Sassafras 16 Transportation

I am finishing up building a Sassafras 16 canoe which has been a challenge, but overall a lot of fun. I plan on giving it to my son who lives in Denver. I live in Tucson. This canoe is much larger than my Wood Duck 12. Any recommendations on the best way to get this canoe to Denver? I can't see driving it there on top of my Subaru Outback roof rack. Trailer? Rental truck? 

Thoughts please.

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RE: Sassafras 16 Transportation

It looks to me that the on the roof racks with bow and stern lines is actually viable. The boat is in the neighborhood of 70 lbs which leaves a bit over 100 for the roof rack system, according to Subaru. It should be quite possible to secure the boat onto the racks upside down so it won't turn into a bathtub during a rainshower. The car and the boat are about the same length and the boat is a nice clean hydrodynamic/aerodynamic shape so your gas mileage should hardly be affected. The only critical thing is securing the boat against side gusts. If it was me I'd use a bridle in the front instead of a single bow line.

If you still don't like the idea of cartopping, I'd vote for a trailer as option number 2. A 6x12 foot U-Haul cargo trailer would be in the under $300.00 range for a one-way rental. You'd have to fit the boat inside diagonally. It also needs a 3500 lb hitch rating. Once the boat is delivered, you could drive home unencumbered.



RE: Sassafras 16 Transportation


For reference...cartopping a Skerry on my Fiy

RE: Sassafras 16 Transportation


RE: Sassafras 16 Transportation

 Thank you for your input! I told my son that I'd be happy to build the canoe, but it was his job to get it from Tucson to Denver. :)  

RE: Sassafras 16 Transportation

   I car top my Sassafras 16 exclusively for transport. I use two cam straps, one on each of the roof rack bars and I use a bow and a stern line hooked to pad eyes I installed on the bow and stern. Funny enough the only photo I have is when I test fit the canoe on the roof rack and didn't strap it down. You will be able to car top no problem as far as length and weight. The only concern is makeing sure your racks are wide enough for the beam of the boat, mine has only a few inches to spare on either side.

My sassafras was my first build and it came out heavy at 79lbs. I am able to car top it myself (I actually paddled last night and car topped it solo), but with a second person it loads very easily. The canoe is longer than the car and it rides just fine. 

RE: Sassafras 16 Transportation

   I drove my sassafras all over the place on the roof of a Subaru Forester. Never a problem.

RE: Sassafras 16 Transportation

Hi Phil, 

while not a sasasfras, i routinely put a long kayak on the roof of my Subaru Outback.  since the outback is more of a wagon than a classic SUV, its pretty convenient as you don't have to lift things too high.

a couple things i have/use whenver going on the highway - a set of bow and stern tie downs.  the link below is to a loop that is easily installed under the hood that makes the bow side of this easy.  there are a couple folks who make this is not an endorsement of a particular brand....just sharing the general design idea and letting you know its very helpful and easy.  

the other thing i would do on the outback, is ensure you have a towel or little rubber matt to protect the roof of the car right above the rear hatch.  sometimes you get the angle a bit wrong when loading the boat on the roof and accidently end up putting the boat on the car the towel or rubber matt can protect the car from getting dinged/scratched.  you just throw it in the trunk once the boat is up and secure..

hope that is helpful. 


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