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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, thanks to you all, we're gonna go ahead and purchase either the OT Sport 14' canoe (OT = Old Town?) from Sam's Club or the Mad River Adventure 14 from Dick's! We've got a problem with handling it, though.

We have a '96 Ford Minivan with no roof rack and a '05 Toyota Camry. We'd like to carry it on the Camry with one of those foam block sets with three ropes attaching it to the car. My question is the durability and reliability of these canoe car-top sets. Since we pretty much have to go through highway 64 to get to Jordan or go through that long strip of old highway 1 to get to Harris, we have to drive around the speed limit of around 65. Will this pose a problem to the canoe? I'm a little paranoid about it falling off the car.

Thanks again!
 

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Put two straps across the top, then one on the bow and one on the stern and you'll be fine. The biggest challenge might be finding a place to tie the bow and stern lines. Some of the small sedans don't have much choice for places to tie off to. On my Saturn, I had to reach way up under the rear bumper to find a winch hook point. On the front, I couldn't find a winch point, so I actually removed one of the fender bolts, tucked a folded piece of seat-belt material (scavenged from an outgrown baby seat) and replaced the bolt.

Use the foam blocks for a while, until you can complete the next step.

Next, go to Yakima's and Thule's websites and use their "Fit my Car" features to build a parts list of what it'll take to put good racks on the Camry -- but don't hit the "buy it now" button, just write down the parts. Now go to craigslist and search on "thule" and/or "yakima". Repeat for a couple of months if necessary to find a good deal on the towers and rails. I got mine for $100, with a fairing. Then go to any dealer and order the fit-kit specific for your car, expect to pay another $50 or so. For my Saturn, this would have cost $300 without the fairing, I paid $150 with the fairing.
 

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My suggestion would be to buy it from a place other than Sams Club or Dicks. These are questions that can be answered by someone at a professional dealer (Great Outdoor Provision, Get:Outdoors Pro Canoe). Plus you typically get discounts when you buy extras for your canoe which would include the rack or carrying device you need.

They would be able to help you get the rack on your car and discuss the proper way to transport it. You'll never find that a Dicks or Sams.

Also, the last time I went into Dicks in Wilmington they have all the kayaks and canoes hung from the ceiling by the carrying handles. This is the worst way to store a boat and against manufacturers suggested ways of storing a boat. The boat will sag in the middle and will not paddle how it is meant to.
 

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I tried the foam block idea myself as I was being driven crazy by the recent trade of my truck to the wife's new vehicle, and having no rack on either. It would have collapsed the roof of my Altima. I went to Thule's website; they do not carry a roof rack for my year/model car. I then went to Yakima's site; they had it all. I found the local dealer from Yakima's website (Pirate Queen Paddling in Morehead City; my new buddies) and ordered it from them. They installed it for free, and their price was identical to what it was online (though I would have had to pay shipping). As the tolerances for these installs are so "tight", it is best to let someone who does this often do it. Apparently, Valerie at PQP is a "Yakima Certified Installer".

Attached is a picture of the recent install, with the bow and stern lines that come with the saddles (Mako and Hully Rollers). (See the "Bear Island Part II" thread with my other pictures of this rack with the yak on it.)
 

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i realize you said that you dont have roof racks, but I have some surfboard racks that hook onto the rain gutter and put the canoe on top of the foam on there. I use two ratchet tie downs from wal mart through the front doors and back doors with the doors open and then ratchet them tight on top of the canoe, and attach the front and back under the car with rope. As long as its not windy I would drive the thing anywhere i would drive my car. the canoe wont move even if you tried. as long as you had some sort of padding and your car roof can support the weight, I think you could make it happen. But without a doubt, racks are the better option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys, I'll try the foam blocks for a while, and then upgrade to the racks.

As for buying it from a canoe shop.. the closest shop would be the Great Outdoors Prov., but after checking their prices online, the cheapest canoe was the OT Guide 147 for $575 - nearly $200 more than the canoes at either Dick's or Sam's. And after reading the reviews for both those canoes, we've decided that they are truly a "bang for a buck." Besides, this is why I came to NCAngler for help - since neither I nor the department store employees know what the proper way of handling this.
 

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I have tied canoes and johnboats on top of cars for years. Use to pull up at the boat ramp, take the boat down, open the trunk and out comes the boat motor, trolling motor with battery, gas can and all the tackle for the day.

Hey a mans gotta do what a mans gatta do to go fishing.:)

big thing like Lefty pointed out is the lines in the front and the back, this keeps the load from flying off the back with the ongoing wind and also from flying off the front in the event of a sudden stop:eek:

To cross ties and you are set. Lots of options out there today than what I had 30 years ago. I had old ski racks on my old truck.

tight lines <*)))))>{
 
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