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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I just obtained a 14' aluminum boat and lack a hitch or trailer. After searching the net and here I found not a whole lot for roof racks meant for a boat of this size. I have seen homemade racks with wood,carpet,u-bolts,etc. and since I have most of these things already thought it would be a cheap and fun option.

My question is, does anyone here carry a boat of this size on their roof? If so, did you make your rack or buy one? Has anyone seen one? Any and all advice is appreciated. I know getting it on and off the roof is gonna be the biggest pain but I am ok with that to save me $300 or so for a trailer and hitch. I plan to carry my outboard and other gear in the back seeing as that's what wagons are for!

Cheers,
Dan
 

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I car top 12ft long 130lb 56inch wide racing sailboat on yakima 66inch bars. Loading it solo is not ideal. I have car topped 14ft 130lb lasers also. Much narrower and easer to load. Both hulls are only about 14inches high and ride upside down.

The issue with a aluminum hull is weight and sharp edges. Your standard after market rack ie yakima is rated for 150lbs.

If you use the boat a bunch the normal cheap solution at our club are Harbor Freight trailers with home built racks and gear boxes.
 

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Be cautious of ANY SUDDEN HIGH CROSSWINDS while driving with this thing on top as they could very easily cause the car to veer off into another lane or possibly even flip the car over!

A basic rule of thumb would be "the higher the wind, the slower you should be driving!"
 

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Wont flip the car but high winds will keep you on your toes! Learn how to tie trucker hitch and use propper rope! Ive been car topping 14ft sail boats for years zero issues when lashed down properly with quality rope. The cheap nylon ratchet straps suck! They stretch and get loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's why I thought wood would be able to hold more weight? How much do those cross bars run? aside from a scale any decent way to estimate the weight of my boat? It's not too bad. 2 people can carry it without too too much strain so definitely under 200lbs. My outboard is the more cumbersome carry. Hahaha.

The wind factor is a great thought! I honestly didn't even think of that and I am about 2" lifted so that adds to that. I guess I'll have to fab some drop down brackets for my rear sway bar after all (I currently have it unhooked). Thank you for that safety advice! Here in western WA it's not to terribly windy but if I cross the cascades or head east it can get strong enough to just throw my car around.

I have lots of local lakes so I don't have to travel terribly far to get wet. Ha.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Subiesailor, do you run the cross bars from bumper to bumper or left to right?

I got this boat and motor from a buddy that recently moved to north Dakota and couldn't take it with him, awe shucks right? So I am trying to transport this thing on a budget.
I could maybe get some old chain link pipe and make my own cross bars? I definitely want to go the homemade route.

Any advice or concerns for damage to existing roof rack/roof? This is the first rack I've had on a car and didn't know how it all hooks up. My idea was to spread the existing OE bars as far apart as they go and use poles or wood with u-bolts to clamp them to the OE bars going left to right. Probably add on side stops for ease of getting on and off without it falling off the side and figured it would secure it better.

I also want this rack to be not too terrible to remove as I just want to do some light fishing every so often. But 30min install or takedown time is just fine with me.
 

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Subiesailor, do you run the cross bars from bumper to bumper or left to right?

I got this boat and motor from a buddy that recently moved to north Dakota and couldn't take it with him, awe shucks right? So I am trying to transport this thing on a budget.
I could maybe get some old chain link pipe and make my own cross bars? I definitely want to go the homemade route.

Any advice or concerns for damage to existing roof rack/roof? This is the first rack I've had on a car and didn't know how it all hooks up. My idea was to spread the existing OE bars as far apart as they go and use poles or wood with u-bolts to clamp them to the OE bars going left to right. Probably add on side stops for ease of getting on and off without it falling off the side and figured it would secure it better.

I also want this rack to be not too terrible to remove as I just want to do some light fishing every so often. But 30min install or takedown time is just fine with me.
All depends on how wide the boat is. You will top it laying upside down. Longest bars sold by yakima or thule are 66 inches. You run them across the roof not length wise. Get kayak nylon hood straps which bolt to the inner fender and pass through the hood fender gap. Use these to tie the bow only purpose for this line is to keep it from twisting ie turning sideways.

Tie a slip knot to each bar you want the rope to grip the bar to avoid it slipping.pass over the inverted hull under the bar on the other side. Then truckers hitch easy to do youtube truckers hitch demo to see it

Keep in mind sliding side to side on the rack is your main worry. If you tie secondary rope from the inner side of the rack around the end to help hold the primary tie downs from slipping off the ends. So two primary tie downs one on each cross bar over the inverted hull. Then you just want to lash under the hull to holdthe primary ties from slipping off the ends of the bars.
 

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Harbor freight trailer will cost you $400 plus the custom set up materials. Yakima rack gear even on craigs list will run you $200. The trailer idea with boat racked above storage box is fare superior camping lake rig option.
 

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Subiesailor, do you run the cross bars from bumper to bumper or left to right?

I got this boat and motor from a buddy that recently moved to north Dakota and couldn't take it with him, awe shucks right? So I am trying to transport this thing on a budget.
I could maybe get some old chain link pipe and make my own cross bars? I definitely want to go the homemade route.

Any advice or concerns for damage to existing roof rack/roof? This is the first rack I've had on a car and didn't know how it all hooks up. My idea was to spread the existing OE bars as far apart as they go and use poles or wood with u-bolts to clamp them to the OE bars going left to right. Probably add on side stops for ease of getting on and off without it falling off the side and figured it would secure it better.

I also want this rack to be not too terrible to remove as I just want to do some light fishing every so often. But 30min install or takedown time is just fine with me.
All depends on how wide the boat is. You will top it laying upside down. Longest bars sold by yakima or thule are 66 inches. You run them across the roof not length wise. Get kayak nylon hood straps which bolt to the inner fender and pass through the hood fender gap. Use these to tie the bow only purpose for this line is to keep it from twisting ie turning sideways.

Tie a slip knot to each bar you want the rope to grip the bar to avoid it slipping.pass over the inverted hull under the bar on the other side. Then truckers hitch easy to do youtube truckers hitch demo to see it

Keep in mind sliding side to side on the rack is your main worry. If you tie secondary rope from the inner side of the rack around the end to help hold the primary tie downs from slipping off the ends. So two primary tie downs one on each cross bar over the inverted hull. Then you just want to lash under the hull to holdthe primary ties from slipping off the ends of the bars.
 

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another option and what i would probably lean towards is to look for a tow dolly (i have one and use it for more than cars) - in my state it doesn't require tags, taxes, or anything. and you can find older rusted ones (who cares for a light weight boat) for $50 - $150. hitches can be had for $40 (cheapest i've got one for) - $75 used...probably cheaper out there since they don't all rust away like out here! LOL

craigslist. you can find cheap little trailers too.

cost may not be much different. an aluminum boat on top is going to decrease gas mileage and the added weight of the boat, motor, gear in the hatch area may lead to spring, strut, sway bar end link, etc maintenance costs. i tow a boat...and more...with mine and i had destroyed rear struts i just replaced and now a spring is broken. i can't say for certain it was all the towing/weight but seems to make sense that those things will likely increase those chances.

i fish a lot and the conditions aren't always prime - cold, rain, snow, and night. it's one thing to fabricate a roof system for the boat and put your boat on it on a nice day. it's another thing to use this thing for fishing dozens of time...in the dark...in the rain...in the cold...in the snow...after you pulled a muscle or got hurt....and plenty more scenarios you never think of before you run into it. having the motor already on the boat, on the trailer, boat for storage, equipment, buckets, livewells, bait, ready to hook up is going to be amazing compared to the roof set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's a good thought. I will be a once in a while type boater in mostly fair weather. I'm gonna start the cheap homemade car top route and upgrade if it becomes to much of a pain or strain on my baby. Thanks for all the advice. I will post pics on this thread once I complete it and give pros and cons and/or regrets. Haha.
 
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