Skua on cartop?

Hi, I'm about to start my Skua project, super excited.... one challenge: I live in New York City, where I'm planning to do the build, and I'll be launching the boat on Lake Joseph in Ontario. 

I'm planning to transport the boat by strapping it to the top of my car. I have a Nissan Pathfinder. I've never put much of anything on top of my car. Does this sounds totally nuts to anyone? Any advice you have would be a big help. 

Because of time / location I can't build the boat on site so I have to figure out a way to get it up the lake. It's about a 10-12 hour drive from here. Thanks!

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RE: Skua on cartop?

   Yes, you can car top a Skua.  That has successfully been done with a variety of  small and large cars and pickups and SUVs.  Can add a lot of wind noise and negatively impact your mileage.  Putting a Skua on top and then removing is much easier to do with help but can be done solo.  Think about the cradle you're going to use to protect the hull from vehicle, and vice versa.  Tie downs are important, especially from the front of your hull to the front bumper.  Google the many ways to secure front tie downs to your vehicle.  A split front tie down has lots of benefits (a line going down to each side of the hood or bumber).

Good luck & happy building

RE: Skua on cartop?

   What is a "Skua"?

The fact you live in New York City and have never carried anything on top of the car is not surprising. They fact you have a car might be more surprising.

Does the car have a roof rack?

Look up Thule, Yakima, or Malone go to the figure out what roof rack but car model and year and plug in your data.

Don't use ratchet straps.  Sure you can but when you put too much pressure and damage the boat don't whine about it.

Want to go cheap look at a foam block kit that installs on the factory rack like this.......

RE: Skua on cartop?

>>   What is a "Skua"?

Skua = Cocktail Class Racer

RE: Skua on cartop?

Thanks for all the advice!


@grumpy: you'e very perceptive... I've never cartopeed anything in my life and in fact have car at all!


I reserved an SUV for the trip. The agency says 'nissan pathfinder or other'. At this stage I suppose I can rent whatever I need for this adventure. I'm hoping to use the OEM roof rack and not have to but too much more gear. Straps obviously, and some well-placed foam. 


What else would you folks want if you were planning this journey? Thanks again..

RE: Skua on cartop?

   So you are renting?  Double check that the SUV will have OEM rack and they are ok w/ you putting something on it.  Just tell them it's extra luggage, cause they will likely get wobbly if you say you are putting that on it.  A lot of the rental SUVs will NOT have a rack, and nearly all of the "racks" are just longitudinal rails.  So you will need cross rails.  And a Pathfinder is a pretty tall vehicle.  Bring a stepladder and don't try putting it in a parking garage!

Another thought:  It's NYC so you may not be able to rent one, but you might think of renting a pickup truck and put it in the bed.  The cocktail racer beam is 48" so it should fit in the bed of a full size pickup.  They should take a 4x8 plywood sheet flat in the bed. You might need to make a 2x4/plywood cradle for it if its not full size and has to be held above the wheel wells.  It'll be lower, easier to load, and more aerodynamic.

RE: Skua on cartop?

I love the idea of a pickup-- I'm not at all confident about strapping it to the roof.


Another complication: I'll be driving up with my family... I looked at a 4-door pickup, but the bed is only 6 feet. Wondering if I can rig it up in a 6' truck bed and save myself from worrying about it blowing off the roof!   

RE: Skua on cartop?

���Make that wood cradle and load it in the bed with the tailgate down. Most pickups now have tie down points in the bed floor to make securing it easy. But you could add a cross member at the gate to fix it in the bed there. It won't hang past the lowered tailgate.

RE: Skua on cartop?

   Most factory roof  racks have a load limit around 150 pounds.  I suspect the boat is near that. Putting it on a roof rack..............would be something I might  have done 40 years ago, but not now.  If I didn't have the boat trailer available, I'd load it on my 8' long "landscapers"  utility trailer on likely some old tires then strap it down to the rails with some ratchet straps. (motor off)

. In your case why not rent an open utility trailer or perhaps a box trailer from U-haul and tow it. they have a trailer with shot stake sides that might work well. Trailers are easier to load and unload. The box trailer would be a challenge, but it would be covered.  I usually rent the 6x10 ft box trailer, but they have a 5'x8'. A boat trailer isn't likely available. Besides it would be a wave runner trailer size for that little boat. Of course then there's that thing........... bet you haven't pulled a trailer either.  


Trucks ..........full sized trucks........have a 6 ft bed with usual spacing between wheel wells  greater 48 inches so you can carry a sheet of plywood.  Plywood is 4'x8' your boat.  Tail gate down equals an 8' +/- long bed. Tie downs need to cross the boat in an "X" from front to opposit rear tie downs with a strap across the back to keep it from sliding aft. Three straps could work well.


What ever you do be careful and don't travel too many miles in a day.

RE: Skua on cartop?

One of those folding utility trailers like Harbor Freight sells could do the job, and be useful for other stuff without needing a whole parking space when not in use.  Your Pathfinder ought to tow that easily, and the loading and unloading will be easier on your lumbar vertebrae.  I assume that you will need to move the boat again sometime, right?


P.S.  Lake Saint Joseph?  On the way to Parry Sound?  I am now green with envy.  Best vacation my boys and I ever had was two solid weeks at Kilbear Provincial Park....

RE: Skua on cartop?

   Cocktail Class Racers must meet a minimum weight limit for CCWBRA racing.  So, they get weighed before they're raced.  Too hard to have race rigged CCRs derigged to get bare-hull weight, then to be rerigged for racing, all on the morning of a race.  They are weighed rigged to race but without gas tank or outboard or safety gear.  A lightly built, race ready CLC CCR typically weighs 90-plus pounds. A heavy build can easly add 10+ pounds.  Figure you have to manhandle an awkward hundred-pound hull.  One of the CCWBRA racers puts his fully-rigged CCR (#82) on a PVC-pipe dolly, rolls it to his small pickup truck, lifts the bow end up onto the tail gate, walks around to the stern, then lifts the stern mostly into the bed.  Outboard's lower unit and aft dolly wheels stick out past his tail gate a few inches.  He is a senior citizen and loads his CCR by himself.  If you can build a CCR, you can figure out how to transport it.

Good luck and happy building.

RE: Skua on cartop?

Thanks to everyone for all the great advice...


I'm now leaning to renting a pickup and strapping it in, or the UHAUL trailer. I'm wary of anything on the roof-- I've just never done it before.

But first I need to get this project started. I'm sure once it's underway I'll have a better idea of the challenges and possible solutions. I'll report back


@grapms: YES! Lake Joseph off the 400. I've been going every summer of my life. Best place on earth!

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