Canoe/Kayak Lifting Configuration




Lifting config to elevate the canoe/kayak from the floor to the ceiling. Made out of some pulley and rope. also hooks to the ceiling

Step 1: Materials

I sat down and drawed a cofiguration to lift the canoe from the flor, it consisted in a simple pulley array about 11 pulleys and rope. Some flat rope to go arround the canoe and some rings to fix the pulley to the rope

I used a couple of strong magnets from some hard drives as a stud finder, since my ceiling beams are made out of galvanised Zinc or some galvanised iron.

Then tap 2 holes large enogh let throug a 1/2" toggle bolt anchor to the othe side. Distance between holes, in my case about 2 feet apart, since thats the width of the canoe in that point

12 - small pulleys 30-50 pounds
4 - 1/4" x 2" long Closed loop bolts
4 - 1/2" toggle anchor for 1/4" bolts
25 mts of high strenght, little elasticity rope, (1/4" diametre I used)
Lots of Hard drive magnets.
1 - 1/2" drill bit
5 to 6 foots of flat rope, it was from some rack tensing strings.

In material y spent about 15 to 20$ I already had the ropes , only bought the pulleys, hooks and molleys.

Step 2: Anchor

For me this point is important, since my canoe weigthed about 100 pounds, it was important that the anchors suported about 25 pounds each.

It you have a concrete ceiling in your garage, you can use expandable anchors that can hold a lot of weight.

Step 3: Insert Hook and Pulleys

Once the hooks are in place, put 2 pulleys per hook, so the rope can go in, down, then up and out.

I use close hooks, then with a bench, I bended them so it will make 1 spiral loop, just by opening the hook.

Step 4: Threat the Rope in the Pulleys

Make the rope go into the pulleys as shown in this array.

At the end the rope goes to the las hook, since it doesnt make any movement, its only an anchor point.

Some one have to lift with you the other side, or in my case the tail, since the pulley sistem tends to retrieve the rope from the firth part of the array, maybe I could divide the pulley array in two sections so the tail and the front will raise at the same speed.

This was just and idea that came to me one sunday, and the next i was building it.

Thanks for your coments.

Kayak safetly.

Step 5: Conclusion

So thats it.

Thanks for reading and comments.



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    12 Discussions


    1 year ago

    That's a good way to store it, we use a similar pulley system for one of our bikes. :)


    3 years ago on Introduction

    you're not getting a lot of mechanical advantage from your pulley system, although having got a similar set up I know why you've put so many in! Best advantage comes from having the ropes parallel, so those right angles are losing you pulley power.the pulleys at the top (fixed) are not gaining any power, only providing a change of direction, only the travelling pulleys are giving you an advantage. You might want to change your set up where you cross from the right to left side of the boat as you are actually reducing the advantage gained there. Try a double pulley with one cord going o the left and one to the right. My set up uses bridles with a single attachment point. (but is far from perfect!)


    12 years ago

    I like the idea. What would you think about a bridle for the bow and stern, then attaching the bridles to a single hook at each end. That would save half of the pulleys and mae it lift faster. Unless you need the multiple purchase for the canoe's weight.

    2 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    By adding more pulleys, you divide the weight, that is the weight you feel by pulling on the rope, but the length of the rope mutiplies. so less pulley mean more force to put in to the rope, so you fell it heavier at each pull. Its hard I tried to lift it with one pulley, big mistake. I like your idea of joining the hooks, maybe I could use same amount of pulley in 1 hook , but the ceiling beam, might not like it.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Adding more pulleys - that's the idea behind the canoe rescue technique known as the Z Drag. It's a good one to know in case you wrap your canoe around a rock on a river somewhere. The usual setup using two pulleys gives you a 3:1 advantage. When planning your own canoe lift, think about positioning it over your car. Then you can raise and lower it to your canoe rack on your car.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Did something like this years ago in our garage. Canoe hangs nice from ceiling. Problem is getting it down now. Your information is very helpful and gives me some ideas on how to hang it making it easier to get down. Thanks!!


    12 years ago

    Pretty neat idea, I did something similar in my garage. I just have four eyes attached to the ceiling, two on each side of the canoe - each about 2 feet from bow or stern. I have two long ropes tied to the eyes on one side, under the canoe like a cradle, then through the eyes on the other side, then tied off on hooks attached to each of the garage walls. A simple set-up but it allows me to raise and lower the canoe easily by myself - the trick is to keep the ropes long enough to reach them :)


    12 years ago

    apart from the horrendous spelling...pretty good instructable...the illustration in step 4 is very good for clearing up any "routing" issues with the rope...and the system seems like it would "self-equalize" the load though i could see a possibility of the rope shifting and letting the boat slide out one end or the other...though that is always a possibility and isn't likely if it's loaded in a ballanced manner.. as a side must live in a rough part of town with that much razor wire in your basement (or wherever that is)...

    2 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    Thanks, I live in Panam√°, land of the Panama Canal, and my english is only what I learn in school. can't practice often. The razor wire is because here in Panama, you have a lot of stranger trying to enter your property to rob anything for them to sell.


    Reply 12 years ago

    yeah...i reallize that this is a multinational site where everyone tries their hardest to post in english (thank god for my single language self) so i don't put too much weight on spelling (unless i know it's some english speaking which case...they should learn how to spell).. maybe your next project could be a trip line that would drop that big ass canoe on someone's head if they break in?