| by Kellan Hatch - Salt Lake
City, Utah - USA
I’ve got a simple little gizmo for you that
might make your cartopping experience a lot more pleasant.
If you already have a roof rack and can spare about
5 more bucks, this might be just what you’re
looking for. I can’t remember if I invented
this or if I read about it somewhere, but it doesn’t
matter, it works the same either way.
The gizmo – lets call it The Roofrackamabob
- is simply a piece of ¾ inch pipe screwed
into a floor flange. It just so happens that if you
pop the plastic cap off the end of a Yakima rack tube,
the pipe slides in with just the right amount of tolerance.
I assume you could do the same for a Thule rack using
a length of square tubing and an angle bracket. For
that matter, you could easily make a version of this
thing for any type of rack. The length of the tube
depends on the beam of the boat, but 3-4 feet should
be plenty for most. The pipe slides about a foot into
the rack tube and the flange keeps your boat from
sliding off the other end.
The finished product looks
(click images for larger
You might notice that I have clamped some short lengths
of rubber hose over my rack towers to minimize any
potential hull scratching from dragging boats across
them. You can easily lift the hull over the towers,
but this way I don’t have to worry about it.
And here’s how it works:
1) Lay your boat alongside your vehicle. If you’re
on a hard surface you might want to lay a small
scrap of carpet or cardboard under the stern to
keep the pavement from scraping off paint or varnish.
I use a square of outdoor carpet that I always carry
in my pickup.
2) Insert the Roofrackamabob into the forward rack
tube (or you can use the middle tube if you have
a triple rack like mine)
3) Lift the bow onto the Roofrackamabob
|The bow up on the roofrackamabob
4) Go to the back and lift the stern onto the rear
5) Return to the front and slide the bow onto the
6) Remove the Roofrackamabob
7) Tie ‘er down and drive away.
To unload, do the same thing in reverse. This gizmo
is all you need to easily load boats up to 100 pounds
or so without tweaking either your back or the neighbor
who you would otherwise beg to help you heft the boat
onto your vehicle.
The only improvement I can think of is to add some
friction to the pipe to keep a slippery hull from
trying to slide downhill. I plan to add a few rings
of non-skid tape or a piece of rubber hose.
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