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Possibly a stupid question....


  So I have 2 vehicles, a tahoe and a VW rabbit (I know it sounds like there's a joke coming, but there isn't). Anyway, my VW is my daily commuter. It's reliable, and does great on gas, and I want to use it to portage a 16' American eagle canoe. I have no roof bars (and I have a sunroof). The canoe is a relatively big one. Any of you canoe/kayak guys running hatchbacks? What kind of roof racks are you using? I really don't know what I'm looking for, or if I should just say screw it and buy a trailer and tow it around with the tahoe? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance: )

Replies

  • cprcpr Posts: 9,309 Admiral
    The answer is in your screen name, Old. A trailer is the way to go. You are too old to want to lift a canoe. If you live in Fl think about trying to get that heavy canoe on your hot roof and having to strap it down. I did the roof rack (Thule) and they work well but getting back at noon or 1300 after paddling all morning, burning my hands on the roof, scratching up the back on my Tahoe and having to transport 3 kayaks, I went with a trailer. I loved it. Now I have a truck so the trailer is sitting in the back. Go figure.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • krashkrash Posts: 682 Officer
    edited April 2019 #3
    I carry a 14'4" canoe on the roof of my 2dr. Civic. (not a hatchback though).. using Thule Aero bars. I have carried it many times using soft Surf/SUP pads as well.  Just make sure you use bow, stern lines, and at least one across side to side near center.

    One of the issues you will have with the hatch back is that once the canoe is up on the roof you won't be able to open the hatch.. I can open my trunk but not without releasing the stern line, but not fully open.

    One con about the Thule Aero bars is they have a rubber strip across the centerline (slot) of the bars and it is not a "non marking" black rubber so if you slide the canoe across them or at the contact points, (I carry mine upside down), it leaves black marks on the gunwales or on the white gelcoat of my SUP.

    One main con when using soft Surf racks is the straps that you run through the car wick water and drip inside the car, and summer time rains come with no notice here.

    If your car is a hatchback a suggestion is to drape a rubberized bath mat across the edge of the hatch, lift the bow/stern onto the mat, lift the other end and it will easly slide it on a set of hard racks (soft racks may try to slide or roll). The rubberized backing with keep the bath mat form sliding.


    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 304 Deckhand
    Likewise "old" (68). Rather than a roof rack which strains my rotator , I use a bed extender for my 14'6" Native. No strain. Altho your canoe is longer, the bed of your Tahoe is much longer than the bed in my Xterra. Worth a look to see if it suits you. I've even piggy backed 2 yaks with it.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,385 Captain

      Just to elaborate, I'm a 44 year old retired Navy SAR. I haven't hit that geriatric wall yet: ) The tahoe is a different story. She's a 97', has 150k on her, and every time she has an issue it costs me a grand. Really trying to avoid using it if possible.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,963 AG
    Like is like a Helicopter.  I do not know how to operate a Helicopter  
  • SUPER DSUPER D Posts: 714 Officer
    ODC if it were me, I would get a small light weight trailer. Get a hitch for the Rabbit. Total weight of a canoe and trailer would be no problem. It would save your back from roofing it. You could load most equipment in Canoe, and not have to load/unload car 4 times like if you roof it. I launched my Jon boat from a kayak launch, had to wait for three guys with Yaks, half hour till one finished loading all the crap, I launched and was gone while the others were still loading. A trailer rocks. 
  • krashkrash Posts: 682 Officer
    You could do like I have and get a light weight canoe... my Vagabond is a hybrid, gelcoat/kevlar/fiberglass 14'4" and it weighs only 38 pounds, Wehnnah also has an even lighter one without the gelcoat.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • JettyparkJettypark Posts: 1,969 Captain
    This might be a stupid answer/question,  but why not just use the tahoe? Heck i have a pickup and able to transport two kayaks pretty easy, but i'm actually thinking about a trailer, just because of the ease of it .... My fishing buddy also has two kayak (we take our wife's) and he has a suv and loaded them on top... well after a dozen of so outing he finally got a trailer and Wow the ease of it can't be beat...also he doesnt have much a huge yard, but he is able to put it on the side of the house under a cover and its good to go for next time...  It was a pain watching them load the kayaks on top all the time... and if you think about it... being in the sun most of the day and padding out and back in then you have to load it on top... well once we reach a certain age  (most of us LOL) we try to look for easier ways.... that little bug shouldnt have a problem pulling a trailer 
    aa13.gif"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons"
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 304 Deckhand
    44 is OLD!?! My son in law , also retired Navy, is older than that and my daughter nearly that. Why when I was 44 I could carry a kayak under each arm and one in my teeth! At least thats the way I remember it anyway. Bed extender works for me but a trailer even better if you have the room. I've aready got a jon boat and a skiff on trailers so...
  • krashkrash Posts: 682 Officer
    44, I'm a gonna be 70 this year.

    Trailer would cramp my style, kind of limits you to launching at a ramp where there are trailer parking spots. I launch thru to many holes in teh mangroves on the side of the road.

    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 304 Deckhand
    Krash, thats a good point about trailer. A benefit to bed extender that I didnt think of. 
  • JettyparkJettypark Posts: 1,969 Captain
    Most guys i know don't launch from the trailer,,.. they just park it put it on wheels and then hit the ramp or where ever else they are launching from....44 but remember he retired from the Navy .... and you know how those guys are  :p
    aa13.gif"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons"
  • quatinquatin Posts: 598 Officer
    My neighbor runs one off a hatch back. After looking at it, I think a hatchback is a superior hauling method for kayaks/canoes than a truck. I know several people who had cars crash into their kayaks sticking out the bed of the truck. Plus you can fit in most parking lots with a full load for when you buy bait, get food and etc.

    The key here is to find a "rain gutter roof rack" that fits well with your car. It clamps on the roof where your doors are so you don't need to drill. Get one with a high mount so you can still open your hatch door with the kayak/canoe mounted. You can also get tall kayak saddles for the same effect like the Yakima Mako Saddles. If you have trouble loading, look for kayak rack rollers, they're wheels you mount to the rear hatch or rear rack bar and you roll the kayak up. I use one to put a 16'' kayak on a SUV.
  • JW_YakAnglerJW_YakAngler NaplesPosts: 251 Deckhand
    quatin said:
    My neighbor runs one off a hatch back. After looking at it, I think a hatchback is a superior hauling method for kayaks/canoes than a truck. I know several people who had cars crash into their kayaks sticking out the bed of the truck. Plus you can fit in most parking lots with a full load for when you buy bait, get food and etc.

    The key here is to find a "rain gutter roof rack" that fits well with your car. It clamps on the roof where your doors are so you don't need to drill. Get one with a high mount so you can still open your hatch door with the kayak/canoe mounted. You can also get tall kayak saddles for the same effect like the Yakima Mako Saddles. If you have trouble loading, look for kayak rack rollers, they're wheels you mount to the rear hatch or rear rack bar and you roll the kayak up. I use one to put a 16'' kayak on a SUV.
    Nothing beats a real 8 ft. bed. I slide my 13 ft. kayak in, lift up the end and close tailgate. With tailgate up, anyone who hits me will get an introduction to my hitch instead of damaging my kayak. With tailgate up you can also throw all your salty gear in the bed without worry as well. The problem is, most trucks these days are 6 ft beds which requires tailgate down unless you have a really short yak. Love my 8 ft bed, I often get to the launch and leave before people who got there before me.
    My YouTube channel: JakeW KayakFishing
  • reelfirereelfire ny/flaPosts: 55 Greenhorn
    Most rack companys make ez loaders. Search youtube for ez load kayak. 
    If you aren't fishing on the edge, youre probably blocking the channel.
  • quatinquatin Posts: 598 Officer
    quatin said:
    My neighbor runs one off a hatch back. After looking at it, I think a hatchback is a superior hauling method for kayaks/canoes than a truck. I know several people who had cars crash into their kayaks sticking out the bed of the truck. Plus you can fit in most parking lots with a full load for when you buy bait, get food and etc.

    The key here is to find a "rain gutter roof rack" that fits well with your car. It clamps on the roof where your doors are so you don't need to drill. Get one with a high mount so you can still open your hatch door with the kayak/canoe mounted. You can also get tall kayak saddles for the same effect like the Yakima Mako Saddles. If you have trouble loading, look for kayak rack rollers, they're wheels you mount to the rear hatch or rear rack bar and you roll the kayak up. I use one to put a 16'' kayak on a SUV.
    Nothing beats a real 8 ft. bed. I slide my 13 ft. kayak in, lift up the end and close tailgate. With tailgate up, anyone who hits me will get an introduction to my hitch instead of damaging my kayak. With tailgate up you can also throw all your salty gear in the bed without worry as well. The problem is, most trucks these days are 6 ft beds which requires tailgate down unless you have a really short yak. Love my 8 ft bed, I often get to the launch and leave before people who got there before me.
    You just let the kayak sit on top of the closed tailgate? I did that once in someone elses truck with my kayak and warped the hull after a 2 hour ride and I never did it again. We later did this with a 16' aluminum canoe, but upside down and with one end lifted over the cab and strapped down. I would feel much better with that method.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,385 Captain
    quatin said:
    My neighbor runs one off a hatch back. After looking at it, I think a hatchback is a superior hauling method for kayaks/canoes than a truck. I know several people who had cars crash into their kayaks sticking out the bed of the truck. Plus you can fit in most parking lots with a full load for when you buy bait, get food and etc.

    The key here is to find a "rain gutter roof rack" that fits well with your car. It clamps on the roof where your doors are so you don't need to drill. Get one with a high mount so you can still open your hatch door with the kayak/canoe mounted. You can also get tall kayak saddles for the same effect like the Yakima Mako Saddles. If you have trouble loading, look for kayak rack rollers, they're wheels you mount to the rear hatch or rear rack bar and you roll the kayak up. I use one to put a 16'' kayak on a SUV.
     So this is essentially what I ended up doing. My canoe is about 35lbs heavier than my native ultimate 12, but the ultimate is pretty effortless. I might try loading the canoe next weekend. Thanks for all the suggestions guys, I'll keep you posted.
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