OC-1 transportation on a rental car?

I have an unusual question for the great people of Ocpaddler.

I am looking into the possibility of transporting six canoes from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Here is my dilemma:

  • It's too few to justify a UHaul or Penske Truck.
  • I want to only drive one way, so borrowing a trailer is out of the question.
  • A rental car is ideal, but six is a lot to put across a car without racks....

I know that there is a solution somewhere. I can always contract out the delivery, but it'll be around $300 per canoe and the arrival time will be unpredictable. Can anyone think of any creative options to transport six OC-1s 2000 miles with a rental?

Or... are there possibly 10 people looking to ship canoes to Vancouver in August? A Penske truck can very comfortably fit 16 canoes.

With the greatest paddling minds in the world all in one place, I am sure that someone has the solution.

Thanks guys,

Submitted by luke on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 10:09am

NAC has a pretty sweet OC-1 trailer but they would probably want to figure out some way to get it back...

#1 Thu, 06/28/2012 - 10:42am

Maybe rent an SUV with roof rails . Then you could beg borrow or steal some racks to mount ..

#2 Thu, 06/28/2012 - 11:49am

I'd think about finding someone that could make a set of compact racks and bars that could be assembled to mount on an SUV or full-size rental truck to transport the OC-1's, then could be disassembled to fit into a bag for checked baggage to fly back with.

Maybe one of the guys that make those bent aluminum bars could cut them into 2 foot sections. Then a smaller tube of aluminum can be inserted at these "cuts" that can be connected with bolts or pins for the assembly.

I know I saw someone with collapsible aluminum bars for their truck. At the base it looked like an over-sized joint similar to a bimini top deck hinge. Another "hinge" for the support bar was used and a quick release pin was used for the top to secure it in the upright position.

#3 Thu, 06/28/2012 - 1:04pm

2x3s and some mini cell seat scraps + line or straps.
EZ to rig.
A Costco boogie board would provide some nice, cut -to-countour, stacker material too. Prolly less than the minicell and give away with canoe in Vancouver.
Maybe some webbing if you need to use car's tow loops wrapped from under onto bumper / hood for bow/stern lines.


#4 Thu, 06/28/2012 - 2:55pm

I ran a similar problem a year back. It is near impossible these days to rent a car with roofracks.

The rental folks are wise to us. People overload roofracks or forget they're there.

Next thing the rental company is processing a claim.

#5 Mon, 07/02/2012 - 7:54am


i've had much better luck with Budget Truck than all the competition for 1 way rentals. not saying it is still true but my cost was 1/2 as much as UHaul. check it out.


#6 Mon, 07/02/2012 - 9:56am

Ryan Pogue seems to be the master at doing such things as renting cars and turning them into canoe transport machines.

@swell- that looks like an awesome prifile pic. Can you post that somewhere so we can see it bigger.

#7 Mon, 07/02/2012 - 11:13am

The Pacific Coast is beautiful by Train. Not sure if they
would handle canoes as cargo, most I ever carried was a duffle. Never tried Canada either.

Or try http://www.uship.com/

#8 Mon, 07/02/2012 - 10:32pm

Buy a large quantity of pool noodles and insert rope thru the hole in the center. Open car door, ( or put thru open window) tie rope inside car. Load canoes, add more noodles etc. Finally tether front and rear of canoes to both ends of the car to a secure point under the bumper. A station wagon with a long roof line is best for this will fit 4 wide and then 2 on top.

#9 Tue, 07/03/2012 - 11:40am


1.) Like what Rambo said swim noodle from Walmart,k-Mart, or CVS, Get 4 2x2 8 feet tall at Home Depot, get a big SUV. Then tie down 2 2x2, one front window,underneath and over to the other side same as the back window, hoping there is a railing already if not use dry cloth, bulk it up wrap it with duck tape with last round reverse it so sticky part wedge at the roof to keep it from moving. Do this in 4 corners. Now place noodle in the wood and secure with duck tape. Place five boats over on top and secure it. Now do the same thing with the other 2 4x4 put cheap insulating foam in the wood about 2" diameter top and buttom, secure wood to the wood underneath, not too tight, squeezing the boats. Then place five canoes on top of it and secure it at the second level wood.

2.) Use Galvanized pipes at Home Depot here in SoCal so you don't have to carry it from HI. They come in different sizes and length (pre cut) or get two 1 " diameter 20' in length and the will cut it for free. Have them tread both ends, its free. Also get four 1.5 ' tube / pipe for your four legs. Use L and T joint to make a rectangular type structure to fit canoe in buttom and top use pipe insulating foam or noodle to be thicker to protect canoe. Then secure this thing in the SUV. Get rope at Home Depot to tie down boats like a running stich one boat after the other, over under leashing. This might cost you a little over $50.00 but at least you know you have a solid structure. You can just disassemble this after and dispose it or give to someone. You can go to Home Depot there in HI and plot it out so you know how much and what to get when you get here in SoCal.

Hope this help,
All the best

#10 Wed, 07/04/2012 - 9:42am

........well...........what you going to do Luke?

#11 Fri, 07/06/2012 - 11:47pm

Check out the good people at Ocean Paddle Sports. DeAnne or Patrick (949/642-0755) could get you in touch with Bill Mann Transport to drop off your canoes at Vancouver on way to Bellingham? I'm sure it will cost far less than $300 per canoe? Six canoes and ama are just too chancy to cartop at 70mph on the turnpikes. Three at the most, but not six canoes, for that's too much cash at risk.

#12 Sat, 07/07/2012 - 1:31pm

I'm getting a kick out of this thread.

Half of solving a problem is assessing your options.

I, for one, am going to look at noodles with new respect in the future.

#13 Sun, 07/08/2012 - 4:35am

We could have a Ocpaddler sit calm this would be a good episode getting the canoes cross country . I remember we went over seas and on the way back our paddles went to Denver or some place. I wasn't sure if we would see them again. but they delivered them right to our door. thank goodness.

#14 Mon, 07/09/2012 - 11:36am

@healthyearth - sorry i don't have a larger picture. my hard drive crashed with all my photos! anyway, yes, that was a big day, outside point bonita, outside the golden gate bridge, near the potato patch, in san francisco. actually, the potato patch was relatively calm but with whipping wind. the large swells happened where the outgoing bay current met with the current running down the coast just outside of point bonita. it was a wavechaser series race where four coast guard vessels came out to check on us! the potato patch starts to break when the swells reach like 15-20ft. on top of the wind, current, and large swells, are the fact the water ranges from 49-52 degrees.



#15 Fri, 07/20/2012 - 12:32pm

Thank you guys for all the suggestions.

With six canoes, I ultimately decided that it wasn't prudent to drive them. I didn't want to stack, and I don't want to go wider than five. So, while I did contract out the driving, I learned a lot of useful things on here. In summary, Budget has the cheapest rental truck, SUVS don't come with racks, and noodles can be used for anything.

I ended up going with KAS (contact is Steve Skinner at 315-538-9627). Bill Mann (as mentioned above) also does a great job of transporting and his contact is 760-408-1971, however he didn't work for the timeframe we were looking at. East Coast stuff is ending up around $450 and this trip up the West Coast is in the $300 range.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.

#16 Mon, 07/23/2012 - 9:43am

I used KAS and had a bit of a frustrating experience with delivery. They kept telling me dates and then not showing up. They ended up delivering it about a week after they originally said. Most frustrating part was the poor communication. They'd tell me a date, it wouldn't be delivered, and I wouldn't hear anything until I called or emailed them. It was delivered with no damage and the price was fair.

#17 Mon, 07/23/2012 - 12:59pm

Haha, noodles are awesome, so many uses for them. Great for your escort boat or racks at home too.


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