Transporting a Canoe

So I have a funny question so I expect some funny answers: I have half of my transportation figured out when taking trips- Owning a SUV…the problem is my other vehicle, a 2004 Mustang. I have a 14’ canoe and was wondering if anyone has ever loaded their canoe on a Mustang? Or better yet, if they do…what would be the best way so it stays solid. Most of my trips will be less than 100 miles.

I know I can pay an outfitter, but most shut down in the fall and not all rivers I want to float even have outfitters.

tramport14ft canoe
can make a braces for front and back support…also have tied down on front/back same as acroos the top of the car…hope you have hardtop …not convertablie top…

you will get some reply from this…many suggestions will popped up soon

it’s only a funny question if your 2004
… mustang is in fact a three year old horse.

If not, just buy the regular minicell foam blocks from just about anywhere (Wally Mart has them). Put them on the gunnels so they will land on your roof near the front and rear windows (roof is strongest there) and then run two “belly straps” over your canoe and through your open doors and snug them up. Don’t put the buckles inside the car like most people try to do. Place them so they are on the hull. They will tighten better that way. Then, rig some bow and stern lines so you have some minimalistic backup should your belly straps fail.

After you’ve done all that, close the convertible top. That will put the final tension on all your rigging.

Good Luck!

I second Clarion’s method. It’s one I use on my 14’ canoe, though not a Mustang vehicle.

tie canoe
Use Duct-Tape about 8-rolls should do!


GEO Metro

– Last Updated: Dec-19-07 12:18 PM EST –

I used to transport a 16' canoe on the roof of my Geo Metro. I used the foam canoe blocks but I oriented them the other way and used a closet rod across them. Then I did the straps through the doors. In effect I made a canoe rack. That way the straps can be pulled very tight without fear of dammaging the canoe.

Then just put your canoe on the rack and tie down normally.

For the bow lines I used the nylon straps under the hood trick. When not in use the straps are hidden under the hood.

For the stern Line I used another nylon loop held by the hatchback. For a Mustang you could use the trunk.

I'm sure I was quite the sight with this canoe on top of such a tiny car. I got great gas mileage though. :-)

the way I do it…
I have my jeep that can carry boats… but anyone I can get a shuttle from cant carry boats on their vehicle.

What I do normally, is have my shuttle/ride meet me at the put in. I will drop my boat off there, drive my jeep to the takeout, and have my ride drive me back to the put in.

this way I have a car witing for me when I get out… so no waiting for a ride. also there is no car at the put in to go back and fetch.

This takes a bit longer… usually its a hlaf hour drive between the 2 spots. ive never knock on wood had a problem leaving my boats unattended for this short period of time. Often i will drag them into the bushes just out of plain sight for a little piece of mind.

how nice is your mustang? I wouldnt carry a boat on one unless it wasnt so nice.

and fwiw, I used to have an itty bitty 90 nissan sentra 2dr… no racks. I would pile my boats on the roof (didnt care about the paint) with the doors open, then strap em down with a ratchet strap. if you do it doors closed you have to enter and exit dukes of hazzard style

My idea on this would be
Add a small reciever hitch to the mustang (if you don’t have one already), then have a “T” brace with eyes at the ends of the T (for straps) welded to a slide-in hitch. The top of the T should be as high as the roof (or windshield, if you have a convert. and want to have the top down). This way you can use a foam block at the front, tie the front down to the bumper, and have the rear fully supported and can remove the brace when you’re not using it.

how bout
a trailer? simple and wouldn’t have to mod the car.

Transporting a canoe
I’ve seen several good suggestions posted here and a few, well… not so good. Several people mentioned bow and stern lines, several did not. When transporting a canoe on a vehical with a short roof line, bow and stern lines are absolutely essential. This can not be over emphasized. Faiure to do so is dangerous not only to your canoe, your car and yourself, but everyone else on the road. The side forces on the canoe from crosswinds are significant and may be generated by passing vehicals as well as by mother nature. If the canoe begins to twist, the forces instantly increase to the point that either the tie down straps will break, the canoe will break and or the car will be damaged. From that point we’re only talking miliseconds until your canoe becomes an unguided missle which hopefully misses all targets on the road and lands as trash on the side of the road.

Personally, I had a boat twist many years ago significantly damaging it. Because of a safety line, it never came off the truck. I know several people who have had boats come completely off. By sheer luck, in all cases that I know of, the canoes landed harmlessly on or off the road.

Unless you have secure and widely spaced racks don’t travel without bow and stern lines.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works