Hanging canoe in garage

I have not yet purchased a canoe. The one I am most interested in is 16.5 feet and 50 lbs. The distance from the back of the garage to the point where the garage door rests when open is approximately 10 feet. So I would not be able to hang the canoe at equal distances from the ends. The weight of the long end might tend to raise the short end. Perhaps if I secure the short end so it cannot rise up I might be OK. Does anyone have any comments about any of these configurations?

Option A

hoist straps

| | garage door-open position

| | ===================

| canoe |


6 ft 4 ft 7 ft

Option B

hoist straps

| | garage door-open position

| | ===================

| canoe |


5 ft 5 ft 7 ft

Thanks for any insights.


side ways?
I Have a double car garge so I hang my sons canoe, other sons kyak, and my off season canoe up there. It is a bit of trick to lower the boat and swing it out but it is do-able. I use pulleys and cletes for the offseason boat the others are just tied up there for storage. The offseason boat is which ever boat I am not using frequentley that season. either my 18 foot Jensen of my 15’7"Merlinwood stripe. for my on season boat I have a rack where I just put the boat just a little below neck level. There is still enough room in the garge to get the lawmower and a Car if I took out my curretn projects.

hope this gives you some ideas.


I could send you …
a pic of what I had to deal with. There was no way I could hang a canoe in our garage without the one end being a little lower. I didn’t want to store it outside. You can check the Pnet archives too. Thats where I got my idea from. I think I checked under “canoe storage”. But it seems to work well for us the way it is.


Not a problem
As long as your lift point is past the halfway point on the canoe it should hoist and rest OK. If it doesn’t seem to be stable enough for you, hang a small weight on the end.

What I’d do …

– Last Updated: Jan-22-06 5:07 PM EST –

My first thought would be to install a cross beam from the left wall to the right wall, positioned just below the overhead door when that door is open, and hang one end of the canoe from that. A pair of 2x6s would be plenty good for such a beam. Set them about a foot apart, or even simpler, 16 inches apart to match the wall studs, and attach a number of plywood "patches" between them to provide stiffness against twisting, and you should be good to go (however, I suspect that even a single 2x6 might do the job just fine!).

If there isn't enough room for a cross beam made from 2x6s (the canoe might hang so low from such a thick beam that it gets in the way of your tall SUV if you have one, or you might bang your head on the boat all the time), my next thought would be to use steel, but if that's not an option for you, use 2x4s. You could use three or four 2x4s side-by-side go make a 16-inch wide beam, and if the beam is completely clad with plywood on the top and bottom, it should be pretty darn strong (at each cross joint in the plywood, overlap a second layer for a couple feet in each direction, or else the plywood joints will become points where the beam sags). Also, you can stagger the positioning of a number of shorter 2x4s between the beam's plywood top and bottom, so you don't need to have full-length 2x4s to bridge the gap between the garage walls.


By the way, canoe makers usually advise that the boat be stored upside-down on ridged racks. If you use straps, make sure they don't squeeze the boat which may not be good if it's royalex and it gets really hot up near the rafters. And the boat makes a stiffer "bridge" and is better able to resist deformation when upside-down. Putting the hanging points/crossbars about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way in from each end is fine. Making hangers which employ a wood cross-bar for the gunwales to rest on but still hang from a single point is pretty simple (I can e-mail you photos of how mine work if you'd like).


Okay, here's another option. Install a pair of rigid racks right against either the left or right wall, so that the canoe is high enough that there is just enough room above it for the door to slide by.

I made some folding braces out
of 1 x 4’s. Use two door hinges and screw them into a stud at the correct distance apart. Cut a board to be wide enough for the canoe. Cut a board for support of the horizontal board so the whole things is a triangle. You’ll need to add some blocks for the support board to rest on. Position it at a level so the garage door can open but high enough to fit a car underneath. When not in use you can fold the whole contraption up against the wall. You can make it in less than an hour and only need a couple of eight foot 1 x 4’s and a couple of door hinges. Very simple and works like a champ.

Good brainstorming going on here…

– Last Updated: Jan-22-06 8:23 PM EST –

....How about hanging it diagonally (if you have a double garage)? It might at least reduce the "unhung" portion. Or, if you want to be labor-intensive:
1. Mount hook/handle/etc on inside of door.
2. With door closed, hang canoe normally, with one
end suspended above where door will be when open
3. Lower that end to the floor and open door.
4. Raise that end to the hook on the door.
5. Park vehicle.
6. Lower craft gently onto vehicle
7. Close door.
8. Rehang craft to original place.
(This also provides a good workout)

Hanging Canoe in short garage
I have a double garage which is only about 16’ deep. I am hanging a 16.5’ canoe in it now, and previously hung an 18’ft canoe there. No problem. The trick is to have your two hanging point set in the ceiling on the diagonal so that when the canoe is hung from them it forms a hypotneuse of an imaginary triangle that has one leg at least as long as the depth of the garage.

Put a hook in a ceiling beam about 4 ft. in front of the garage back wall and directly over where your car will be parked. Install a second hook in the ceiling as far down the imaginary hypoteneuse line as you can put without interfering with the opening of the garage door (I’m assuming its an overhead door). Put two cleats side-by-side about 5 feet high on the

garage backwall.

Now, buy four double pulleys and about 80 feet of 3/16" line. Cut the line into two pieces. half and run each half around a pair of the double pulleys. You want to be able to hang one pulley on a ceiling hook, and the other pulley to the straps or lines that will cradle each end of the boat. Having dsone that;…

With the boat in place on the floor, hoist the bow up about 3 or 4 ft. and secure that line to a wall cleat Then hoist the stern end up about 6 ft.l and secure to the other wall cleat. Continue doing this until the bow is as high as you can get it, and the stern high enough not to interfere with the door when it is open.

To lower the canoe onto the parked car, uncleat the stern pulley line and, supporting the stern

by hand, carry it over and lay it onto the car’s rear roof rack and cleat the stern line to the wall so the stern can’t roll off. Then lower the bow onto the front rack. Remove the support straps from each end and tie down the canoe onto the roof racks. Raise the rear pulley up so it is above head level and recleat it.

To load the canoe onto the car, you only need to lower it onto the racks. The pulleys take all the effort out of raising a lowering the 50 wgt. Some old Greek (Archimedes? Stephanopoulis?)figured it all out over 2500 years ago.

To load the c

Do likewise with the rear pulleys.

Canoe hanging.
Don’t know if this is a single or double width door, but this could work with either, just easier with a single. Suspend a piece of pipe or conduit from the garage door track, just low enough to clear the door and it’s cross braces when they go by. Then suspend the canoe from the conduit.

The simple straps and spring buckles (boat tie-downs, motorcycle straps, without ratchets) work well for this. Just create a short strap with buckle (may need to cut the strap and tie a loop in the end), and a longer strap with free end, hang one on each side of canoe. Insert the free end in the buckle to create a loop, insert canoe in loop, raise canoe with one hand, snug up strap with the other hand. Easy up, easy down, simple, expensive. Unless you are raising a very heavy boat, or raising a boat above 8’, I have found the straps to be easier, simpler, cheaper than the pulleys. I store my canoe inverted, but the straps will work either way. Actually, I remove and place my canoe in storage in “portage” mode, so the strap at the back of the garage never needs adjusting.

My setup
I built a rack for my first kayak out of wood arms coming vertically from the side of the garage, below where the door rests when open, with a good amount of clearance. Then for my newer kayak, I suspend it from slings mounted to the arms of the rack.