Hanging canoe

I recently installed a hoist in my garage to hang one of my canoes. Right now it is hanging upside down, so that the gunwales are resting on sections of 2X2, which are attached to the pulley and hooks with straps. The problem is that there is only about 1-2" of clearance between the tip of the stern and the top edge of the garage door as it opens and closes. I’m worried that if the ropes stretch just a little, the garage door is going to catch the stern and do some damage.

I know that upside down (weight on the gunwales) is the preferred method for storing a canoe, but I am wondering if there would be any problem hanging it right-side up, with the straps supporting it from the bottom. That would give me a little more clearance. Would this warp or disfigure the hull? Another option would be to hang it with the hooks on the thwarts, but that seemed like a worse idea to me.

It’s a Sundowner 18 in Tuf-weave (68 lbs), if that matters.

Just keep an eye on it.

– Last Updated: Jun-27-16 1:12 PM EST –

I have 4 canoes and similar boats hung on a hoist system similar to yours, and though I have no issues with clearance that are the same as the type you describe, I would notice if the rope stretched that much in a short time.

You will find that the ropes do stretch a bit, with most of that happening when they are new. But I'd keep hanging the boat in the same manner as you have right now, and if the boat hangs for extra-long time periods between uses, watch for stretch and just crank the hoist a little higher as needed.

One thing you can do is add a pair of safety ropes, looped around the hull, which have nothing to do with hoisting, but which will prevent the boat from dropping any lower if the main ropes stretch. I use such safety ropes on all my hoists, just to catch the boat in case a main rope breaks, but it will work in case of stretch too.

Oh, finally, is there any "wasted space" above the canoe between the hull and the pulleys? You should be able to build a hanging bracket that minimizes the wasted space so the canoe doesn't hang any lower than necessary. On mine, there's about four inches of wasted space above the hull, but for one boat I had to make use of every last inch that I could because the pulleys were lower, and I made the top bracket out of steel so that I only "wasted" about an inch, and that's what it took to allow me to get the boat high enough (I know that's not clear from the description, but you probably get the idea what I'm getting at).

Safety line

– Last Updated: Jun-27-16 1:51 PM EST –

Running a couple of safety lines or straps is probably a good idea - thanks.

There isn't any more space to raise it with the current system, as the pulleys are pulled up tight to the brackets, and I have the straps connecting to the hooks as close to the hull as possible. To gain more room, I'd have to cut out the drywall in the ceiling and attach the brackets to a brace across the rafters (which is an option, but more than I'd like to do).

If I leave the canoe upside down, but got rid of the 2x2s and just ran the straps under the gunwales, would that be an acceptable storage method? That might give me another couple of inches of clearance.

If I envision your system, …
… using a strap instead of the 2x2 under the gunwales won’t make any difference. There would be more clearance right at the location of each hanger, but you were worried about the tip of the stern, correct?

Once thing I did on another hoist to gain height, was to use low-profile mounts for the pulleys instead of screw-in hooks from the hardware store. In that case, I gained enough from low-profile hangers for the pulleys that there was no need to reduce the thickness of the top bar of the boat hangers, as there was a limit to how high I could raise the boat (this was at a friend’s house, where I had to leave room on the top side of the boat for the garage door to pass through, which is the opposite of your problem).

It sounds like you’ve pictured my descriptions pretty accurately, but just in case, here are a couple of hoists of that type. You can see how the 2x4 across the hull on top wastes some space, and on the one hoist I mentioned, I used 1/2-inch steel tubing for that part instead, with no hanger loop, making room to get the hull of the boat almost in contact with the pulleys.



you’re right …
taking away the width of 2x2 under the gunwales won’t allow me to get the boat any closer to the ceiling. Wasn’t picturing that clearly before.


I had a poly kayak resting on 2x4s on hoists. Yak right side up

It got dimples as it was close to the ceiling and hot air rises

The garage was one story attached on grade not under and had no trees around it