How to Make a Canoe Rack

How to Make a Canoe Rack
Building a freestanding canoe rack lets you store your boats wherever you need to. It also gets multiple canoes off the ground and out of the way. The structure consists of two uprights held together by crossbeams. Canoe supports attach centered on the uprights. Each support holds two canoes---one on each side of the upright. You can build a sturdy rack from wood in less than a day. The rack stores six canoes.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 2"x6" construction grade lumber Saw Screwdriver Deck screws Carpet
  • 2"x6" construction grade lumber
  • Saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Deck screws
  • Carpet
Step 1
Build the rack's basic uprights and feet by screwing an 8-foot 2"x6" upright to the center of a 6-foot 2"x6" foot. This forms a "T" shaped upright. Make two of these.
Step 2
Sandwich each upright with an additional 6-foot 2"x6" board. This board parallels the first 2"x6" foot. For extra stability, this builds a wider foot.
Step 3
Fill in the gap between each 2"x6" foot with a 2-foot, 9 1/2-inch board. Repeat this for each upright. When finished the feet will be three boards broad.
Step 4
Attach two 2-foot boards at a 45-degree angle to each upright. A board runs from each side of the "T"s foot to the center of the upright. This provides additional support to the upright. Repeat this for each upright.
Step 5
Build the first canoe support one inch above the diagonal support board. Screw a 6-foot 2"x6" centered on and perpendicular to the upright. Create a three board sandwich, like your did for the upright's feet.
Step 6
Build additional canoe supports every 20 inches. Each support is a three-board sandwich. Repeat on the second upright.
Step 7
Cover the top of each canoe support with carpet. Staple or screw the carpet to the support.
Step 8
Join the uprights. Stand both uprights on their feet---recruit additional help. Run one 8-foot 2"x6" from the top of one upright to the bottom of the other. Then run another 8-foot opposite of the first on the other side of the uprights. When finished the two 8-foot crossbeams from an "X" between the uprights.
Step 9
Screw three six-inch 2"x6" boards together. Screw the boards between the two crossbeams centered on the "X." This secures the crossbeams and prevents the uprights from shifting.

Tips & Warnings

 
Most canoes are 36 inches wide or less; for canoes wider than 38 inches make the canoe supports from 8-foot boards. You can maximize your storage by measuring the actual height between your canoe's gunwales and the bilge. Then instead of using a 20-inch spacing between canoe supports, make the spacing several inches bigger than the measured height of the canoe. It will be harder to place the canoes between the supports, but you'll gain an additional support.
 
Most canoes are 36 inches wide or less; for canoes wider than 38 inches make the canoe supports from 8-foot boards.
 
You can maximize your storage by measuring the actual height between your canoe's gunwales and the bilge. Then instead of using a 20-inch spacing between canoe supports, make the spacing several inches bigger than the measured height of the canoe. It will be harder to place the canoes between the supports, but you'll gain an additional support.
 
Strong winds can blow canoes off any outdoor rack, so tie the canoes down to the rack for long term storage.

Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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