How to carry a canoe on a 2016 Prius (Generation 4)?

My first (2006) Prius had hooks under the corners of the car. Carrying my canoe was easy, using foam blocks on top and ropes around the hooks. My next Prius (a 2016 Prius Two) has no hooks or places to tie the ropes. Any suggestions on carrying a canoe? (I don’t want to add a permanent rack on top of the car.) Thanks.

They sell straps that can be attached under the hood and folded in when not in use. They also make them for under a hatch back or trunk. I made mine DIY.


Thank you, bud16415.

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I’d still strongly suggest running a strap over the canoe and through the doors. Not much to keep the canoe from shifting laterally with only bow and stern lines. Might be fine if you were just going down the street, but not more than that.

The set up BudXXX posted looks like a great solution, but I would test it carefully. The Prius senses that the rear hatch is not closed if there is even a tiny deviation from fully closed. This can make the car not start, also in some models there is a bug in their software and it completely shuts down the door lock mechanism so you can not get the rear door open, and you have to use the manual key to get into the car. There is a fix for that that involves quite a bit of nonsense, so make sure you test this before you are far from home.

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I will strongly agree with @Brodie and even go a step more and say I would never rely on just the bow and stern lines to secure a boat even with two lines on both ends that form a triangle and especially with foam blocks.

I’m not a fan of foam blocks for several reasons. First is you have a good chance of messing up the roof paint job. Second is they require passing straps thru the inside of the car and closing the door on them. Third the foam is a spongy connection and can only be as tight or as much tension in the straps as the foam deflection. Foam blocks are fine for a one time thing like getting a boat on a car you don’t normally use. If you are serious about canoeing and plan to go often a rack with cross bars is the smart way to go IMO. I built my own and I agree it is not the best looking thing out there, but I’m cheap. We bought a rack for her car that was only a little over 100 bucks and it works fine and looks good. My DIY was made to take removable extensions so we could haul 2 canoes or 3 rec-kayaks. Good for hauling other stuff as well. (Like a door)

As to @SeaDart post I also agree and I tend to forget how automated new cars and trucks have become. Went to move a friends truck ahead 20’ and pulled the door shut but didn’t latch it and the truck would not go into gear. Took me a minute to figure out it had to be fully shut. I wouldn’t think a strap running under the rubber seal or in the hood gap would lock you out but you just never know.