Adventures With Lloyd

on CanoeCanadaEast.Com

Do it Yourself


How to

Build a Double Canoe Carrier for a small car

You will need;
1) A sheet of plywood
2) A circular saw or table saw
3) Wrenches or a socket set
4) 4 U bolts or car muffler clamps (I used 2 inch)
5) 6 eye bolts
6) 20 large washers to fit the above hardware


To start;

  • Measure the distance between your cars roof rack bars (say about 2 feet)

  • Take some Ĺ inch or ĺ plywood and rip it with a circular or table saw so it is about 4 or 5 inches wider than the distance between your rack bars on the outside edges. A couple inches on the front and back of the bars will be needed to bolt to later.

  • Cut your plywood to the width of your two canoes plus about 6 inches. This is usually about 6 foot 6 inches. You will want an inch or so between them and a couple inches on the outside edges to install eye bolts to tie to.

  • With your plywood now cut to shape, find the center and draw a line across dividing it into two halves roughly 2 feet by 3 feet. On this line measure in a couple of inches on both sides and mark a drill hole for your eye bolts. Be sure that your drill holes are both towards center enough that your eye bolts will miss the roof racks bars. If in doubt put the plywood on your car top to check things out before drilling.

  • Measure in from both outside edges now a few inches and draw lines to find the drill holes for your outer eye bolts. The side eye bolts should be in from the side, front and back a few inches for extra strength when you tie to them.

  • Install all six eye bolts with large washers top and bottom. My eye bolts are rated for 80lbs. You may use a hacksaw, metal saw or grinder to shorten the excess length of the eyebolts if you wish. Be sure they are very tight though.

  • Place the plywood on the roof rack and center it left and right, front and back. Measure in a few inches from the tips of your roof rack bars and mark the drill holes for the U bolts, this can be done by pencil or by pressing the U bolt into the soft plywood to make an imprint then penciling over the mark. When all 4 are marked take the plywood down measure everything again and straighten things up and drill your holes slightly larger than the diameter of the U bolts.

  • Now place the plywood back on the car top, center it and install the U bolts as tight as you can with the last of the washers on top and you are done

    A few notes:

  • You could use two more U bolts in the center if you wanted to, it is a bit overkill but it makes the contraption a bit quieter.

  • I used thinner plywood on mine because it was free so to compensate for the reduced strength I doubled the thickness on the edges.

  • If you remove your roof rack for yearly maintenance like I do you will have to put it back exactly in the same place for the double carrier to fit back on again.

  • This drives like a dream with two canoes on top slightly pointed in at the front but is very strange to drive with on windy days with no canoes on top. It is best to remove it after every trip as it goes on and off in minutes once you get used to it.

  • You will never get into a car the same way ever again after using this. The first time you smash your head or scrape yourself on the bottom of an eye bolt you will forever look like you are getting into a helicopter.

  • Finally with the bolts sticking up on the top you have to be careful not to scratch your gunwales with them. You could cover U bolts sticking up with something though but on the 001 and 002 models I havenít done this yet.

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