Yakima "Drydock"

Anybody tried one of these? http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?Number=8002589

I’m thinking of getting my Honda CRV set up with one since the factory set cross bar spread (33")doesn’t really cut it for carrying a canoe in my opinion.

I probably will use a hitch occasionally anyway. The trick may be getting a hitch with a 2" reciever for this vehicle. Going to check with the dealership on that.

Two-Inch Receiver
I suspect you won’t be able to get a hitch with a two-inch receiver for that car, but I could be wrong. If that turns out to be the case, you could have a welder or machine shop make an adapter that would fit whatever size receiver you end up with (the result would be a mounting point that extends six or eight inches rearward of the hitch itself). An even better option, but much more expensive, would be to hire a welder to make a custom hitch with a two-inch receiver, perhaps even something a bit more elaborate which would do a better job of controlling wobble than what that setup can do as-is (wobble-control could be as simple as using small-diameter steel cable with turnbuckles attached to loops on the outer ends of the hitch’s rear crossmember, instead of webbing straps attached to the bumper with some “universal” hook).

what year is your CR V …

– Last Updated: Aug-09-09 11:27 PM EST –

...... I recommend a Curt custom fit hitch (all welded construction/powder coated) , probably about $150.(black) / class 3.
(can be a custom color also but that adds about 60. extra) ... you'll probably have a choice of square or round tube styles .

Another opt. similar to the DryDock is a Reese/Fulton Canoe Loader , it carries 1 canoe only though , but the T on top spins 360 degrees making the loading real easy (cost 100.)

I'll check and get you some links to these things if interested , if available , if I know what year .

I have a Pontiac Grand Am

– Last Updated: Aug-10-09 6:25 AM EST –

with a Thule rack - bar spread is only 28" and I carry canoes on it all the time. I've never had a problem. Can easily carry my 17' tandem or 2 solos. I do have tie down straps for bow and stern lines under the hood and in the trunk. It is definitely tougher to find tie down point in the back of a hatchback.

(By bar spread I assume you are talking about the distance between the bars, not the length. The bars on my Grand Am are 50" long, and 28" apart.)

2004 CRV
Its an '04.

Yes, I’m talking about the distance between the bars.

I’ll give the set up at least on more try and see about adjusting my bow tie downs differently. I’ve been cartopping canoes for 30 plus years and think I know what a good bow tie off looks like though. I’ve got major freeways and interstates to deal with to get to all my paddling waters and the big trucks in particular really give a boat heck. I’m thinking it is mainly an issue of bar spread and the physics of leverage with this set up.

I’d love to check out those links to the hitches and canoe loaders.


I use a dry-dock on my Dodge Dakota p/u (with Q towers on the roof for the front rack) - I like it.

It does what it is supposed to do and what I want it to do, which is to be quick and easy to install, and be rock solid as lond as its on the truck. I use 58" cross bars to carry two canoes. I ran a coated cable thru one set of the height adjustment holes and swaged loops on both ends - that way, I can lock the rack to the trailer hitch, and lock my boats to the rack using other cable locks. The dry dock can be used with any vehicle since its height adjustable, so if you change vehicles, or just want to sell it, it should be easy to sell later.

The Drydock will work just fine…
…but why? 33" is plenty of spread for almost any normal length canoe out there. I regularly carry two 18’ footers using a 30 inch spread. Just be sure to add adequate bow and stern tie downs (for lift, not strength) and you’ll be just fine. I see numerous CR-Vs every month using a regular Yakima or Thule set up, but have yet to see one with a Drydock or other goalpost set up.

same hitch I have … a good hitch …

– Last Updated: Aug-10-09 12:23 PM EST –

...... http://www.jcwhitney.com/CURT-III-HITCH-RECEIVERS/GP_2011914_N_111+2004200729595+600002360_10101.jcw (not sure what is wrong with this link, works in my search window ?? ... anyway check Whitney , they have it for $134.)

J.C.Whitney is good place to deal with , looks like they also have the best price on your hitch right now !! ... I think Whitney will ship free or maybe just a small fee , don't forget you'll need a ball mount (draw bar) and a 5/8" hitch pin too .



the canoe laoder : http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_45275___SearchResults

For the canoe loader you can check around for other sellers (on-line)in case you don't have a Bass Pro within driving distance of you ... I use this canoe loader and wouldn't trade it for the world for loading a "single canoe" !!

Not sure how your CR-V rear door opens , but it's doubtful you'll be able to open it using a vertical stand in a trailer hitch ... I can open my tail gate now with the (Curt) 8" hitch extension I recently got .

Another thought that I haven't checked out for your CR-V , is a "Front Hitch" ... Curt make them also

Yakima Drydock
My brother-in-law has one and likes it a lot. He only has it on when he is transporting his kayak. It is quite easy to put on and take off.

I own one.

Mediocre reviews, I agree (anything less than all 10s on Pnet is a so-so review).

I find it tipsy, even with the screw on tapered bolt, and I don;t like it. For someone worried about a 33 inch spread on bars (as I would, too, but some would call us compulsive), I think you’ll find the Yakima Dry Dock betyter tahn the Thule Goal Post (which I have never used) but not great.

If you live close to central IL, I will sell you my Yakima Dry Dock in like new condition with all parts and accesories for 1/2 the best online price you can find.

Thanks Folks
I appreciate all the feedback. I’m going to try the little rack out again, maybe this weekend if time allows. Regarding the spread, I never had wind whip a bow around like it did this weekend and I had two taught bow lines tied to the two front tie off loops under the front end. Seemed like plenty of spread.

With the old rack on my camper top the boat was so snug you could almost skip tieing off the bow and stearn and I only used a single line on each. God I miss my F150!

One thing I’ve always tried to do is tie a canoe off so that the length of the boat beyond the front crossbar was noticeably less that beyond the back. I was wondering if I should exagerate that a little more with this set up? In other words the physical center of the boat lengthwise would be about at the rear crossbar. Less boat hanging out front for El Mano de Diablo to take hold of.

I actually do the opposite
I picked up an old video from Mohawk Canoe from the days when they were in FL. Its mostly a promotional piece about their canoes, but is also has Mark and Becky Molina doing some instruction, and there is about 10 minutes of Mark Molina doing freestyle moves in a Solo 13 that is pretty cool.

Anyway, in this video Mohawk recommends centering the boat on the car. On my Grand Am, that means that the length of the boat beyond the front crossbar is noticeably more than the back, and the physical center of the boat is up around the front crossbar. I use double tie downs on the bow and stern. I will admit, at highway speeds the front of the boat does flex a little, but I can reach up and feel the canoe on the rack so I know it is locked down tight. If the canoe was moving around on the rack, that would be a different story.

I know this doesn’t exactly help you since you have a hatchback not a sedan, but I wonder if it is actually the length of the boat sticking out the back that is causing the problem. Since its tough to get a good line on the back of the boat, once the back starts moving, it will shake the rest of the boat.

Just a thought. Good luck.