looking for 'game changing' car-topping aid device(s).

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Basically 2 types of aids needed.

    1)to help get boats up on top of full size American van with roof racks (Ford E-350, gutter mounted Thule bars)
    2)get fairly heavy (150lbs+) boats up onto normal hatchback roof racks that less than burly people can use without risk of damaging car (or boat) in process.

    I was able to carry a Sunfish on the roof racks of my big van no problem, but took two big guys to load and unload.

    SOR: Fairly cheap, under $100 total. Hardware Store or Ebay/Amazon parts and simple cutting/drilling/screwing. All weather, able to be left outside in mud for several years and still work. Able to break down to carry in van or hatchback, respectively. Also easy to secure next to boat on the racks. Max capacity 300lbs (racks are rated at about 160lbs but has been exceeded on short trips with careful driving, or additional racks/supports).

    There are some gizmos but they tend to be expensive, proprietary(only work with that brand of racks), only good for kayaks under 70lbs, or don't seem to cut the labor as far as I can tell. I've got some vision of a crane that attaches to the racks (or sits on the ground) that picks the boat off the ground with a couple of wide straps and lands it gently on the roof for easy positioning, but can't figure out how to make it simple and quick to use.

    Anyone got a store-bought system they like?
     
  2. portacruise
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    portacruise Senior Member

  3. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    https://www.kenkraft.ca/boat-loaders

    A little outside your SOR parameter of $100 bucks but the dollar value is Canadian funds. I would expect that a current light duty cross bars would not work. A crane will impart quite a moment arm resulting in forces that your gutter
    mounted Thule rack will be unable to handle
     
  4. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    If you wanna look good too try these out;)








    Jeff.
     
  5. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    having a full lumber rack that encircles the body-work sure helps, and doable for big van but not for passenger car applications.

    One more SOR: if possible, keep the boat right side up (so little items can stay in place) and it would be really sweet if the loader could lower/raise the boat directly in/out of the water if parked on a pier or hard-bank. I'm thinking of a "J" shape on its side where the tail of the J would be hooks where the cradle straps are attached, and the leg of the J lies horizontal on top of the rack-bars, then by some method the J is pivoted at the top so the boat is moved up and out parallel to the vehicle and remains right side up in the cradle. Yeah, I guess the 6061 Aluminum for the Js would be bit over $200 not counting other stuff like straps/fittings and whatever means to motivate.
    Sorta like these lifeboat davits but laying flat and with straps around the hull at positions that match the roof rack bars. To pick the boat out of the water it should be easy to slip straps over bow or stern and position and snug-up.
    440px-Davits_2_(PSF).png
     
  6. portacruise
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: USA

    portacruise Senior Member

    Maybe a side loader can be modified or rebuilt to land the boat upright the water. Here's a link to show you how land load version works, maybe it can give you some ideas to custom build for your situation. I have also seen some versions that don't flip the boat over and some that use crank ratchets instead of electric power, if that is important. The side rails would have to be braced in some other way if the boat is to go directly into and be retrieved from the water. Hope the link works.

     
  7. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

    I made this to get a 15ft. rowing boat onto a standard car by myself. It works well but probably not suitable for you, but might give you an idea. To load, the boat is leant against the sloping members and raised simply by moving the two pegs, one at a time up a series of holes in the sloping parts. Pegs can be seen at the base of the sloping bits. When the boat is high enough the boat is tilted horizontal and the parts lying on the floor become vertical, then the boat is slid across.
     
  8. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    How about an inner frame that slides out the back end.

    1. When it gets halfway out, it pivots down over the rear of the car/van.
    2. Lean your boat on end against the rack and strap it on. (You could put a winch or come-along at the top to help pick the bow of the boat up).
    3. Pick the back of the boat, now attached to the rack, up. It would be supported at the pivot point, so you don't have much weight to pick up. It locks in the level position, once it's raised.
    4. Slide forward to secure with roof rack in place over the roof of the vehicle.

    Reverse procedure to offload.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     

  9. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 200
    Likes: 73, Points: 28
    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    [​IMG]
    This looks kind of like what I was thinking.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     
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