Rack long enough

I’ve finally found the time to get my family into paddling, an activity I’ved always enjoyed. We’re starting out with canoeing before I get them into a kayak (flatwater) and will soon be picking up a MadRiver Adventure 14 footer.

My current daily driver will not handle a canoe and until I find something else we will be transporting it on my wife’s '08 Chevy Equinox. It’s got a Yakima rack on it and we picked up some of their gunwale mounts to keep the canoe in place.

My only concern is that her rack is towards the back third of the roof and is only two and and a half feet long.I think the canoe will ride fine with good tiedowns front and back and securely strapped to the Yak rack, but I’ve also been looking at a hitch mounted accessory that will support the rear of the canoe. It’s another two hundred dollars and I’d really rather not spend it if I can safely transport the canoes as is.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

rack length
If by length you mean distance between bars (bar spread), then two and a half feet should be fine with bow and stern tie downs and the brackets. I’ve carried my 18ft kayak on my brother’s geo prism from pittsburgh (we are the champions) to north carolina without any problems. He’s probably got less than two feet of bar spread on that rig.

…should be fine…IF

– Last Updated: Jun-15-09 9:13 AM EST –

....the rack itself has a solid footing. I've done it with Thule bars on one of the smallest Hondas before. The gunwale guides will be golden...but do get secure main tiedowns AND most of all...make a couple secure ties of thwarts to bars(imho the most important tiedowns), but ditto on the importance of the bow/stern ties too. Yeah, do whatever it takes to prevent any degree of a bow-high ride at all...a heck of a lot of drag pulling at the roof-rack & roof. I've seen the canoe-sail on more than a few vehicles but only on burly woods-workin' pickups.