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Thread: Car top boat ideas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Franklin, KY, USA
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    Default Car top boat ideas

    Iím looking for a boat plan in the 12 - 15 foot range that I can get on and off the top of my car or truck single handed, row well and handle a small (3hp or less). Iíll use it fishing on inland lakes and rivers. Thanks in advance for you help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Australia
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    Here's a couple:

    https://bowdidgemarinedesigns.com/magnum-12/

    https://bowdidgemarinedesigns.com/mushulu-12/


    We do have a smaller version of the Magnum 12 as a 10fter, but I haven't created the new webpage yet

    Regards
    Mark

    www.bowdidgemarinedesigns.com/
    Last edited by Mark Bowdidge; 03-30-2018 at 09:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Saco, ME
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    Mark, nice work! I've admired your purpose designed and built outboard boats. Really look good.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  4. #4
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    In plywood, if you build a Redmond Whisp to plan, it will be very light - 70 pounds or so. But you only have to lift one end at a time. And being a narrow boat, it will also fit on standard width roofracks easily. To go lighter still, skin on frame is the answer. I'd suggest an electric trolling motor for most any boat in this category.

    Whisp
    -Dave

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    Good point Dave, for cartopping the width is key. You can always go wider than standard on racks, but they can be head bangers. If he can get the boat into the bed of the truck then it is easier.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  6. #6
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    Duncan, Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    As above, long and narrow will be easier to manage. Some nice looking motor canoes out there http://www.selway-fisher.com/Mcanoe.htm

    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Franklin, KY, USA
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    Wow! Great ideas! I really like both the whisp and the 15ft motor canoe. As I have a trolling motor and a 1954 1 1/2 hp Johnson so either would be great. At 70lbs they will both be easy to cartop. Car topping allows me to pull a camper, at 63 I’m starting to get a little tired of sleeping on the ground.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    21

    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    I am looking for something similar, no motor. Want to be able to put mine on a pickup truck rack so we can still pull a camper. To add to the mix I'll need to bring the wife's 12' wood duck kayak. I really want to build a Rangeley strip, but at 100# it's pushing it weight wise. I'm thinking with the right shaped hull I could nest the two on the rack, boat over kayak. Years ago I made a swivel rack over the cab of our f350, with a fifth wheel behind. Used to put a 14' aluminum boat up there, those days are gone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    SF Bay Area- Richmond
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    15,566

    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    As someone who's done a lot of cartopping and still does a bit, borrow a friend's plastic canoe or whatever and try loading it by yourself. Park on the lawn or dirt so you don't scratch their boat up getting it in position to shove it up on the rack.

    You also may discover that your rack creates issues == if the crossbar is too far forward on the vehicle the boat gunwales may scrape the paint on the back hatch or roof. I have to use a piece of canvas when cartopping on my Forester, and kayak shops sell rubber pads that strap onto the rear crossbar for the same purpose.

    I recommend going SOF if at all possible. My friends that have built them swear that they don't crush when strapped tightly to the rack, and are many times easier to load and unload due to the much lighter weight.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2015
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    Santa Fe NM
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    I think Thorne’s SOF sugestion is good. This Melonseed is nice. Drop the sail rig. I do like then freight canoes too.

    http://gentrycustomboats.com/Melonseed.html

    769080B1-AF80-44B1-8FFF-0B81BF13D681.jpg
    Last edited by Matt young; 04-01-2018 at 07:51 AM.
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  11. #11
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    Charlottesville, Virginia - USA
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt young View Post
    I think Thorne’s SOF sugestion is good. This Melonseed is nice. Drop the sail rig. I do like then freight canoes too.
    http://gentrycustomboats.com/Melonseed.html
    Thanks for the nod, Matt.
    Likely my new Indian Creek motor canoe would be more suitable (she's currently in the testing stage). 15'6" x 30something. About 55-60lbs. Oars or up to 2hp outboard.


  12. #12
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    Franklin, KY, USA
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    I built a 17’ SOF kayak 20 years ago. It was a fun boat, but it weighted about 100lbs and was not fun to load single handed. I used heavy cotton duck which I’m sure added much to it’s weight. I was always a little wary of it getting punchered.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
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    5,762

    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    Back in 1948 the magazine Yachting World decided there was a need for a cartop dinghy.This is what they came up with,but loading one single handed simply won't happen.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Saco, ME
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    There are 12' skiffs out there that are plywood-epoxy construction and come in under 85 lbs. Pretty easy to get on car top.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Mandurah, Western Australia
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    59

    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    My 17' SoF (design by Tom Yost) came out at a mere 11kg - easy to lift onto 4WD LandCruiser.IMG_0254.jpg
    Cheers from Martin B.
    Mandurah, Western Australia
    mcbunny09@gmail.com

  16. #16
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    Dec 2011
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    North East England
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    The shape of the boat are equally important as the weight, obviously the weight has to be right also.

    I have a 12” and 30” 35lb canoe which is a breeze to get on.

    when it comes to my daughters optimist it is a whole different game 7’ 5” +80lb with covers

    https://youtu.be/svWEBhF6mb4


    YouTube is awash with videos of people solo roof racking boats and to me over the back is the best

    https://youtu.be/XsjQSGSqPMk

    I would be going long and as above look at the width. It is also worth checking the weight limit of the roof, I had a glass roof on my previous car and had to change when my daughter started doing squads.

  17. #17
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    East Quogue,NY
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    Longer boats are easier. Its relative to vehicle height. My 17 foot aluminum canoe is easier to put on the racks of pickup than my 12 foot plywood skiff because I can do one end at a shallower angle. Both are the same weight.

    If I had an 8 foot boat, it would be more problematic to single hand on to the rack ( though I would slide it in the bed). Its just geometry.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  18. #18
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    Mar 2006
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    Northern NY
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    Default Re: Car top boat ideas

    Another plan you might look at is Robb White's take on the Grumman Sportboat, strip planked:

    http://robbwhite.com/sportboat.html

    We have an old aluminum Sportboat, and it is a fine craft, and a real good car-topper. We just returned from a 7000 mile trip out west with ours on the roof of our truck, while we pulled our old Avion trailer around. Robb's version has a weight advantage, as it comes in at under 90#. Our aluminum version is about 115#, but still not bad to slide up over the back of the cap onto our truck. The nice thing about the tin one is that it is pre-distressed, so we don't have to worry about scratches or bangs while loading

    Either one of them will give great speed and load carrying ability with a small engine or oars. Here's a picture of ours atop the Dodge.


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