The Roofrackamabob click here to read or make an observation about this  article
by Kellan Hatch - Salt Lake City, Utah - USA

I’ve got a simple little gizmo for you that might make your cartopping experience a lot more pleasant. If you already have a roof rack and can spare about 5 more bucks, this might be just what you’re looking for. I can’t remember if I invented this or if I read about it somewhere, but it doesn’t matter, it works the same either way.

The gizmo – lets call it The Roofrackamabob - is simply a piece of ¾ inch pipe screwed into a floor flange. It just so happens that if you pop the plastic cap off the end of a Yakima rack tube, the pipe slides in with just the right amount of tolerance. I assume you could do the same for a Thule rack using a length of square tubing and an angle bracket. For that matter, you could easily make a version of this thing for any type of rack. The length of the tube depends on the beam of the boat, but 3-4 feet should be plenty for most. The pipe slides about a foot into the rack tube and the flange keeps your boat from sliding off the other end.

click to enlarge

The finished product looks like this

(click images for larger views)

You might notice that I have clamped some short lengths of rubber hose over my rack towers to minimize any potential hull scratching from dragging boats across them. You can easily lift the hull over the towers, but this way I don’t have to worry about it.

And here’s how it works:

1) Lay your boat alongside your vehicle. If you’re on a hard surface you might want to lay a small scrap of carpet or cardboard under the stern to keep the pavement from scraping off paint or varnish. I use a square of outdoor carpet that I always carry in my pickup.

2) Insert the Roofrackamabob into the forward rack tube (or you can use the middle tube if you have a triple rack like mine)

3) Lift the bow onto the Roofrackamabob

The bow up on the roofrackamabob

click to enlarge

4) Go to the back and lift the stern onto the rear rack

5) Return to the front and slide the bow onto the front rack.

6) Remove the Roofrackamabob

7) Tie ‘er down and drive away.

To unload, do the same thing in reverse. This gizmo is all you need to easily load boats up to 100 pounds or so without tweaking either your back or the neighbor who you would otherwise beg to help you heft the boat onto your vehicle.

The only improvement I can think of is to add some friction to the pipe to keep a slippery hull from trying to slide downhill. I plan to add a few rings of non-skid tape or a piece of rubber hose.

Happy Cartopping!

Other Articles by Kellan Hatch:

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