Yakima question for Mad River Adventure

-- Last Updated: May-25-12 7:53 PM EST --

I recently purchased a Mad River Adventure 16, my first canoe. I read many great reviews on it as an entry level canoe so I gave it a try.

I have a question on carrying options. I have a Nissan Armada(tall) and since I plan on soloing once in awhile I wanted a rack system that I could load by myself if I had to so I settled on a Yakima carrier. The front are saddles and the rear are rollers. I was planning on carrying the canoe top side up and rolling it onto my SUV from the rear.

My question is this...since the Adventure seems to be a fairly soft(?) material, will the rollers on the rear provide a big enough foot print to not indent or otherwise damage the structure of the canoe bottom? I could always go back to carrying it on the gunwale on 4 foam blocks, but the rollers seemed like a more convenient method.



If you try it on a hot, sunny day,
you can see whether the rollers dent the hull, and whether the dents persist after you take the boat off. The dents will be temporary, and should pop out after further sun exposure. But if it does dent there, it might cause permanent dents if you persist.

I don’t know if the Adventure is anything like my fairly traditional Mad River canoes, but I would not carry a canoe hull down, regardless of how that made loading easier. If you drive through a heavy rain, what’s going to remove the water? Scupper holes?

There are swing out side bars that allow loading canoes hull up. You might check on what Yakima offers.

Gunwales down
This is a heavy canoe. And not friendly to portage. The fixed center seat makes carrying it solo a big pain. Your choice of vehicles compicates matters by being too tall. Even with the rollers on the rear bar, its an ugly lift to get the bow onto the rollers by yourself. No easy solution, the weight won’t change and neither will the height of the rear bar.

A friend with a similar problem is working on a hinged T-bar for his trailer hitch similar to the fold down bike racks that go into the trailer hitch receiver. He figures on putting the end of the canoe onto the lowered T-bar, then swinging the T-bar upright. This will raise the end of the canoe above his roof and allow him to pick up the rear of the canoe and slide it onto his racks. So far he has not figured out a mechanism to lift the T-bar from horizontal to vertical lifting the weight of the canoe.

The best way is gunwales down. Better support for the canoe and no worries about deformation unless you tighten your tie-down ropes/straps too tight and its hot.

Every canoe is a compromise and this one has decent paddling traits, seat backs, low cost; offset by a heavy, hard to carry hull.

Sounds familiar
We have a Mad River Adventure 16 and a minivan, too. It is, indeed, too heavy for me to get up on the crossbars alone. With another adult, it’s easy but this is a heavier, unwieldy canoe (as another commenter said, it is not set up for traditional portage carry).

That said, I love it on the water. It’s a tank and, fully loaded, pretty fast. I also have a pickup truck with a 6.5’ bed. For short trips, I lash it down hard to the bed and let it hang out over the lowered tailgate. The boat is so rigid, it’s seems to hold up well. I would not do this for long trips. A T-bar type bed extender is probably in my future.

The weight/unwieldiness is my only disappointment with the boat. The pickup truck bed with a canoe cart is the only way I’ve figured out how to manage it solo. In my experience any deformation to this canoe is temporary and pops back nicely in sunlight. Good luck.

Agree with gunwhales down
Dear Timothy,

When you think about things a bit do you really see an advantage to carrying a canoe sunny side up? I didn’t think so?

Maybe you need a trailer, you might be able to buy one from the guy who has one but doesn’t like to tow it because he’s scared of it? He’s on this page too.

Honestly, each and every day I wonder just where the world I grew up in went? I never imagined there could ever be as many clueless scared people running around as there appears to be today?

Put the stinking canoe on your car and move it. If the process sucks do one of two things, sell the canoe or sell the vehicle.

I’m sorry to be so harsh but c’mon. You are asking about cartopping a canoe not invading Normandy, what’s the big deal?


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

What’s your issue Tim Murphy?
Exactly what part of my questions sound like I’m trying to invade Normandy? Also, what part sounds like I’m scared and clueless? I simply asked carrying opinions for my first canoe…you mentioned that you may have sounded a little harsh. Actually, you’re the one that comes across as sounding like a whining ass. If you can’t do better than that, don’t bother wasting your time responding to my post. Or waste everyone else’s time having to read it. I would phrase it another way, but my post would probably be deleted.

Way better off cartopping gunwales down
If you can get just one end up there you can slide it forward, possibly using a step stool to get a good push with it as it slides on the back bar.

I have a similar problem with my truck and as I am old, I find that seventy lbs is my limit to getting a boat on in this fashion, even though it involves only part of the weight of the boat. Sometimes I kind of drag the stern of the boat on the ground while I get in position to let the bow sit on the rear bar.

Imagine it rains and you have to figure out how to get a hundred and fifty lb beast off the roof with no handholds. Never underestimate the power and weight of sloshing water.

Why I was thinking carrying cockpit up
When I purchased the Adventure 16 and brought it home gunwales down on foam blocks, the noise it generated when I got above about 35mph was unreal. It sounded like a swarm of bees was on top of my SUV! Really loud and not something anyone would put want to put up with for a road trip lasting hours. Has anyone else experienced this? I’m thinking the folding seats and molded structure of the canoe may be the cause.

Are you sure the noise isn’t the seat straps and bungees with hard plastic buckles and end pulls/hooks flapping around in the wind and banging off the roof? You have to secure those down really well.

not necessarily
It can be the interaction between the shape of your boat and the shape of your car. Often solved by altering the airflow as in pool noodle around the bars.

Buzzing sounds from canoe
There are many noises that can occur when you cartop a canoe. Straps are great for making noises at speed; both tie down straps and straps inside the canoe holding things together. Even web seats can vibrate.

A lot has to do with the air velocity under the canoe; and that is very unpredictable. Several of my canoes make noises if mounted stern front, but not if mounted bow front. Air over the bucket seats seems to be the cause of that. Cars with steep windshields seem to blast the underside worse, and the distance above the roof makes a difference. Loose stuff banging on the car roof is annoying, but easy to find and cure. Good luck.