Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
New2TheFly

Canoe and Ladder Racks

14 posts in this topic

In need of some advise guys...

I just got a topper with a ladder rack and need advise on strapping down my canoe. My old topper didn't have a rack so I used the foam blocks when transporting. How do you guys suggest loading a canoe on ladder racks? My canoe is aluminum and I don't want to scratch it all up. Should I put something between the rack and the canoe? Any help is appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can still use the foam blocks or you can buy some smaller foam pipe insulation or cut up one of those foam "noodles" the kids swim with. That's what I use on my cars roof rack and it works great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Powerstroke. I assume you put the foam blocks on the rack rather than the canoe? Also wondering how you configure your straps. Do you strap right to the rack or to your vehicle?

Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aluminum canoes are made to be beat around, i wouldnt worry about scratching it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I Like using the blocks because they keep the boat from sliding around, they protect the gunwales and the are compressible so they will squish down under the pressure of the straps without harming the rack or the boat and the boat doesn't move.

If you're using a ladder rack or roof rack, place the blocks on the rack's crossbars. If you're using something like 2x4's where the surface is wider I place the blocks on the canoe.

I strap the boat to the rack with ratchet straps and then add the ropes on the bow and stern as a safety measure. The rack should be well rated to the weight of a boat so I wouldn't worry, but I figure worst case scenario at least I know it won't leave my vehicle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to use ratchet straps. I think I like them a bit too much. I used them on my aluminum topper when loading my canoe on it and, well, eventually the aluminum tubing gets a bit weakened by tightening them down too much. I bought a set of racks that are independent of the topper. This way I can crank them down and not worry about wrecking the topper. I get a bit carried away with tying the canoe down, also. Two straps each end and two over the middle on the racks. It ain't going anywhere. A bit of a pain, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used them on my aluminum topper when loading my canoe on it and, well, eventually the aluminum tubing gets a bit weakened by tightening them down too much.

So the ladder rack itslef became weak? My ladder rack is connected to the topper (aluminum) so how do I avoid running into the same situation? I'm in the same boat as you, no pun intended, I like to strap that baby down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By using true ratchet straps where you can really crank down on them you can put so much pressure on the topper that you can bend or crush the aluminum as if you were walking on the roof of your topper.

I get it tight enough that I can rock the boat but the boat doens't move, the car does. It doesn't need to be any tighter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't just the ladder rack that became weak, the frame of the topper, too. Like I said, I use ratchet straps and sometime one more click ain't a good thing. What I found was that sitting in my driveway was great but when you get onto a rough logging road, the truck would flex, for lack of a better term and the ratchets would get real tight on one side and loose on the other. That's why I went to the ladder rack that I have. It isn't affected by the truck twisting as much as the topper, which is clamped down to the bed rails. While I kind of agree with Powerstroke on not needing to tighten it down so much, I hate having my canoe wobbling. I worry it's going to blow off onto the car behind me, which is probably some really hot gal trying to get close enough to me to ask me for my phone number. That would probably make her lose interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input guys. I will take it easy the first few times strapping the canoe down. Redlantern - Tie off the front and back of the canoe so it doesn't blow onto the car behind you with the hot gal. Maybe you'll get her number...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I bought a heavy flatback I also bought a canoe rack that fits the receiver hitch. Its fully adjustable and swings 360 degrees. So you lean one end of the canoe on the rack. Pick up the other end and walk it right over the truck setting it gently on the rack. Works great and sounds like you got a couple bucks to spend. After that line up the cross bar with the ladder rack and tie bar to rack, secure the rear to the canoe rack and go. Very easy.

But, like others said, scratches come with the outdoors that goes for the truck too! Brush scratches are a badge of honor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get me wrong guys, I realize scraches are part of the game. More than anything I want to avoid causing deep grooves in the gunwales. If brush scratches are a badge of honor, consider my canoe AND truck well respected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used foam rubber that I've found at Ax-Man surplus, they usually have stuff that's a better quality then pipe insulation or pool noodles. But it's always touch and go with what they have and when they have it. It's one of the main reasons I visit the store every so often, just to see what they have for foam rubber. Yea, I can be weird. smile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Well, it does look like the "Freedom Caucus" and the rest of the party could not agree on a replacement.     Is the Freedom Caucus the not quite full on Libertarian wing?  Or are they something else altogether?  
    • See the fun of the three party system?    
    • Look again  HSO Baby
    • 39 HERE IN THE boat on Hidden Bay, yesterday we had sleet and snow and the furnace was running when I got home, things I do not want to see hear towards the end of March. Was in the big city yesterday at the clinic, Thursdays are chemo days so I was hooked up to an IV for most of the day. However I did spend most of my day chatting up the guy who was sitting next to me. Interesting fellow he was before retiring the CEO of a hospital and spent a lot of his down time on a northern lake that is on my bucket list to fish. What better way to learn a lake then by someone who has fished it for the past forty years. I am hoping to share a chair alongside of him next Thursday. When I was getting blood drawn I sat next to yet another interesting guy. He to was retired but I was to find out that he worked at Cape Canaveral for thirty years where he was a jig and fitting’s guy. His job was to take an idea and make it real for the rockets they launched there. Another guy was sitting behind us ease dropping and he pitched in that he new a guy who lived in a small town up the shore who was also retired and his job was to fly a helicopter and pull the astronauts out of the ocean when they landed. Funny where local guys land up and what jobs they acquire. I gave all three of them Lodge business cards, would be interesting future Lodge members.   So the good and bad part of doing chemo is last week was a great week, Since I was last in the hospital I took on a huge amount of water weight. Last week I lost twenty-one pounds I was a very happy camper when I got off the scale, Hope to repeat it again this week, now the bad part is I am back on steroids and I have to take them for three days running after every treatment, the side effect is insomnia. Last night I only slept two hours and then I was wide awake, So at five this morning I made big batch of chili and took my time dicing everything by hand. Should be done here soon and I already called Elmer and Chuck to come over for late lunch.   Even though it is cloudy out you can tell the sun is up longer and higher in the sky, my seedlings in the South window are finally starting to grow and even the tobacco is becoming bigger then dots. Only a month before stuff should go out to the greenhouse and two months before we start planting in what was looking to be an early spring, now I am not so sure. I did roll a few cigars an I am getting better at it, I am surprise at how much tobacco leaf I am using up on a single cigar. I may have to plant more then I was planing this summer.   It was nice to go to the big city though, I have been locked away in the cabin most of the winter and the fresh air is good for me. The wife is none too happy as I am building a pretty good Honey Do List of my own! for her her at Lake Iwanttobethere
    • Yea....but..... that stuff is complicated.....who knew?
    • I'm sure the resident silly town neocons will respond with a meme blaming libertarians
    • So the GOP controls the house, the senate and the Whitehouse and they can't do anything with it, probably a good thing. 
    • All this winning......   Hillary in jail Wall Street reigned in Swamp drained Obamacare repealed Budget balanced Border wall built.   And it's only Friday.   Take the rest of the week off.
    •   Will that be like Wal-Mart with ENTER and EXIT gates?
    •   Their fun to run around a campground on. One of them that I got was someone in our campground who had it and just could not get it to run right and kept fouling plugs out and it ran bad with a lot of smoke. He had it sitting under a tarp for a year as he had given up on it. I asked him what he mixed his oil at? He said 50-1. I said I'll take it and got it for $200. I brought it over to my camper and drained all the gas out and mixed it 80-1 as I know that the book on them said to run them at 100-1. So, new mixed gas and a new spark plug and a hour later I'm running all over the campground with it! He was shocked to see it running so well. Lol
  • Our Sponsors