets.

Same goes for ratchets on the bow & stern. It’s easy to over-tighten and bend your boat.

If the boat is secured properly to the crossbars, it will not fly off your car even if one strap breaks. If your single strap breaks, it may not fly off, buy could slide over the side of your vehicle. I watched it happen once. The car was going about 30 mph. It wasn’t pretty and it was hazardous, but I heartlessly could not surpress a giggle.

The straps hold the boat to the rack…the rack holds on to the car…and the bow/stern lines prevent forward/backward movement.

Yakima rack
I use a Yakima Rack system on my Grand Cherokee even though the The GC comes with a full rack including cross bars.

The Yakima rack consists of 4 uprights and two bars. The uprights connect to the Jeep’s rack. Using two tie down straps up and over the canoe and looped under the cross bars outboard of the up rights holds the canoes without a problem. The canoe doesn’t sit directly on the rack. It sits on pads that snap onto the gunnels. Thepads ride on the cross bars. Cinching down on the straps pushes the pads onto the cross bars and glues the canoe to the rack. No front or rear tie downs necessary. I’ve driven thousands of miles with this set up with no problems. I only use front and rear tie downs for peace of mind on extended road trips.

Ozark River Company
Was by there again a couple weeks ago. I’ve known them for about 5 years now and bought boats from them when they owned a little shop called Ozark County Canoe and Kayak, and now with Ozark River Company. They are a “Class act” and will do everything they can to make you a satisfied customer. As far as racks, I’ve owned Thule for years and don’t plan to change. I have a Honda Element without factory rack and the areas of attachment are substantial, although; I wouldn’t mind a bit more rack spread. I’m certain the attachment points on the Pilot would be at least AS beefy, and will have more spread between racks. Good luck! WW

What about stability?
I have a 16 ft Aurora that I got so I could solo too, but with my wife in the boat we’ve been known to go in the drink more than once! She’s not a little woman and I know that is a lot of it, but don’t forget how much stability that extra foot adds. Penobscots aren’t the most beginner friendly boats from what I understand due to their rounded bottoms. I always tell people to not think that the ends will be 6" shorter, but to imagine a 1 foot section removed from the center. Thats a lot of volume.

inside the car
That appears to be agood idea. put the strap in the car rather than under the rack.