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Old 05-25-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

Just wondering if anyone has a boat rack on their tow vehicle for carrying a car topper type boat?
We are hoping to purchase an Escape next year and since my husband is an avid fisherman, will need a way to take along
his 12' aluminum boat. Took a look today at some automatic boat loader racks - They're around $2500 plus installation if
you're not a DIYer. The best part is the electric winch system - saves the back from having to manually lift your boat on
and off the rack. The cost is higher than I was expecting. Any thoughts?
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

Would your husband be interested in a kayak? They make sit on top kayaks for fishermen with pole holders and bait boxes, beer holders, etc. With the kayak he could get the Yakima automatic lifts for around $500. With a 2 person kayak he could even troll. One person commendeers the pole, the other paddles. They are fun and very stable.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:45 PM   #3
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Re: Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

I fly fish rivers mostly, but for lakes I either cartop my 16' canoe or my Southfork pontoon boat. Advantage of the canoe is you can also use it for romantic paddles at sunset. The pontoon boat is lighter, but most are one-person boats. It's powered by flippers or by oars or by both at the same time if you're in a real hurry. Both the canoe and pontoon boat just tie on the factory rack and I can load or unload by myself.

I contemplated an electric motor on the canoe, but the problem with that is the extra trips carrying the motor, battery, anchors, gear, beer down to the boat. I see the same problems with a 12' aluminum. Too heavy and unwieldy for one person to load by hand and any motorized rack is going to add even more weight to the tow vehicle.

I'd check out canoes, kayaks and pontoon boats ( pontoon boats today are half the price or less than I paid - $1,600 ).

And, going back to my tent-trailer days, I carried the canoe atop the tent trailer for one trip. Then I realized I had to unload the canoe to set up camp, load it onto the tow to take it to the put in. No labor saving there.

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Old 05-25-2011, 11:41 PM   #4
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Re: Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

I car top a 12' aluminum on my PU. It is a light weight older Sears model but it is very comfortable to fish in. It is also very easy to load on my simple over-the-canopy aluminum rack without the need for winches, etc. I can load it myself but with a little help from my wife it is as easy as a canoe or pontoon boat.

Some 12' car toppers are actually designed for trailering rather than roof loading. If your boat is too heavy look into trading it on a lighter one.

I love canoeing for tripping but find them a little tippy for serious fishing. Pontoon boats, IMO, are great for hermit fishermen but I like the company of my wife. Kayaks are good for harpooning walruses in the high arctic but I don't like fish on my lap.

I will post pictures of my boat setup when we get our 17b in 41 days.

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Old 05-26-2011, 12:20 AM   #5
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Re: Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

Kayaks are good for harpooning walruses in the high arctic but I don't like fish on my lap.

Gord
[/quote]

And then there is the cold water that runs down the shaft of the paddle and into your armpit. I know, there are those rings that are supposed to prevent that. I like to be able to move around, sit on my bum, rest on my knees or stand up if the water isn't too rough, so the canoe suits me.

As for the pontoon boat, nothing like lounging back, feet up on the pontoon, a cold one in the beer holder and Ride of the Valkyries playing boldly from the portable speakers wedged on the other pontoon. Oh, yah, and a fish on.

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Old 05-28-2011, 09:45 PM   #6
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Re: Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

As for the pontoon boat, nothing like lounging back, feet up on the pontoon, a cold one in the beer holder and Ride of the Valkyries playing boldly from the portable speakers wedged on the other pontoon. Oh, yah, and a fish on. quote - Gord

Wow - that was almost poetic!

Looks like we'll have to go check out rack systems as the 12' aluminum is my husband's boat of choice - more comfortable, easy to move around in and enough room to take a buddy (wife). Having never learned to swim, I feel most comfortable on a boat about the size of a BC Ferry. Maybe he'll fish from the boat while I take my chances wading in the shallows. After all, it's not the size of the boat ...
It's all about the fish - or so I am told!
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:16 PM   #7
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Re: Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

You didn't mention in your original post that you were doing the rowing.

I assume then that you're helping hoist the boat onto the rack. And in that case, you can probably just work with the factory rack. You might need to lash a couple two-by-two's to the rack to accommodate the width of the boat. And you'd want to check the weight limits on the rack, according to your owner's manual. They can be ludicrously low ( as in 100 lbs. ), but I do recall tying three 70 lb. canoes to the rack on my Subaru ( you tie two side by side and one on top of the other two ) so you're probably OK.

baglo

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Old 05-29-2011, 07:37 AM   #8
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Re: Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

There's also the problem of launching the boat. No matter what kind of rack you have for the tug, you still have to get the boat into the water. Unless you're at a regular boat launch, you may have to muscle the boat to the water, which depending on the weight of the boat may restrict your use....
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:43 AM   #9
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Re: Boat Racks on Tow Vehicle

Hi: All...Here in South Wet Ontario all you have to do is stand there and the water comes up to you. FAST!!! It's an abnormally wet spring. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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