Transporting canoe right-side up?

I’d like to look into the posabillity of transporting my canoe deck-up instead of like a turtle before I start bolting on a bunch of fish-hunting accessories. Are there realy long foam blocks like kayyak blocks that will let a canoe hull rest rigth-side-up on my car? I tried googling and got a lot of regular canoe blocks but tha’s not at all what I’m looking for.

Upside-down is best
The canoe is stronger when resting on its gunwales than when resting on its hull, unless you actually succeed in finding a really long cradle that accurately conforms to the shape of the hull. Those Radisson/Sportspal canoes also have hulls that a very prone to bending, another reason to carry it upside-down. Finally, if it rains really hard while the canoe is up on top of the car, you could end up with hundreds of pounds of water inside. Not good for the canoe or the roof rack (not to mention driving control if you are on the road when it happens).

Back when we used huge bead block
for floatation in whitewater canoes, we had to find a way for the protruding block to fit between the rack crossbars. That was when we were using Quick’n’Easy rack uprights on classic rain gutters, so that rack spacing was almost always wider than can be achieved on many of today’s vehicles.

No one ever considered carrying a canoe open side up, because in the seasons we were paddling, scattered thundershowers were likely to be around. Also, as noted above, the bottom of a canoe is likely to pooch in from rack pressure.

I’d recommend planning those fishing accessories very carefully, and sticking with the traditional upside down rack mounting.

It would be difficult
if not next to impossible to really secure your canoe to the roof while in the upright position IMO. My upright, garage kept kev canoe will easily move from it’s carpeted resting spot on the floor if I open the door on a windy day. It would take much more wind to move it if it were upside down.


I don’t put accessories on my canoe or
kayak that I cannot remove. Carry the canoe upside down,much better for the boat and your piece of mind.

kayak right side up - and a syphon
I have the Glide and Slide which holds my kayak off the roof of my van nicely. If it rains, I finally got smart and got a piece of old hose. That cheap piece of hose gets all of the water out of the kayak in a jiffy.

wet canoes
Draining your right-side up canoe or kayak is fine after you stop, but the act of stopping itself becomes much more problematic. Water shifting quickly to the front under even smooth braking can rip the whole mess, boat AND rack right off the top of the car. Unless your boat has a full cockpit cover, don’t put it on your rack this way. This is not a theoretical problem; it is a real, practical issue of safety. Really. Paddle On!

It’s just a bad idea all 'round
It’s one thing to do it for a short back road shuttle on a river trip. It’s another to do it as a matter of course at highway speeds.

I’d figure out how to fish-pimp your canoe below the gunnels, or at least be able to move the stuff prior to transport.

My favorite new phrase!

So, kayaks are transpoted seat-up all the time as a matter of course but doing so with a canoe would turn it into aself-destructing watter-filled object of destruction. What about non-rainy days? What about in a truck bed or inside a van?

you “can” haul stuff lots of varied ways
… heck, just hang out at a suburban Home Depot on a Saturday morning. You’ll see all kinds of stuff.

You can have different transport methods for different kinds of trips and different kinds of weather too. But, most people find it’s easiest to come up with a simple solution that you use all the time. It just keeps things simple, safe, and quick.

But, setting up shuttle for river and creek trips, hauling other peoples boats along with your own … other peoples vehicles. It can, and often does, get ugly.


Clearly Kayakers ain’t too bright
That’s only one of the reasons I won’t let my daughters date yakkers.

Anyone dumb enough to drive around with open tupperware on the roof shouldn’t be allowed to breed!

They do make cockpit covers and even canoe covers.

You could make giant cradles for your canoe and a tight cover that won’t blow off at 75 mph. It would be easier just to flip the boat over and bolt the hardware on before you launch.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Start hauling a canoe topside up and the next thing you’ll be hauling it stern first. And who knows what you’ll do after that! Nothing good can come of it, so give it up before it’s too late.

My canoe has better clearance over
the cab stern first.

Canoe Builders join Auto Makers
Both Canoe builders and auto makers encourage you to tote that boat right side up in kayak cradles.

Eventually, it will rain. The canoe will fill with water. You will arrive at a stopping point. The water will not notice, newton pretty much getting the energy conserved part right.

You will then need to replace the canoe and, at the least, the auto front boot.

Simple solution
Just add scupper holes.

Works for my SOT.

Otherwise, turn it over and stop trying to rock the boat (so to speak).


Flat bottom
There is only one canoe that I put on the roof right side up

It’s a Peace Canoe that was built by our local paddle club at the Newport Wooden Boat Show. It 18’ long, 36” wide with 4’ of rocker. It paddles surprisingly well, but doesn’t heal over very well. Can’t imagine what it would weight if it filled up with water.

hey Charlie, that’s the bonnet!

– Last Updated: May-09-08 6:10 AM EST –

... unless it's VW Bug, I guess

Ah MR.Grumpy… it’s Mr. Obvious again
Since one gallon on water weighs 8.34 pounds and even though your canoe is small 11’6" x 38" it will still hold a considerable amount of water. Therefore if you were to get caught in a rainstorm or foreget to unload your canoe from the car and it rains the boat could gain enough weight to collapse the roof killing you instantly. Also it’s not easy to unload an 800 lb. canoe.

You are not wrong but circumstances
at times alter cases. I have to live with my physical limitations and for now that means right side up kayak, use of a hose, sometimes using a kayak cover, and sometimes offering kids in the parks or launch sites a few bucks to help me load it back on to my Van. I have the tie downs and the syphon all figured out, my own system. Only once did I get caught in a rain storm that made me have to stop and syphon ASAP.

Next summer I may be hauling the kayak on a trailer which will be easier for me physically to cope with. Then it can be upside down!

I am not sure a canoe sitting upright on top of a car would look balanced.

Perhaps my kayak looks unbalanced as well when right side up and I’ve got the wrong system. Too late to change that now, I’m working on monies for my next vehicle. Maybe a next kayak too.

Always check your load at rest areas, if it rains and you have a big piece of open “tupperware” as one of you put it this is not safe and needs to be emptied immediately.

Ever come to a sudden stop and have the boat spill water down your windshield or have a boat full of water shift on your roof! You don’t want these things to happen. So if you are one of those stupid people, like myself, who carry it right side up - do take cautions and act responsibly about it.