You will need a set of roof bars, we should have a range available to fit your car that are suitable for carrying canoes, as well as other watersports gear - click here to select your car and see our range of roof bars. When carrying a canoe it's important you go for a set of bars that are long enough for your canoe. Some shorter and/or flush bars won't be long enough. You can usually go for bars that are longer than the suggested length if you go for Thule Pro or Slide bars. It's important that the bars don't stick out any further than the widest point of your car (excluding the wing mirrors).
If you can adjust how far apart your roof bars are, we recommend you position them further apart than normal. Don't worry if you can't change the position of your bars.
You'll want to load the canoe upside down. This will make it easier to load and also prevent the canoe filling with water. If it rains, and a canoe fills with water, this weight can seriously overload the rack/car roof and also make dismounting very tricky.
Once you have a set of roof bars you can either just strap your canoe onto the roof or use a specific canoe carrier to make things easier and ensure everything is secured down properly. Canoe carriers include cam straps, bow/stern straps and also brackets that secure the canoe at the gunwales, so the canoe can't move sideways.
If you just want to strap your canoe to the roof we recommend using foam pads on the bars. We don't recommend ratchet straps as it is very easy to overtighten a ratchet and damage the canoe. We have a range of cam buckle straps that are ideal for securing gear to roof bars. Make sure they are plenty long enough to wrap around the canoe and bars twice. All our canoe carriers include cam straps.
It's really important you secure your boat at the front and back of your car. You need to fix bow and stern lines, probably using the front and rear screw-in towing eyes if you have them on the car. Some all our canoe carriers come supplied with these straps. We also have sets of straps available that are perfect for the job and are really easy to use. Yakima make some excellent Bow/Stern tie down straps and Thule makes the QuickDraw 838 . These straps usually attach to the front and rear screw-in towing eyes but if you don’t have these on your car you will need to attach them somewhere else instead. You could always use the ‘Yakima Hood Anchor’ if you don’t have towing loops on the vehicle. Hood Anchors secure under the bonnet or the boot.
Loading a canoe onto a roof is a two-man lift, it's not a job you want to do on your own. If you do need to load a canoe on your own you may want to consider a Dropracks system.