Hull cradles

-- Last Updated: May-28-08 9:03 AM EST --

Does anybody have pics or advice regarding cradles for supporting my canoes upright so as to have them at a more comfortable height while working on them? I have a set of make-do cradles that I cobbled together years ago with the intention of one-time use, but are not long for this world because they aren't sturdy, need to be clamped to saw horses, and are downright ugly and embarrassing (dangerously close to what I imagine my teenage daughters might say about me)! Thanks in advance, Tom

I lucked into a set of Talic Seahorses
on sale, but they are sort of pricey and IMO are only suitable for kayaks and light solo canoes. And they are several inches too low.

Mike McCrea has a set of sawhorses equipped with foam blocks that allow easier access, and allow turning the hull for better access. I have also seen sawhorses outfitted with two slings which appear to work well. Ain’t rocket science. Seems that a sawhorse base with removeable blocks or slings would be very handy.


sorry, no pics

Thanks, Jim
I’ve got some nice heavy 3" wide cotton strapping that I can see as slings suspended from U-shapes fashioned with 2X4’s and plywood gussets, all fastened to my sawhorses with WINGNUTS! After all, what self-respecting putterer would over-engineer a ‘shop special’ without wingnuts? Who says it ain’t rocket science?

you can make stands from PVC pretty easily and suspend your sling material to support your canoe. No need to glue up the joints, which makes it easy to disassmbel and store if space is an issue.

The strap cradle approach

– Last Updated: May-28-08 11:44 AM EST –

is commonly found at boat manufacturers. Allows positioning the hull in a number of attitudes for different steps in the building process.

I believe this is called "ergomaniacs" or something like that.


cogito canuums, ergo sum

– Last Updated: May-28-08 12:08 PM EST –

loosely: "I think about canoes, therefore I exist." Yes, Jim, the steel-legged, Tyvek-covered, carved Ethafoam dedicated kayak operating table appeals to me but, alas, welding is no longer allowed at my house (you can guess why).

A ladder
Can’t remember where I saw this idea, I think it was from DougD, but I just used a few cinder blocks to raise a couple two-by-fours (could’ve used sawhorses, but they were otherwise occupied) and I put an aluminum ladder between them. The boat sit upright on the ladder (I didn’t pad it but that would’ve been easy) and it stayed nice and stable. And I could rotate the boat laterally to some degree pretty easily as needed.


Director’s Chairs
A couple of Director’s chairs will also work well. Most of them let you keep the back hanging and just use the seat part and I put a kneeling pad on each one and they hold the canoe securely and gently.

UPS delivered a new replacement seat yesterday so, I grabbed 2 sawhorses, put a 20’ extension ladder (not extended) across them, added two quilted moving blankets, and VOILA! I had your suggestion and all of these items were within 50’ of my canoe AND the box from Edscanoe. Thanks to you and DougD (?), I had the job done in under a 1/2 hour, and not working on my knees!

Pb Cradles
contract me at charliewilson610@adelphia and I will forward the specs for the cradles we use at Placid boats.


boat cradle
I built a pair of cradles to hold two boats for outside storage. (I wish I knew how to add a photo). It resembled a right triangle with the cradles fastened on the angle.

I used four 2x4x10 boards and one 2x6x8 plus two sets of L shaped metal tubes from Lowes. The basic set up was as follows; cut the 8’ length to 5’ (this will be the rear upright and the front angle) the 3’ section will be used to “sandwich” these to the base 2x6 (which was cut to a 4’ section. I used s/s deck screws to fasten everything together.

** if you want a pic ask. This ended up being a nice rack to hold the boats.

Universal kayak saddles

– Last Updated: May-31-08 11:16 PM EST –

Adjustable, soft rubber, excellent "grip" on hull, and can me placed on round or square surfaces (eg on a saw horse made of 2x4 contruction.

Spring Creek Outfitters. Scroll down to see photos; much more universal than Thule or Yakima.

A winner.

Me woyk cradles…
Wha Ho, Pilgrim;

Below be me’ woyk cradles. Ah’ kin use ‘em hull down in de sling…

Or hull up an’ on de gunnels by insertin’ a cross bar…

Fat Elmo

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.
Thank you, Mr. Elmo. My new cradles, nearly noodled to prototype production stage, will end up looking (to the casual observer) a lot like your finely crafted set. Good advice all around. Mucho mercies to all, like you, who kindly give of their time and experience. Paddle in peace, Tom

I bought two
adjustable plastic sawhorses at home depot. Height adjusts by about 6 inches. They were cheap, but are very stable. Spent $11.00 on a set of foam blocks, which I duct-taped to the top of the sawhorses.

One of the sawhorses also has a slot to fit a 2x4 perfectly, which is handy when carving GP’s.