Small Cars & Canoes

I would love to hear from those people who have small cars, like a honda civic etc that put a oc-1 on top. What works, what doesn't. pictures that show the rig set up....
thanks really appreciate it :)

Submitted by sungoddess on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 7:20pm click on burnham boatslings and go to rooftop systems. Pricy, but absolutely the best. Personally tested at well over 100 mph.

#1 Tue, 02/17/2009 - 7:54pm

nice set up

#2 Tue, 02/17/2009 - 8:02pm

hi during my rowing days we used cradles like that to transport our shells but if we didn't have enough for the no. of boats going to a regatta we sometimes would strap a strait ladder (not the fold in half kind)to the roof rack and put the shell onto that to support it over the length never tried it over 80mph the max speed limit here

#3 Tue, 02/17/2009 - 9:06pm


Cool idea on the ladder.

Small car guys ... If your car has factory racks, seriously consider taking them off first. If only to have a peek under there. Underneath you will find some super solid mounting points which you can fashion your own 'feet' to. The other plus here is you will automatically gain at least 4 -6" of bar spread and can keep the boats lower.

If going this route you can also fashion your own cradles by laying up glass on the (waxed ) boat right where it sits on the bars for an almost 'suction' (no need for snugger than you know you should strap tension for I'm running late freeway driving with a tiny spread ) perfect fit. These are as gentle on the boat as your hand are way more aero going down the road sans boat. Use a removable ply of foam between the boat and the cradles which is EZ to keep clean and grit free.

If interested on this just ask.

#4 Wed, 02/18/2009 - 10:18am

I, fortunately thus far without incident, have transported my oc1 and oc2 on my Subaru. These pics are from a trip from Sacramento to Los Gatos (California). I would not have done it if I were not using (UK only) factory racks that actually attach to mount points in the roof. I have seen canoes come off the top of a car that was using the door recess clips (standard yakima and thule stuff) when those clips failed.

Here are my rules for carrying canoes:

-As big of a spread between the bars as possible (clearly I am not following that rule on my subie)

-Hard mounted racks vs soft mounted racks (racks that are physically secured to the roof or roof rail instead of racks that "squeeze" to the roof like Yakima q clips)

-slow speed

-a second set of straps (not just the mako straps)

Now I use a vw gti with the factory racks (got them used off craigslist). The front rack actually secures to built in pins in the door frame. I also get nearly twice the rack spread with the vw than I had with the subie!


#5 Wed, 02/18/2009 - 12:13pm

Where do you get the strap attached racks you can attach to a hire car?

#6 Wed, 02/18/2009 - 12:41pm

soft racks are a must for hire car, look for them in a surf shop. you can also use very loooong straps : open the car's doors, strap the canoe to the roof, close the doors.

#7 Wed, 02/18/2009 - 4:31pm

Sungoddess, you mentioned a Honda Civic, so here is my coupe. I am too cheap to buy a real rack, and frankly I just do not trust hard point attached racks. A friend lost a whole rack of canoes with one. Nothing feels better than to have at least one strap going right through the car. That boat is going NOWHERE as long as the strap itself does not break. I use the big 1 1/2" NRS straps for peace of mind. I made the foam blocks and cradles with a band saw from a solid block of minicell foam, and lay a piece of non skid under them where the cradle surface meets the roof surface of the car. I have front and back strap screwed to clips under the hood and trunk. When everything is tightened down the rig rides very smoothly, I have driven 100 miles at high speeds with no problem. (Remember to put a half twist in the strap where it passes through the car, this eliminates any wind buzz noise.) Then, when not carrying the OC-2, I just throw the cradles in the trunk and flip the strap clips back under the hood and trunk lid. About $50 in parts total, and has worked for the last five years with a vareity of canoes.

#8 Thu, 02/19/2009 - 1:36pm

My big concern is the wind hitting the canoe nose while driving at highway speeds. That's a lot of air pressure pushing on the hull. In my case I just moved to an area that has high windgusts that will also apply additional pressure to the side of the canoe. I now have to drive a minimum of an hour and a half to and from the water.

Hell, I used to worry about the air pressure when I was driving only 5 minutes at 35mph.

OC1 Driver

#9 Thu, 02/19/2009 - 2:27pm

(Remember to put a half twist in the strap where it passes through the car, this eliminates any wind buzz noise.)

I like that humming sound, you can even play music by addind tension to the strap !

#10 Thu, 02/19/2009 - 8:25pm

My favorite.

#11 Fri, 02/20/2009 - 6:36am

That makes it look like a six man

#12 Fri, 02/20/2009 - 4:23pm

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