Transporting canoes

Is a 16’ royalex canoe too long to haul in truck bed? I have a full size truck with a 8’ bed(10’ with tailgate down) and have to drive 150 miles home with it. I have seen people let them hang out the bed but I didn’t know if it would cause any damage. I can buy a bed extender if necessary but I don’t want to spend the money if it’s not needed.

I have done it many times in my …

– Last Updated: Aug-11-10 7:13 PM EST –

full size pick up with the tailgate down for a tupperware 15'-7" poly canoe, and my 16' long Penobscot.
I just make sure the bow is tied in tightly with two tiedowns, and then the side is tied taught to one side of the tail gate cables or supports.

Put a red flag on the stern, and you are good to go.

Want to hear about the time I carried several nineteen foot long telephone poles (along with a bunch of shorter ones) for over a hundred miles on the interstate, (it's a interesting story)?

Jack L

As Jack said put a red tag on it and make sure it’s tied off good. I typically tie off from the rings on the back of the bed, Ford Ranger, and then loop the rope around the canoe and tie it off on the bumper and hitch. Always works.

Now Jack, let’s hear the rest of the story of the poles!


Good to know
This is my first canoe and I wasn’t sure if it would put a crease in the hull. I’m pretty excited to go pick it up Friday. I’m getting a used 15’6" woodsman 3 and I hope I like it. I have been looking for some time but there aren’t many used canoes in my area and I was tired of waiting. Thanks for the info and I’m sure I’ll have a few more questions in the future. Btw. I would love to hear about your hauling adventures.

Interesting stories…
I’ve observed some really stupid instances of people hauling stuff on the roof of their cars. The most common is people who buy a mattress, then tie it on a bare roof with one piece of twine from the bed store strung thru the open windows and head for the freeway. At about 40 mph it’s starting to lift and at 50 it’s bent over backwards in the middle, or maybe the front is standing straight up.

A couple of years ago I was behind a van carrying something on the roof. They used the rear seat shoulder belts strung out the windows and clipped together to tie down the load.

The scariest one was two guys, driver and passenger holding a bumper pool table on the bare roof. One arm out each window.

Long story - I made many trips

– Last Updated: Aug-12-10 10:16 PM EST –

from the power company up to the mountains where I live carrying used power poles which were for the support of my house. I am on the side of a fairly steep mountain and used them as piers for the whole house.
When I first started carrying them I would only take 13 and 14 footers, and not over load the truck, but as I made more trips, I kind of threw caution to the wind and loaded up more and longer ones.
The front porch corner of the house is way high, and I needed fourteen footers, plus I put them between four and five feet in the ground, which came up to needing several nineteen footers.
My method for loading them was to start by getting one end on a smaller cross one using a large pry bar as a lever, and slowly getting it higher using small piles of short pieces until one end was just an inch or so above the tail gate. Then I simply backed the truck up until the pole slid into the truck.
Once I had a couple of the long ones in, I would pile shorter ones (12 and 13 footers)on top to keep the long ones from teetering out the back.
I had the truck loaded to the top of the bed sides, and started off. I had it so loaded, that the first sharp corner I came to the front wheels just wanted to go straight because there was so much weight on the back that the slightest bump made the front wheels come off the ground.
I drove the whole way at about 20 MPH, hugging the breakdown lane and luckily was never stopped by the highway patrol.
When I finally got to the home site, the next problem was how to unload them, so using my "brilliant mind" I decided to put a sling cable around the whole load, and then around an oak tree, and then just pull the truck away and let the whole load slide out.
It worked just fine except when the only portion of the entire load was on the tail gate, both side support bars, and the entire tail gate collapsed.

In chapter 2, I can tell you how to get a hernia in one easy lesson on the instasllation.

Jack L

You could also do what one of my…
many daughters did to carry her canoe in her short bed pick up, if you are concerned about the support.

She made a simple flat rack, (removable) out of 2x4’s just the width of the canoe and several feet longer than the truck bed.

Jack L