I finally bought a canoe. It is a small solo canoe, but it still takes up space. I originally stored ti upside down, on some saw horses, in the shed. There is a lot of stuff in the shed, lawn mower, ladder, bench, saw horses, wheelbarrow, firewood, lawn tools.......you get the idea there is a lot of stuff and it would be better if I could hang the canoe from the rafters. The length of the canoe was longer than the shed, but it would fit diagonally. I will show you what I built. I call it the Canoe Trapeze Overhead Storage Rack.
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Step 1: Safety First
This isn't too dangerous, compared to some of my other Instructables, but there is drilling, sawing and cutting involved so you probably want to wear gloves and safety glasses. You may also want to make sure your dogs understand to not get their noses too close to the saw.
Step 2: Tools
The only tools I used were a saw, a utility knife, a hobby rasp, and a brace with a 1 inch drill bit.
Step 3: Materials
Fore the cross pieces, I was going to use some PVC, but I did not have any pieces long enough, so I used some 2x4s. The length of the pieces will depend on the width of your canoe. Mine ended up being about three feet long. You will need some type of rope or strap to tie the 2x4 pieces to the rafters. I used some 1-1/2 inch wide strap material that was re-purposed from shipping straps. The distance you want the canoe hanging from the rafters will determine how much rope or strap you will need. I used around 24 feet of strap.
Step 4: How Wide?
I used the width of my canoe for a guide. I did not want the straps touching the sides of the canoe, so I cut the 2x4s about a foot wider than the canoe, at the points that it would be resting on the 2x4s. Keep in mind that your canoe may not be the same width on each end.
Step 5: Cut
After determining the length of the cross pieces, cut them.
Step 6: Drill Your Holes
You will need a hole on each end of the cross pieces. I drilled a one inch diameter hole about two inches from each end of the 2x4s.
Step 7: Smooth Edges
I used a hobby rasp to smooth out the ends of the cross pieces and the holes.
Step 8: Install the Cross Pieces
I was able to hang the cross pieces from the rafters by tying the straps around the rafters. I used a square knot to tie the ends of the straps together.
Step 9: The Hitch
I decided to use the loop of the strap to go thru the hole in the end of the 2x4 and looping back over the end to make a hitch. This would allow me to easily undo the hitch and drop the 2x4, if I wanted to store a longer canoe that would need to be loaded sideways. The short canoe has enough clearance on the end that I can just swing the cross piece over the stern and lower the canoe without unhooking the cross piece. But I have that option for the future.
Step 10: Storing the Canoe
The racks hang high enough to not be in the way, but low enough to easily reach. To load the canoe I carry the canoe in, upside down, bow first and insert the bow into the far trapeze. I then swing the close trapeze out of the way while I lift the stern of the canoe. I then swing the close trapeze under the stern of the canoe and lower the canoe on to it. Taking the canoe out is the reverse of the procedure.
Step 11: Video
As usual I made a video.
I have also entered this Instructable in the organization contest and would appreciate your vote.
Step 12: PETA Statement
No dogs were harmed in the making of this Instructable. They were just curious and wanted to be close. One of the reasons I like using non power tools is the dogs can be close and there are no loud noises to hurt their or my hearing.
Participated in the