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Canoe Shelf Rack
Building the Canoe Shelf
The Canoe-On-A-Shelf Trick
If you own a canoe you have two problems.
1. Where do I keep it so that it's out of the weather? How do I make sure that the fixtures don't deteriorate and the sun doesn't break down the material in the hull?
2. Where do I keep it so that it's easy to get to and load onto my trailer, truck or car?
Most of us have garages which would be the obvious place to keep a canoe. The only problem with putting a bulky canoe in your garage is finding space for the boat that doesn't put your car out in the rain, hail and wind. If you set your canoe up against the wall on the floor, you block walking paths and may make it difficult to get around your car if it's parked in the garage too.
This simple setup will solve both of your problems. It gets the canoe up off the floor so you have more maneuvering room for yourself and your car. It also puts the canoe at an easy height for lifting so you don't have to stoop over, torque your aged knees or bang your head on things. Setting the canoe on a shelf at the proper height allows you to pick it up and walk off with it without having to lift improperly in a close space.
Bugs and Snakes: Keeping the canoe up off the floor also allows you easy access with bug spray and brooms so you can keep bugs, wasps and other nefarious critters from building apartment complexes and play spaces among the thwarts of your canoe when it is not in use.
Old Bones: At the tender age of 61, with bad knees and arthritis, I especially like not having to bend over to do canoe maintenance. A canoe shelf places the boat at the perfect height for maintaining, adding upgrades and decorating your pride and joy. I'm a whole lot more likely to add a carved beak to the prow or paint a name, logo or graphic design on a boat I don't have to crawl around on the cold concrete to work on.
The Brag Factor: This project is especially nice because it's so danged easy to do and yet looks so cool. People will say, "Wow, that's clever!" You get props for being a handy fellow with tools and you don't have to spend 3 Sundays and a Spring Break to earn your handyman's merit badge.
Step by Step - Hanging the Canoe.
Building a canoe shelf is simple.
Find a couple of studs about 2/3 the length of the canoe - about 12 feet for an 18 foot canoe or 10 feet or so for a 16 foor canoe.
Screw a 3 foot wide shelf bracket into the wall..
Screw 2 by 4's to the top of the shelf brackets.
Wrap the top of the 2 by 4's with carpet strips or foam and tie them down with zip ties or staple the edges.
Screw eyebolts into the ends of the 2 by 4's and to the sides close to the wall.
Set the canoe on the rack and wrap a bungee cord over the top of the canoe to hold it in place.
Easy peasy! The canoe is up off the floor, secure and out of your way.
Completed Shelf Rack
Note the room to maneuver Rogelio (above) left around the canoe shelf. This allows you to lift the boat with a straight back and carry it without stumbling over a bunch of junk. Rogelio used a smaller shelf bracket, extended the 2x4 top member and added a wooden angle brace to make it even stronger. Pretty slick. The man earns his "Advanced Handyman" merit badge for that bit of adaptive carpentry.
Avoid storing junk underneath the boat where you will be walking while carrying it. A canoe is an awkward beast to carry and hurts like all get-out when you drop the pointy end on your foot.