Making a quick-release for portage yoke

Several months ago, somebody here provided photos of a very nice quick-mount, quick-release system for the portage yoke on their canoe. I believe the photos were posted by either c2g or g2d. I remember that the basic system was nearly identical to an idea I had been toying around with in my head and never acted upon, but it had a neat bit of hardware I probably would not have thought of using on my own. Now, after all this time, I can’t remember exactly what that bit of hardware was which latched the yoke in place, and I’d like to see those pictures again.

I believe it was NT
I will try to find the link.


I remember…
That design. It was a wood hanger for the seat an yoke that had 2 slots for the yoke. A slot for carrying, in front of the edge of the canted seat, right up under the rail, and the same sized slot under the seat for stowing the yoke while paddling. My Latest solo has a neet slider seat yoke combo. I like it enough to make 2 for my other solos.

I believe this one was different
The yoke attached flat against one side of the hull when in storage, and there were a couple of blocks on the inside edges of the gunwales that served as anchor points when the yoke was in use. The seat and seat hangers played no part in attaching or storing the yoke, if I remember correctly. I wouldn’t mind seeing a photo of the set-up you are talking about though. One never knows what sort of ideas one will come up with after seeing other people’s inventions.

my setup
Here are a couple of photos of the one I did:

Who made the contured yoke c2g?

I have one comming from Nashwaak in cherry and it seems a shame to install it in just one canoe. Perhaps I will try to make it fit many hulls by making the bolt holes into bolt slots.

That is a nice looking yoke. Who made it?



NT or JJoven had a nice picture

That’s the one I remember
Thanks for responding to my question. Tell me about those “threaded inserts” please. Are they hollow tubes, with wood threads on the outside and bolt threads (like those on the inside of a hex-nut) on the inside?

The original idea I had was to weld a nut to the end of a pipe of the same outside diameter, weld a flange to the opposite end of the pipe and insert it from below through that wood block on the inside of the gunwale (making it a tight fit so it wouldn’t drop out the bottom when the yoke wasn’t bolted in place). If there’s a double-threaded insert that can be store-bought, that would be a little quicker to build.

It’s just a stock contoured yoke. I’m pretty sure that one was one of the Bell ones, but it’s essentially the same as any of the other nice contoured yokes.

threaded inserts
You might be able to get them at your local woodworking or hardware store. Here’s what they look like:

and item C in this photo:,43576,52800

You could also consider using t-nuts:,43576,52800

for what it’s worth . . .


Should be able to order “replacement”

– Last Updated: Dec-18-05 2:05 AM EST –

clamping hardware from the makers or dealers that stock the removable yokes as well.

Here are a few I ran into while researching something else:



Mick this one looks like the pad
on the Sea Wind

Is it the same one?

Here’s mine

– Last Updated: Dec-18-05 8:26 AM EST –

I have made a couple but this one is on my Bell Magic and I designed it so that "NO" alteration to the boat was needed. No holes in the boat.

I had these photos in a Webshots album but have since removed them. I put them up on Photobucket for you.

This thing can be clamped on in less than a minute, No tools needed.

The minicel pad is easy to add. You could use sticky backed velcro to hold one on the yoke if you didn't want it on there all the time, mincel is not very durable when it's cut that thin.

Thanks N.T. for the whole group of fotos

Found some others that answered questions too.



No, I’m sure it is not.

Look closely and you will notice that the Voyageur pad is probably a carved block of foam and not a sheet.

Look at the installation instructions and I think you will see this pad is made to mount on a flat yoke, not a contoured one.

The sheet you are looking for is a sheet 3/4" thick. Also if a 1-1/4" thick foam were used in the contoured yoke the inner radius of foam would become too small unless one was petite.

Still looking? Have you asked here on the boards?

NC trip has been delayed, maybe canceled. Who knows? Certainly not I said the toad …



Hidden River Yoke Shop
At Canoecopia in Madison last year I bought a couple of the Hidden River Yoke Shop’s ( three-point attachment clamps and used those with a stock portage yoke cut to size for my solo canoe. The clamps grip the gunwales very well and I would recommend them. C2G’s setup looks pretty slick, but my concern with a fixed yoke position is that it reduces the flexibility to adjust the location of the yoke if you find that something you would like to keep attached to the canoe throws off the balance while you are carrying.

very flexible
I have something similar to the Hidden River yoke. It is a nice yoke, and it’s great to have something that you can use in different boats. The downside to the one I have (I don’t know the brand) is that it tended to slip on boats with vinyl gunwales. The Hidden River design might be better than the one that I have. The slippage is why I set mine up the way I did. The downside to mine is what you mentioned - all of the gear has to come out of the boat when you portage or the balance point is off.

Mine does that too

– Last Updated: Dec-18-05 3:30 PM EST –

I'm all done using gunwale clamps!! I have a generic-brand yoke with clamps that appear to be identical to those on the Hidden River yoke, and they just won't stay put on vinyl gunwales. It's also quite inconvient to get them properly located and centered side-to-side while tightening the clamps. Perhaps this is my problem, but I have zero tolerance for fiddling around with time-consuming, inconvenient processes, especially if the thing can't be relied upon once it's attached (slipping on vinyl gunwales) if all it takes is a little bit tinkering time to make the process quick, simple, and reliable. That's why I'm leaning toward something like the design illustrated by c2g.

As far as re-balancing a boat on while portaging, I hear that a line connecting the bow and stern, held just below waist level with one hand, works really well with minimal effort. I haven't had to try that yet, but it seems like a good idea. Also, if it ever turned out to be necessary, it would be pretty simple to lengthen c2g's set-up to accomodate a couple of extra mounting positions.

I just looked at the photos of NT's set-up, and THAT's a clamp that would be a lot easier to work with than any of the one-size-fits-all clamps I've seen. There's no sliding width adjustment, so you can lock it down without needing three hands to keep the clamp from slipping sideways in the process. Of course, once again, it's made for a specific boat, not any old boat (for those who might think that's a problem).

here’s mine

– Last Updated: Dec-18-05 5:15 PM EST –

I use 1/4" aluminum channel for the clamps with pieces of neoprene (an old mouse pad) for padding. The yoke has "ears" screwed and glued to the ends to keep the yoke from slipping off when the hull flexes.

Carriage bolts are 1/4x20 and the plastic knobs are availble at any good woodworking or hardware store.

This yoke is BOMBPROOF. It does not slip and has never let me down, even on the mile and a half Hells Gate Portage. Besides the ears the big knobs allow me to really apply some torque to the clamps.