Car Topping NE Dory

Hey all,

have seen a few posts regarding loading the NE Dory upside down, wondering if anyone is carrying this right-side up?

It would seem it will sit more level right-side up (given the flat bottom) than upside down, since the gunwales are angled and would likely rough up the outer edges on which it would rest (assuming a basic cross-bar roof rack on an SUV). 

Also curious if anyone has noticed problems with lift and drag in either position. Have to make 1000 mile drive for a move.

Thanks for the advice. 


4 replies:

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RE: Car Topping NE Dory


I would not do right-side up. First off, if it rains you get a full bathtub on top of your car. Even if you put a cover on it and have an open drain plug in the boat, a loose cover and heavy rain could get you.

Next, the aerodynamics of an upside down boat are much better. The flare generates a negative lift instead of a positive one. You still have some lift because of moving a curved body through the air, but not as much and by having the bow lower than the stern the angle of attack will result in the airflow pushing the boat onto the vehicle.

Finally, the air moving over the right-side up gunwales will cause vortex drag, the same way that a pickup truck bed does, except that the pickup truck has the cab shielding the bed from the worst of the airflow while the boat doesn't. Upside down, the hull shields the vortices and the hydrodynamically efficient shape of the hull is what meets the airflow.

Padding the bars will protect the gunwales.

Good luck,


RE: Car Topping NE Dory

   I car-topped my skerry for the first year plus then broke down and got a trailer.  I devised loading ramps for the boat onto my CX-5 that let me fairly safely load it, but it was always work.  The NED is heavier and longer, so I would advise caution and some strong helpers.  I get better mileage trailering than I did cartopping due to the aero drag on top of the vehicle.  There is also some extra noise cartopping.  This was with it upside down.  I can't imaging doing it right side up.  The drag and noise will be worse, and I have to think the stability against cross winds would not be as good.  I'd car top it upside down if I couldn't trailer it.

RE: Car Topping NE Dory

   one time thing? no problem, just get some neighbors together for the lift. closed cell foam blocks designed to cartop a canoe would be just the ticket for the gunnels. Laszlo has the answer for wrong side up/right side down.

something like this or make your own.



RE: Car Topping NE Dory


A perfect explanation, thanks Laszlo. Couldn't wrap my mind around the aerodynamics until you explained it. 

Mummichog--Would love to trailer it but think I will also be hauling a cargo trailer so need to utilize the roof space. But maybe a (socially distanced) yard sale could solve that problem :-)

And thanks for the link Silver Salt, that'll work nicely. 

Thank all. Now, anyone know how to entertain a 3yo, 2yo and 6mo for 15 hours?

Wish us luck!


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