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Old 05-30-2014, 11:08 PM   #1
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Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

I haven't lugged the canoe out to the van to try it yet, but was wondering if any of you are successfully carrying canoes on top of your EB penthouse? I'm not asking about the feasibility of lifting the top with the boat up there, as I'll likely just be transporting it from one point to another and pulling the boat off before popping the top.

I just bought Yakima tracks to install and will get the appropriate towers and bars (will probably set up three bars), but due to the length of the van I assume the canoe's bow and stern will not hang over the roof like on a smaller vehicle. Apart from raising the bars up extra high (not sure I can even add tower extensions to the type of towers that go in the tracks), how can I account for the curvature of the canoe gunwales?

I have both a 14' Dagger and a 16' Mad River canoe.

Thanks for any thoughts...
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:03 AM   #2
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Re: Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

Brian, I did this, albeit with a 18' canoe and no penthouse, but still an EB van. It is tricky, and maybe a little more so since your canoes are shorter. If you have fairly high bars, though, with the lift the PH itself will give them, it will probably work. The trick is having another guy, or strong helper to help you get them there and off without hitting the van. I was able to just get my canoe over both ends, but had to carefully arrange my floaties, or whatever they are called. I mean those thick foam things that pop on to the canoe sides and rest on your roof. I also had to get pretty creative with tie-downs. Since our old boat is so long, we always tied from the ends down to the bumpers but no go on the van, I had to just do straps over the boat to my bars.

I'll try to find a pic. I took one, but my situation was somewhat different so it might not help as much as some experimentation with a helper.

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Old 05-31-2014, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

Aluminess offers rollers and such to assist getting the canoe or kayak on and off the penthouse racks.

Plus your rack mfg has specific rollers and pads. I was surprised to see such a big selection offered.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:25 AM   #4
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Re: Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

It's not so much the getting it on/off that worries me, it's accomodating the normal upward curve of the gunwales at the bow and stern of the boat (or downward curve when it's upside down!). My worry is that the bow and stern will hit the roof of the van before the rest of the gunwales rest on the crossbars.

Just gotta try it, I suppose. I'm putting on the tracks and bars anyway to be able to carry my kayak when I go down to Assateaque Nat Seashore, and also to mount solar panels sooner or later. REI just had them on sale last week so I got two 60" sets of tracks to give lots of spread on the roof.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:39 PM   #5
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Re: Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

Just measure. Twice. Yakima at least had towers of different heights. And you can mount brackets on the top of the roof as opposed to the side; what you need are what I think Yakima calls bolt toploaders. If you needed more height I suppose you could put something under them, although I'd think maybe something on the crossbar might be better. We used formed wood for sea kayaks back in the day before more custom fittings were designed by Yakima and Thule.

But whatever you get or design make allowances for getting it on or off. I used three sets of mounting brackets. For kayaks we used ones at almost the extreme of the roof; it made it easier to get the end of the kayak on the crossbar and use it as a roller to get it on. That might also help with the reverse rocker of your canoe's gunwales.
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:20 PM   #6
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Re: Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

Ours is set up to do that. We have rollers at the rear of our rack and Yakima bars in front of and behind our solar panels. We roll them up the rear onto a set of hully rollers mounted on the rear yak bar then roll them over the solar panels to the front bar, then flip them over. The curves of the canoes are over the cab and in the open space of the rear of our rack. Not a huge issue but two people are needed.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:26 AM   #7
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Re: Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

3 or 4 bars are nice. If you have a lot of rocker, just put a spacer under the middle bar(s). Also, with the bow, middle, and stern tied down to bars, you won't have to run a line down to your bumper.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:38 PM   #8
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Re: Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

We haul a 16'9" Bell Northwind in the black gold variation up top with no problems....... it sits on an aluminess double loop rack contacting only at the front and rear. We do remove it to lift the top.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:47 AM   #9
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Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

Thanks all! Worst case I may need to add a spacer on top of the crossbars to get the height I need.

@tully, love those Bell canoes in the black gold layup! A friend of mine has a solo Bell an it's sweet
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:41 AM   #10
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Re: Can you carry canoes on EB Penthouses?

I would sure think so.. We had 2 Thule awnings and 2 12'6" SUPS up there with no problems. Lots of weight on the POp top. We have since moved the awnings to the gutter/s.
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