Ideas for home made J cradle....


I’d like to rebuild my 'yak trailer to hold three boats in J cradles.

I’ve been kicking it around a bit, and can see three ways to go.

  1. A “J” fashioned from, say 3/4" conduit, and padded heavily with pool noodles.
  2. A wooden “J” built of 2x4’s with plywood sides, padded with sheet rubber.
  3. A framework of wood or steel to support a webstrap that would form the “J” cradle.

    Any shade tree engineers have any thoughts, comments, hard lessons learned?

    And yeah, I’m being cheap.

    To buy three sets of J cradles from Malone (or other) is a bit more than I want to plunk down on this project, but I damn sure don’t want poor results.

    So you have my thoughts, what are yours?


One Approach
A friend built his ply/carbon fiber J saddles for his Guillmot. Basically used specialized plywood - it’s made to be bent - to form the J shapes by using the hull itself as the mold (plastic-covered, of course!) to set the correct curve for each saddle. He then epoxied the the two outside faces, sheathed them with carbon-fiber cloth, removed each from the hull, and did the same to the inside. Real nice job - as good as or better than pro, at a fraction of the cost.

Custom cradles
Ross Leidy at Blue Heron kayaks has published descriptions of building some custom bent ply J-cradles - they’re beautiful, might give you some ideas, or scare you off - they’re worth a look…

J cradle
I made some out of 2x4’s, plywood and straps. Worked very well. Here are some photos:

If you know any electricians, that have

– Last Updated: Jul-22-09 1:39 PM EST –

a conduit bender, I would go with the conduit, but I think the pool noodle covering would wear out too quickly.
I would cover it with carpet.
Another option would be to use two pieces of 3/4" plywood cut out in a J fashion, and then glued and screwed together which would give you some nice 1-1/2" thick ones. - that would only be good if you have some lying around, since 4 x8 sheets will cost you an arm and a leg.

And last, it seemed to me that a few years ago when I was looking for something similar to use in our new boat barn, I saw some ladder hooks at Lowes or Home Depot for hanging ladders on a wall -You might want to scout around there for some innovative idea.

How is Deb making out with the new boat problems?


Pick the new boat up Wednesday
Hi Jack!

Boat is at Local Shop. Showed up with a couple of dings in the gelcoat. CD really needs to get their shipping act together! But I won’t go off on that. Maybe another thread later.

I’ll see it Wednesday and find out what can be done. I know it’ll get dinged sooner or later (Remember Tom always says, "We didn’t buy them to hang them on the wall), but we’re paying for a new unblemished boat. The dealer is a great guy and he will steer me in the right direction. He says its pretty!!!

Anyway, Tom loves his QCC. We WILL be paddling next weekend and I WILL be in my new boat.

Say hey to “the bride” for me and hope to paddle with y’all this winter.


Frame and straps
If you wanted something with a wood frame and straps you could make a frame similar to this storage rack that attaches to your trailer, make the arms slightly different and put straps on them. Could carry 6 boats like this.

Here is the link

When using a conduit bender
bend your shape on each end of the stick of conduit before cutting the long side off. I didn’t, cut the pieces to length then couldn’t get enough leverage to make the bends (I was using 1" EMT) I flattened the long side for about 2" drilled a hole and then moved down 6" and drilled another. Fastened them to exposed 2X4’s in the garage with #12 screws and covered with pipe insulation (the HD kind)

Right on
We will.

We are picking up our new Savage River susquehanna C-2 next Monday, ( I know, I know you guys are yakers) and will probably have that along with our kayaks when we come down this year.

I sure hope you get the new kayak problems straightened out.



Another idea for your list.

This summer I saw a double J-rack made completely out of PVC. It was atop a SUV, with the rectangular PVC base strapped on the factory roof rack. No padding.

Not the prettiest rack.

Thanks everyone!
Great stuff!

I think Redmond has put together something that I was trying to come up with.

Easy, inexpensive, lots of square inches of contact.

Can take various hull shapes, and still connect.

I like it.

I usually don’t use the trailer, so when I do, I don’t know what’s going to be riding back there.

Sure apreiciate the other veiws as well, but the conduit has less surface area in contact, as well as less flexibility, and the molded plywood, while beautiful, would look quite out of place on my 1965 boat trailer. Not to mention the lost time I could have been paddling… :wink:

But if I ever build that stripper…

Thanks aqain!