View topic - First outing with new canoe after decades away from canoes!

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PostPosted: September 6th, 2017, 11:12 am 
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Joined: May 19th, 2017, 3:09 pm
Posts: 129
vpsoccer wrote:
Gee you are up early!

. . .

Q: Do the cross bars come off the roof pins when not in use or stay on (and on the car) full time?

Free-floating brain cells.........
It was a country classic for people to make cross bars of 2x4 to attach/clamp to their factory roof rack, with eyebolts up through the ends. Decidedly not pretty, but length variable and wood made a good surface. ;)


Wood 2x4s are definitely not acceptable. The car is a pretty nice and costly one. The first really costly one I have ever owned. Bought it used with 5 years and 28k miles on it so that I could experience a car like that once in my life. :D

The special model-specific roof rack setup for my car was jointly designed by Thule and Mercedes. As far as roof racks go, it is pretty swoopy. Key features that make it both great and at the same time more difficult to work with:

- Very narrow overall, as the roof of my car has a LOT of "tumblehome"

- 4 lockable towers BOLT via 3/8" diameter bolts into hidden bolt threads under flip-up covers in the car's roof, so the rack is VERY solidly fastened to the car, and the lockable towers prevent theft of the towers and crossbars

- The 2 crossbars do not mount on top of the 4 towers. Each crossbar instead terminates WITHIN each tower. Thus, the crossbars are made unstealable via the locks on the towers, and the whole setup looks very aero and attractive.

- The 4 Thule "Portage canoe carrier" blocks are semi-permanently bolted to the crossbars via captured bolts that grip a "groove" in each crossbar that runs the full length of the crossbar, so the blocks can be positioned anywhere along each crossbar, but ONLY for any width of canoe up to about 29-1/2" gunwale width (because my car roof is narrow).

- The towers are designed so that ONLY the 3/8" bolt actually contacts the car, and only within the threads it threads into within the roof panel. There is ZERO contact with the car's paint!(You can see daylight under each tower except for the 3/8" bolt!)

When not needed, the rack is removed in under 2 to 3 minutes as follows:

- Unlock and remove each tower cover so you can access and unthread the 3/8" bolt that secures it to the car roof (Each bolt has a flip up plastic handle to unscrew it - not tools required)

- Once the 4 tower bolts are unthreaded, you simply lift off first the front towers & crossbar assembly, and then the rear towers and crossbar assembly

- Then, flip down the 4 small plastic roof panel covers that cover the threaded holes in the roof

You're done! And there is ZERO evidence that a rack was on the car a few minutes ago!

Re-installation is the reverse of that process, and takes just a bit longer than removal as you align each bolt with its threaded hole - maybe 7 minutes at most.

Jim G


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PostPosted: September 6th, 2017, 12:03 pm 
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Joined: May 19th, 2017, 3:09 pm
Posts: 129
Krusty wrote:
You don't really need the up-rights on the ends of the proposed rear rack extension, you just need the rack sticking out a few inches to attach the cross-over strap. The strap itself will prevent lateral movement of the canoe. Load from the back, slide the boat forward until it's snug against the front stop-blocks (on the outside), then attach the cross-over straps.

Or, if you're sold on the idea of uprights at the end of the extension you could have the attachment point for the cross-over strap at the top off your uprights.

I've used the 2 X 4 thing. Worked fine, but as my architect friend used to say I'm more into function then form.


I think you are onto a good idea here, when you say "The strap itself will prevent lateral movement of the canoe". How about this?:

- BEFORE lifting the canoe at all, I should first LOOSELY install the rear toothed tiedown strap onto the rear crossbar, with the strap "routed" correctly for final retainment of the canoe and the toothed buckle roughly where you want it to end up, but loose enough that the canoe bow can later (see below) be slipped inside the loosely buckled strap

- Place the canoe on the C-Tug Sandtrakz cart UPSIDEDOWN, with the Sandtrakz located well towards the stern, but still forward enough to be supporting the port and starboard gunwales at a wide enough point away from the stern that the canoe won't tip sideways

- Position the canoe in line with the axis of the car, but with the bow just behind the rear bumper

- Lift the bow of the canoe, and walk down to a point just forward of the canoe's balance point, so the bow is now 6 feet above the pavement and the stern is supported, on both rearward gunwales, by the Sandtrakz. That means I am lifting only roughly half of the 42.6 lb canoe weight = 21.3 lb, and the canoe is not trying to tip sideways as the Sandtrakz is holding it via both port and starboard rearward gunwales

- Move forward until the bow of the canoe is`above and SLIGHTLY PAST the rear crossbar and its very loose tiedown strap

- Let the bow drop down onto the rear crossbar. The canoe is now reasonably "stable", since the sternward gunwales are supported on both port and starboard by the Sandtrakz, and the bowward gunwales are supported by the crossbar

- Now tighten the strap toothed buckle only enough that I can still slide the canoe forward through it, but it won't allow the canoe to slide sideways off the crossbar later in the process when I need to lift it slightly to trap it on the Portage blocks

- Finish sliding the canoe forward until it is at the right position longitudinally (this is when the "w" in the "Wenonah" lettering on the side is just short of the front crossbar)

- Lift the bow slightly so the canoe can be moved forward just slightly to clear the front Portage blocks (because as the canoe moves forward, its cross-sectional width increase until it will no longer pass between the Portage blocks - it must be lifted slightly to "hop over" the Portage blocks so that the blocks can now "trap" the canoe gunwales by being "inboard" of the gunwales on each of port and starboard gunwales (NOTE: The car roof and rack are too narrow to deploy the Portage blocks OUTboard of the gunwales! :D ). The loose tiedown strap SHOULD enable all this forward sliding and slight "hop up" while preventing the canoe from sliding sideways right off the car roof. (But I need to test this idea obviously)

- Keep sliding the canoe forward until the sternward end of the canoe will no longer pass by the Portage blocks, lift the stern to hop over the Portage blocks, and then drop the canoe gunwales back down onto the rear crossbar so that the rear Portage blocks now trap the gunwales too. Again the loose tiedown strap SHOULD enable all this forward sliding and slight "hop up" while preventing the canoe from sliding sideways right off the car roof

- now fine tune the position of the canoe longitudinally so that both front an d rear Portage block to gunwale interfaces are correct

- Tighten the previously loosely installed tiedown strap to proper tension for transport

- Install the FRONT tiedown strap and tighten to proper tension for transport

- Add the 3rd strap that positively prevents the canoe from trying to slide forward or rearward by locking a thwart to a crossbar

- Stow the Sandtrakz (It goes in the car trunk easily even withOUT removing the 2 wheels, which are removable without tools in about 2 seconds each)

The above MIGHT work. Gotta try it to see . . .

Jim G


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PostPosted: September 6th, 2017, 12:37 pm 
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Joined: May 6th, 2005, 12:52 am
Posts: 93
Location: Ottawa
JimGnitecki wrote:
Wood 2x4s are definitely not acceptable. The car is a pretty nice and costly one. The first really costly one I have ever owned. Bought it used with 5 years and 28k miles on it so that I could experience a car like that once in my life. :D
Jim G
I understand completely. We have discovered that a 4-yr-old Lexus SUV in great shape costs the same as a new standard-type SUV such as a Ford or Dodge and is a WHOLE LOT NICER ride that will probably last just as long. And so we drive a vehicle that I was initially sheepish about, but continue to enjoy nicely!
(That said, I am a bit more cavalier about junking it up to carry boats.)

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PostPosted: September 7th, 2017, 11:58 am 
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Joined: August 8th, 2016, 10:37 am
Posts: 59
Location: Northern Alberta
Jeez Jim!
You're over thinkingh this- get out on the water!
The Franklin Expedition had less planning involved...mind you, look how that worked out...

I have square Thule racks- not the Aero bars- so can't speak for fit on them. The Malone Big Foot on Thule square bars is slick! And the feet have padded rubber bases to cushion the canoe gunwales. The gunwales of my Chestnuts are ash and i'm very pleased with the cushioning. Also because of the "ugly wingnuts" the feet are adjustable exactly the width of YOUR canoe. I'm a big fan.

As noted in another thread, simple tie down front and rear to the tow eyes on the front and rear bumper for short local travel- ie St Albert to Sturgeon River or North Saskatchewan River- but dual lines to tow straps mounted under hood on the front, single at rear when travelling long distance or at Highway speeds.

Good Luck!

Bruce


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