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Thread: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

  1. #1
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    Default First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    I love reading the threads here where people suggest their needs and you kind folks offer suggestions for which design to pick.

    Here's the short of my situation: I live in Northeast Iowa near the Mississippi River and I want to learn to sail in a boat that I build.

    I've canoed a fair amount on rivers and lakes, rowed around in small boats on occasion, but I haven't sailed in decades. My grandfather took us sailing when I was a kid in his Catalina 25 on San Diego harbor and I have memories of sheeting and steering but I don't know how useful that experience will be.

    This will be my first build. I've done plenty of building projects and some finer woodworking so I feel comfortable with the tools.

    And some other constraints that are important to me:

    1. I'd like to be able to take the boat to the river on top of my Suburban. I had a 16' aluminum Grumman canoe up there the other weekend, but it was a mighty wrestling match to get it up and down by myself. If the boat is much over 75 pounds, I'll need some assistance, human or mechanical, to get it up there.

    2. Apart from the channel which is pretty busy with powerboats, the Mississippi is quite wide but shallow around Lacrosse, WI and Lansing, Iowa. I'm most familiar with a canoe's draft, so I'd like something that is ready to go into thin water. I am having a hard time telling from online descriptions which boats have shallower drafts than others.

    3. I have a wife and three kids so I'd like to be able to take more than myself out sailing. I can't imagine that I will be able to get everyone aboard at the same time, but two adults or one adult and two kids would be great.

    4. As a beginning sailer, I'm worried about safety and self-recovery, but I find it hard to tell from looking at online descriptions which boats are planned with enough buoyancy to make this easy.

    I've been compiling a list of plans that I see online (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hLYmwpp0H0AzYrISkdhAVSvaGpJ5HDdJSGxg_I5HR6Y) and I'm seeing lots of 8-foot boats in the 60 pound range (OZRacer, Dixi Dinghy, Highlander 7, Eastport Pram, etc.) but I worry about carrying capacity for more than one person. I also see lots of 11-12 foot boats in the 120 pound range (OZGoose, Highlander 12) that seem like they would carry more people (but probably not 5?) but be much harder to get on top of a car.

    Is there some obvious choice that I am missing? A classic design that everyone recommends to people like me who show up here? Should I just build a PDRacer and do whatever I can with it and learn more about what I want in my second boat? Are sailing canoes a real thing?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.

    -Neil

  2. #2
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    That is a truly horrible set of conflicting requirements.

    The only craft I can think of that nearly fit are sail biased canoes, but they're not a brilliant plan for an unsupported beginner on wide open water. Selway Fisher have several candidates, as does Boatmik.

    The open canoe sailing group has lots to say on the topic.
    http://www.ocsg.org.uk/

    Then there's the outrigger approach

    Less common, James Wharram's Melanesia.

    Add a trailer and things get much easier.
    Last edited by P.I. Stazzer-Newt; 06-16-2021 at 05:55 AM.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  3. #3
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    A Solway Dory style sailing canoe with their mini outriggers might get close to what is wanted?

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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    I suggest you look at the Annabelle Skiff by Dave Gentry (gentry custom boats). It's a 10' skin on frame sailboat that weighs about 63 pounds. I've made a couple of his boats and they're very well designed and thought out. Plus, a SOF boat will be a lot quicker to build than a wooden boat.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkey View Post
    A Solway Dory style sailing canoe with their mini outriggers might get close to what is wanted?
    Thanks, I'll take a look... I think Michael Storer has plans for a similar add-on sailing rig that can go in an existing canoe.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    That is a truly horrible set of conflicting requirements.

    The only craft I can think of that nearly fit are sail biased canoes, but they're not a brilliant plan for an unsupported beginner on wide open water. Selway Fisher have several candidates, as does Boatmik.

    The open canoe sailing group has lots to say on the topic.
    http://www.ocsg.org.uk/

    Then there's the outrigger approach

    Less common, James Wharram's Melanesia.

    Add a trailer and things get much easier.
    I might see if I can wrap my mind around storing and pulling and managing a trailer at put-in. I've got enough vehicle to do it, but I just haven't wrapped my mind around how it will be to join the hoards at the boat ramp on summer days in the midwest.

    The Melanesia on the other hand appeals strongly to me. I live on a wooded piece of land and love finding things to make from trees that come down. Those bare timber crossbeams and outriggers are alluring.

    Thanks for those suggestions.

    -Neil

  7. #7
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    With your criteria... I can only suggest a Skin On Frame boat - like the Gentry design mentioned above.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    You might pester Duckworks about making this available to you in some form or another:

    https://duckworks.com/scout-cnc-kit/

    65-75 lbs, they claim 2-3 people (it's about 10.5ft).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilMB View Post
    I might see if I can wrap my mind around storing and pulling and managing a trailer at put-in. I've got enough vehicle to do it, but I just haven't wrapped my mind around how it will be to join the hoards at the boat ramp on summer days in the midwest.
    I've owned car top boats and trailer boats, if you have the space to store a trailer it is easier at every step IMO unless the boat is truly light enough for 1 person easy handling. If you go with more like a 150 to 250 lb boat on an aluminum trailer the boat will be much more capable for several people, and the boat/trailer combo would be light enough to move around like a dolly. Even for car launching I sometimes just pull alongside a bigger boat at a ramp and shove off before they are ready to go.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Neil, you sound just like me!
    I grew up sailing on Long Island sound, then spent decades as a die-hard canoeist.
    Finally I wanted another sailboat.


    David Beedes Summer Breeze was my first build - Free plans here-
    https://www.simplicityboats.com/

    SAM_8074.JPG

    Is only 11-1/2 feetr long, made from three sheets of 1/4 plywood. Best as a solo boat, it will hold my wife and I. We've even taken it on a three day island hopping camping trip, but we're backpackers and know how to travel light. I took it solo on the first Salish 100 cruise, 100 miles in seven days from Olympia to Port townsend.

    image009(1).jpg

    I have never capsized this boat, and I've certainly had her out in places and conditions I should not have been!
    Still, having flotation is always comforting. I've lashed in sheets of 2" foam, wrapped in left-over tarp material on the sides and stern, as you can see here.
    This would certainly help in righting her. Of course, have a bailer tied into the boat somewhere, and lash in your camping gear, just as in a canoe.
    You'll probably have to pull out the mast and sail before you right her. That's fine, it's wood and will float. Just let it go, and keep the bitter end of the sheet tied off the the boat. Pull it in later.


    48246250821_b952ac6152_o.jpg

    To handle a boat like this, attach wheels to the stern and move it like a wheel barrow.

    SAM_6321.JPG
    Last edited by Etdbob; 06-16-2021 at 06:27 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    The next boat I built was the "200 dollar" version of the Bolger Featherwind. This is a big boat that will easily handle four adults, yet it is intended as a car-topper.
    A man named Dave Carnell took the Bolger design and simplified it radically, intending to make a big, simple boat that was easy to build and specifically aimed at car-topping.

    It is intended to use the lanteen sail from a Sunfish, which is readily available, or a poly-tarp equivalent, or pretty much whatever you want to use. I made a huge 100 sq,ft.
    balanced lug sail for it, which was sometimes to much for solo use, even with three reefs!

    SAM_7241.JPG

    image084.jpg

    Building it is simplicity itself. It's made from 4 sheets of 1/4 ply, and shouldn't weigh more than about 115 lbs if you fiberglass the bottom, which is a good idea.
    With wheels on the stern as above (my dolly is a 2x4 with lawn mower wheels set in the ends that uses one bolt and a wing nut to attach to the stern of the boat, with small wooden blocks on the boat to hold it in position) that isn't to much weight to handle. It's 16 feet long, and that actually makes it easier to car-top, especially if you have a low car like an old fashioned station wagon.

    You just bolt the dolly on and flip her over. Pick up the bow and wheel her to the back of the car, and put it up on the rear rack. Then walk around to the stern and push/lift her all the way up on your racks. You are never lifting more than half the weight of the boat! I always did this by myself, and I am not young or big or strong.

    Butt the ply sheets together and cut out the sides -

    SAM_6354.JPG

    Make the frames and transom -

    SAM_6378.JPG

    And put them together!

    SAM_6390.JPG

    Flip the boat and put the bottom on. As you can see, it's kept very simple for low weight.
    Last edited by Etdbob; 06-16-2021 at 06:31 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    The bottom is made from two sheets of ply, and butted together right on the boat -

    SAM_6408.jpg

    More info about the design -

    https://www.duckworksmagazine.com/01...wind/index.htm

    My Featherwind is a very high performance boat, rows like a dream, and can carry at least 4 people, 2 dogs and large cooler...along with other junk! The bare boat weighs in at 105 pounds. The oars were made from 1-1/4 inch Fir closet rod with 1/4-inch plywood blades. They work great!... I would highly recommend this boat for the first-time builder since no special tools are needed other than basic shop tools. She can be rowed, motored (electric recommended), or sailed. You can go fishing too, or just putt around if the wind is calm. The average person should be able to build this boat in less than 50 hours. And while everyone else is talking about it...you can be having a lot of summer fun with your family.

    If you are interested let me know and I'll post the address of the feller in Idaho that is selling the plans now (Dave has passed away).
    You don't just get the plans, you get; Full size frame layouts (which I found more confusing than simple, well drawn plans), along with instructions and photos for; A ripping guide for your circular saw, oars, cleats, thole pins, splicing rope, a polytarp Sunfish lanteen sail clone, detailed car-topping directions, advice on epoxy, flotation and construction alternatives, copies of glowing emails from previous customers, a list of recommended reading, chapter 15 from Bolgers book Small Boats, and finally a glossary of boating terms!
    All this cost me 30 bucks, not bad!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    A great many skiffs have been designed to do just what you ask!

    A very fine one in the Whisp, by Steve Redmond. I have the plans and intend to build her someday. It is rather more complex than the above boats.
    I'd not recommend it as a first build unless you are a good wood worker and don't want to get it on the water this summer. But it's a fine, lightweight skiff-




    68 lb. rowing, sailing, and electric power fishing boat:
    A boatbuilder favorite for over 30 years
    https://www.sredmond.com/index_boat.htm

  14. #14
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Another big but simple and light boat is the Bolger Windsprint.

    I came very close to building this boat first, and maybe should have!
    It's about the size of the Featherwind, also made from 4 sheets of 1/4 plywood, and will easily hold four adults.
    I think it's even a little easier to build! It has a huge, completely open space in the middle, making it perfect for sleeping in on a boat-camping trip, or just for everyone to lounge around on flotation-cushions.
    It is a double-ended boat and you can load up your whole family and use your canoe paddles when the wind fails!

    I think she is rather beautiful, but many folk here just don't like simple plywood boats.

    About the only drawback to this design is that as a double-ender, she is harder to put on top of a car.
    Plans are here- https://www.instantboats.com/wp-cont...Windsprint.jpg







    https://www.duckworksmagazine.com/03...rint/index.htm




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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    The Bolger June Bug fits the bill.
    Another four-sheet-of-1/4"-plywood boat, but there is plenty of waste on the layout, and she will be under 100 pounds.
    I'm not sure of the exact weight, but she was intended to be light enough to haul up onto a cruiser without much effort.
    Designed initially as a row boat, she also sails fine. Hundreds have been built.

    https://www.instantboats.com/product...4-0-x-3-3-1-2/





    I bet folks can come up with a whole lot more!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Should I just build a PDRacer and do whatever I can with it and learn more about what I want in my second boat? Are sailing canoes a real thing?
    Nope!

    The shorter the boat, the harder she will be to get on top of the car!

    The PDR is a fine for what she is, but she certainly is heavy for her length, and is slow. At eight feet her hull speed is quite low. I believe most PDR designs use at least four sheets of plywood, like the above boats do. But longer is better. With wheels on the transom it's much easier to get a long boat up on your Suburban than a short one.

    The PDR simply has to go on a trailer, unless you have plenty of folk handy to toss her into the back of an old fashioned full size pickup truck.

    As to canoes -
    I'm a little surprised you had so much trouble getting a Grumman up on the Suburban.
    The trick is to pick her up and put the boat on your head like a big 'ol party hat.

    Then you walk up to the rear of the Suburban and put the bow on the rear rack. Crouch down and put the stern on the ground.
    Walk out from under.
    Then pick up the stern and push her all the way on.


    Ross Lake 237.jpg

    It helps if you have a proper portage yoke, which you can easily add to a canoe if it doesn't have one.
    The canoe above weights 65 pounds, about what a Grumman does, yes?

    I can still stand amid-ships, one hand on either gunwale, and pick it up to my thighs. Then in one smooth (mostly) swing-and-push, throw it over my head and get under it, and balance the portage yoke, or just the center thwart, on my neck/shoulders behind my head.

    I ain't sayin' it's the most comfortable thing to do, but I've carried canoes for miles like this! ( a little at a time, of course).

    - And it looks so macho when you pick a big 'ol canoe up like that and walk away with it at the boat ramp with everyone gawking!

    -Or two people lug the canoe to the car, one holding the bow and the other the stern. Put it on the ground behind the car, and turn it over. Both people move to the bow, one on each side, and working together lift the bow and put it on the rear rack. Yes, you drag the stern on the ground a bit doing this, who cares. Then move to the stern, pick it up together and push it on. Easy!

    I rather think a Grumman will sail very nicely, especially with a proper outrigger, cross arms, sail and leeboard. It's quite a fuss to set up and take apart all the bits and pieces though.
    Last edited by Etdbob; 06-16-2021 at 07:27 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Thanks etdbob for the pictures and the suggestions from your experience. I think that a Bolger-y Summer Breeze/Featherwind/Windsprint/June Bug is probably more up my alley for a first build than one of those gorgeous SOF skiffs. I seem to be un-fancy to a fault.

    And the Grumman on the Suburban experience started teaching me the importance of a good roof rack situation. My teenage daughter and I were able to overhead press it onto the luggage rack without issue, but for one person, that wasn't sufficient for sliding it on from the back. I'm not sure what people do for roof racks on 25 year old beaters, but maybe I can imagine drilling some holes and RTVing over the screws?

    Thanks again for the tips and pics!

    -Neil

  18. #18
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Don't dismiss the trailer option too quickly, allowing for one opens up the design brief in a way that I think will lead to a happier outcome down the road.

    First there is the matter of wrestling the boat on and off the Suburban, if you always need a helper solo trips are out and you still need to get the boat from where ever you parked into the water (and back out again at the end of the day). I've lugged my 60 pound pram around a few times...only 60 pounds, right? Well it's an awkward load to say the least, and that doesn't count the oars and other bits of assorted gear associated with being on the water. Keep your boat on a trailer, loaded with gear under a nice road-worthy cover and you are ready to go whenever the opportunity arises.

    Crew capacity. It is one thing to be capable of carrying more than the skipper, it is another to be able to carry that crew in a comfortable/useful/out of the way place. After many years of good faith efforts my wife has apologized for not turning out to be an ( in her words) "good sailor's wife" and has declared that if the weather conditions are just right she may come out for an afternoon sail but in general my sailing adventures will remain mine as opposed to ours. Of the sailboats I've built my 14' Flapjack Skiff (Steve Redmond design) was the most successful if only because it had a spot where she could settle in that was out of the way. My 20' Eun Mara Marianita has a cockpit small enough to require active participation by the crew, it works with my adult daughter aboard but she enjoys the sailing part especially taking the helm. My wife however has no natural inclination towards sailing, while enjoying being on the water she prefers to be on a boat big enough that she can just hang out and enjoy herself. On little cat-rigged boats as have been suggested your "crew" quickly becomes "ballast" and potentially bored as the skipper rightfully tends the sheet and tiller.

    As a serial builder of things I'm not trying to dissuade you from building a boat but I am suggesting you take a good look at whether or not the vision in your head is shared by the rest of your family. If you are bringing them along, cramming them into a little boat where their every move has an effect that needs countering might not be the best choice.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  19. #19
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    Crew capacity. It is one thing to be capable of carrying more than the skipper, it is another to be able to carry that crew in a comfortable/useful/out of the way place. After many years of good faith efforts my wife has apologized for not turning out to be an ( in her words) "good sailor's wife" and has declared that if the weather conditions are just right she may come out for an afternoon sail but in general my sailing adventures will remain mine as opposed to ours. Of the sailboats I've built my 14' Flapjack Skiff (Steve Redmond design) was the most successful if only because it had a spot where she could settle in that was out of the way. My 20' Eun Mara Marianita has a cockpit small enough to require active participation by the crew, it works with my adult daughter aboard but she enjoys the sailing part especially taking the helm. My wife however has no natural inclination towards sailing, while enjoying being on the water she prefers to be on a boat big enough that she can just hang out and enjoy herself. On little cat-rigged boats as have been suggested your "crew" quickly becomes "ballast" and potentially bored as the skipper rightfully tends the sheet and tiller.

    As a serial builder of things I'm not trying to dissuade you from building a boat but I am suggesting you take a good look at whether or not the vision in your head is shared by the rest of your family. If you are bringing them along, cramming them into a little boat where their every move has an effect that needs countering might not be the best choice.
    That sounds like the hard-won voice of experience. I'll talk the ideas over with the wife and three kids to see if and how they would like to come out with me. Thanks for the reminder of the power of a trailer to make things easy.

    -Neil

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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    I think that's actually pretty good advice Stromborg - I'm even thinking about taking it myself!

    My next boat is to have both a trailer and hopefully comfortable seats, not to mention a roof to keep the sun off (birdwatcher type).

    All this, so hopefully my wife will enjoy sailing with me more!

    But I do like simple car-top boats, perhaps because I come from a die-hard canoeing background, perhaps because I haven't the foggiest idea how to back a trailer, and likely because I'm such a tight fisted skin-flint that I begrudge the cost of a trailer and the cost of the yearly registration on it!

    Of course, in the long run, everything but paddle boats tend to wind up on a trailer.

    I do know that even the cheapest trailer will double the cost of getting something like the Featherwind on the water.

    I think roof-topping it is certainly viable in the short term, and a trailer might be a good project for next summer!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    The plans for the "200 dollar" version of the Featherwind are available from;

    Thomas Vetromile

    499 Camp Bay Rd.
    Sagle ID. 83860

    The cost is still 30 dollars.

    I just talked with him on the phone, the plans are still available. I"ll not post his phone number here though, if anyone wants it PM me.

    Neil,
    I think the Featherwind a perfect fit for you and your family.

    Heck, I'll post something I wrote about the design for Messing About in Boats magazine, which contains detailed info, and what I did wrong, and what went right with my build.

    My wife at the helm -

    SAM_7073.jpg

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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Neil, you do need a sturdy racks for carrying much of anything on the car.

    Twenty or more years ago I bought a set of aluminum bolt on brackets and a stick of galvanized pipe to go with it.
    I've had it on two or the three cars now. I'll junk the car but I keep re-using the brackets!

    I don't know if they are still made, but they are quite sturdy and way cheaper than any name-brand rack.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilMB View Post
    I might see if I can wrap my mind around storing and pulling and managing a trailer at put-in. I've got enough vehicle to do it, but I just haven't wrapped my mind around how it will be to join the hoards at the boat ramp on summer days in the midwest.
    Regarding car topping your boat. First determine how much weight your roof rack can support. Needs to be sufficient to support the boat you end up with. I'm planning to build a 12 foot jon boat that I expect to weigh about 125 lbs but definitely below 150 lbs. The roof rack on our Honda Odyssey mini van is rated to support 165 lbs so it should be OK.

    Next, there's a way to load and unload a boat on the roof rack by one person. Here's a youtube video on the method.
    In the video, the guy lifts up the boat until the angled 2x4's are horizontal. Then he pushes his boat on to the roof rack.
    A better way for a heavy boat would be to install pegs in the angled 2x4's and walk the boat up the angled 2x4's. Lift the angled 2x4's to horizontaland walk the boat on to the roof rack instead of pushing it on if the boat is too heavy to push.

    How I plan to car top my jon boat. Only needs one person to load and unload. Will need wheels on the boat to transport it from car to water.
    Last edited by DayTripper; 06-17-2021 at 04:08 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    No thank you!

    The trouble is the guy has to lift the entire weight of the boat and the contraption too!
    Talk about bench pressing!

    I'm a litle guy, I only lift half the weight of the boat at a time. Unless it's a canoe and I'm carrying it on my heed.
    with a skiff, I land, empty the boat, attach my dolly to the transom top with a single bolt and wingnut, and gently flip the boat over. Then wheel it to the car. Only photo I got of this maneuver.

    Then put the bow up on the back rack, which does need to be far back on the car.
    Never lift more than half the weight at a time!


    SAM_6321.JPG


    Then I proceed like this -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-00P3KWAf-0



  25. #25
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    No thank you!

    The trouble is the guy has to lift the entire weight of the boat and the contraption too!
    It's not necessary to lift the entire weight of the boat:

    1. The length of the angled 2x4's act as a lever. 2x4's a bit longer than those shown in the video I linked to can be used. Walking the boat up to the top of the longer angled 2x4's, then lifting the bottom ends of the 2x4's act as a lever to reduce the weight of the boat.

    2. By extending the angled 2x4's past the pivot point connection to the roof rack cross braces, the boat can be walked up the angled 2x4's so that 1/3 of the boat is above the pivot points. Then the lifting weight of the boat is 1/3 because the 1/3 above the pivot points will counter balance 1/3 of the weight of the boat that's below the pivot points. So the remaining weight is 1/3 the weight of the boat. Also, since the boat is higher up the angled 2x4's, lifting the bottom ends of the 2x4's has even more leverage which further reduces the lifting weight of the boat. With correct planning and design, the lifting weight of the boat can be quite minimal.

    From the video you linked to, it appears that the guy only has about 1/8 of his canoe resting on the crossbar so he's lifting about 7/8 of the weight of the canoe.

    Anyway, it's the original poster's call how he decides to car top his boat if the OP decides to go that route instead of a trailer. We can only offer suggestions that might work for the OP.

    Regards,
    DayTripper

  26. #26
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    Mar 2017
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Certainly, to each his own, and car-topping ain't the same since they stopped making station wagons anyway...

    It probably is at best a make-shift for a heavy skiff, but I continue to do it because I'm to cheap to pay for a trailer.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    157

    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by dbp1 View Post
    You might pester Duckworks about making this available to you in some form or another:

    https://duckworks.com/scout-cnc-kit/

    65-75 lbs, they claim 2-3 people (it's about 10.5ft).
    Yeah, that's a really interesting boat, for me the most all-around practical car topper I've seen

    I built an Eastport pram and it's pretty easy to toss on the roof but there's just no room for my legs when sailing.

  28. #28
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    May 2021
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    Certainly, to each his own, and car-topping ain't the same since they stopped making station wagons anyway...
    It probably is at best a make-shift for a heavy skiff, but I continue to do it because I'm to cheap to pay for a trailer.
    Mini vans are a good alternative to station wagons since they come with the option to mount roof racks.

    For me, I don't want to pay for a trailer either , but the main reason is that there is no space on our small property to park a trailer. Our property is enclosed with a hollow tile wall with only a driveway to our 2 car carport. Zero space for a trailer.

    By car topping the jon boat that I plan to build, after unloading I'll be able to store the boat on one side next to a wall inside our property. Since the boat will have 18" high sides it will only take up about 20 inches from the wall (x 12 feet). Car topping is our only option.
    Last edited by DayTripper; 06-17-2021 at 08:22 PM.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    312

    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    Snip- I begrudge the cost of a trailer and the cost of the yearly registration on it!

    -Snip
    Move to Arkansas, Trailers get a one-time permanent tag and registration. You do have to pay personal property tax each year.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    1,469

    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Could you manage with a boat that seats only two: you and one other? That changes it a bit...



    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 06-18-2021 at 05:15 AM.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Just another point in the cartopping technique (rather than suggesting that it is a good idea, at least for boats that are 100lbs or higher) -- if you don't have a car that can put the roof rack right near the end (i.e., something sedan-like), there are suction on rollers (designer for kayaks, but some of them have pretty good capacity). I used two of them on either side to put a 130lb PDR on the roof of a prius (essentially hatchback shape, but slanting back hatch), which worked, and obviously anything longer than 8ft would make it easier (though, the parallel sides did help...). Something custom fabricated would be even better -- a suctioned on roller than ran the entire width of the car, right near the end.

    I tried the slide on from the side technique that people always post videos of (even made a custom frame / rails to it), but the initial lift was just way too much... maybe if you made 10 or 12ft rails to lengthen the lever, but then where do they go away to once the boat is on the roof? And the taller the car, the harder that initial lift is...

    But, in the end, I chopped the boat up and built a bigger boat that lives on a trailer, so \_(ツ)_/...

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Coromandel, NZ
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    301

    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Anything's possible. The adventures of Miss Cindy. https://www.duckworksmagazine.com/09...indy/index.htm


  33. #33
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Default Re: First build, car toppable, learn to sail, Upper Mississippi?

    Quote Originally Posted by dbp1 View Post
    maybe if you made 10 or 12ft rails to lengthen the lever, but then where do they go away to once the boat is on the roof? And the taller the car, the harder that initial lift is...
    With the boat on the roof, I would just put the long 2x4's on the roof rack along with the boat.

    With the boat off the roof, if the angled 2x4's are too long to fit in the vehicle, then they could be stored on the ground under the parked vehicle. To prevent theft, one could drill a 3/4" hole in each 2x4. Then run a cable with loops on both ends through the holes in the 2x4's and around a frame under the vehicle and lock it. The effort would be too great to make it worthwhile for a thief to steal just plain 2x4's. Plus most folks would probably not even notice the 2x4's under the vehicle. Could paint the 2x4's black to blend in with the color of the asphalt.

    $.02

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