Modify Your Bike Rack to Carry a Sunfish or Other Boat

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About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

Intro: Modify Your Bike Rack to Carry a Sunfish or Other Boat

Is your bike rack full of clamps, claws, and cleats that might get bent while carrying your sunfish? Or, is the free boat you found on Craigslist likely to develop another crack if tied down against your rack? Tie a couple of 2x4s to the rack with innertubes and head to the beach!

Step 1: Tie 2x4s to the Rack

Find some old 2x4s and tie them to the rack with innertubes.

Step 2: How to Tie With Innertubes

When you start wrapping, just wrap around the end. There's no need for a knot. The friction of the innertube on itself will hold it in place. When you get the end, tie a half-hitch. If you tie any more complicated knots, you'll never get them undone. Instead, you'll end up cutting your innertubes off every time. This only results in a bucket full of useless 6 inch long innertubes and everyone running around the shop madly asking each other "where are the innertubes? Did you go to the bike shop's dumpster?!?!"

Step 3: Foam

Put some foam on the 2x4s and dump the boat on top. Make sure to figure out if your rack can handle the weight of the boat before you put it on. My rack can take 75 lbs. This sunfish weights exactly 75 lbs according to its owner, who convinced me to take him and the boat to the beach in the first place.

Step 4: Tie the Boat on With a Trucker's Hitch.

After scoffing at my ratcheting tie-downs, Tim insists on tying the boat on with a trucker's hitch. Watch how he does it:

Yes, it's a little fast; he'll be sure to make a proper trucker's hitch Instructable soon.

Step 5: Nothing Fell Off!


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    9 Discussions

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    stickmop

    9 years ago on Introduction

    As Roverwet hints at, you really need front and rear lines to keep the boat from flying off the racks at speed if one of the cross lines fail. I much prefer ropes and truckers hitches to straps too. When a strap breaks, the ratchet will do a number on your paint.

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    rowerwet

    9 years ago on Introduction

    need more places to tie off to? open the hood, trunk, doors and look for larger bolts (they hold the important bits on and are attached to the frame securely) get a 1-2" wide nylon strap and melt a hole through about 1" from the end, (a screw driver you don't care about would work, heat it with a torch, or an old soldering iron would also work.) figure how long the strap should be to extend out of the door seam about 6 " and double the end back inside. melt a hole into the strap again, melt the end of the strap so it won't fray and put the bolt through it (you want the hole tight on the bolt shank) push the strap inside when not needed and shut the door.

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    trebuchet03theRIAA

    Reply 12 years ago

    proove it :P But anyways, tubes are great for things like this... $bungies>>$tubes

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    ranex

    12 years ago

    first person i saw that has my same car down to the interior- nice mod if i had a boat mine is a 1997 with 143,000 miles

    1 reply
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    trebuchet03ranex

    Reply 12 years ago

    I'm trying to find one... prooving to be a bit difficult... I'd even be happy with a N/A :P But they seem to be great cars :D

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    DanAdamKOF

    12 years ago

    You have an 850 GLT wagon? I have an 850 GLT sedan. Love my car.

    1 reply