Friday, July 01, 2011

That guy...

Yep, Never thought I'd be that guy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Twin Lakes and the Canoe Rack

I started sketching my canoe rack weeks before I plugged in any power tools and built it for last weekend's trip to Twin Lakes. The problem was getting an 80 pound canoe on top of a 10 foot Skamper for transport. The rack had to be strong yet light enough to be removed during outings.

Here is the basic mock up on the deck.
The rack combines two mechanical advantages:
The first is a 6 pulley system that lifts the canoe from the ground to a vertical bracket above the camper. This bracket is the width of the canoe and pivots on hinges to load the canoe horizontally. The bracket is swung on the hinges by using a 6 foot steal rod to lever the weight of the canoe into the vertical and horizontal position.
The pulley system reduces the force needed to hoist the canoe into the air to about 8 pounds. It is possible to load the canoe on the camper by myself.

The pulleys I made from 4" Clothesline pulleys, a U-bolt, a chunk of oak, and a coated steal cable loop.

Here is the proof of concept before I finished the rack.
This picture shows the front 3 pulleys (half of the complete system) suspending two cinder blocks (~80 lbs) about 3 feet into the air. Blue straps secure the rack to the Skamper. A yellow strap centered on the canoe bracket supports the weight of the canoe during lifting. The yellow painters extension in the proof was replaced with a 6 foot steal rod for levering the canoe into the horizontal position... mainly because it bent to shit.

Here is the completed rack with canoe loaded.
A single black straps secure the bow of the canoe to the truck.
I still have to seal the wood with a protective waterproof finish then I'll be done. It functioned as expected and for about $200 in parts (damn near half in straps!) helps lighten the task of putting the canoe on the Skamper to a one person job.

Our Old Town Discovery 169 at the lake. The solar panel charges a deep cell battery during our hikes. A little electric trolling motor uses this battery to quietly push us around the lake. Even in windy conditions this setup did just fine.

Brown and I stroll down the trail. photo: Nell
We used the Canoe to explore different areas of the lake's shoreline that take a while to hike or bike to on the trail. Last year we hiked along this same stretch of trail after a 3 hour bike ride. Today about 20 minute Canoe ride got us here.

Brown Dog and I don't play with sticks so anytime you see him with one he is being a wise ass. On this occasion he was running by every few minutes with things I don't approve of.

Nell and I found a fishermen's lean-to shelter and used to escape the intense mid-day sun.

Brown dog peers through the shelter.