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Strike Prince

Cartopping a jon boat? What is needed?

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I hvae a Toyota Highlander that comes with a stock roof rack.  I plan on getting a 10 or 12' jon and was wondering what I would need to be able to cartop a boat like this, and is it doable with one person?

Thanks.

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A very strong back and a fishing buddy to go with you every trip to help you get it on and off your top.

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I hvae a Toyota Highlander that comes with a stock roof rack. I plan on getting a 10 or 12' jon and was wondering what I would need to be able to cartop a boat like this, and is it doable with one person?

Thanks.

It depends.  Not all jon boats are created equal.  Years ago, I had a 12 foot Sears jon boat.  It was riveted  and thin gauge aluminum.  I doubt it weighed 60 pounds.

Today's welded versions are much heavier.  I believe that a twelve footer might weigh 125, or more.  

You will want to get foam that goes over the gunnels to avoid metal to metal contact between the boat and the roof rack.  It is available at most large sporting goods stores, but a better choice would be the high density roll bar padding that can be found at shops that cater to automobile racers.

Regards, Tom

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I have a 10 footer that I bought new last year. It only weighs 80lbs so lifting it isn't a big deal. You're going to need at least two long ratchet straps (mine are 14 or 16ft) to tie the boat down with. I use two ropes, one tied at the front and one tied at the back, to prevent the boat from shifting forward or backward during travel. The ratchet straps get spaced apart over the middle of the boat. Make sure you ratchet it down tight. If its not down tight or if its not straight on your vehicle it might make a whistling noise as you travel (at least mine sometimes does).

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When I was shopping for jons I saw 10' that were as little as 80 lbs. I started looking at 1032 and ended up with a 1436 on a trailer. That size, i could safely bring someone with me, deck it, put in a 8 hp and really get some comforts in there. It is still light enough on the trailer that I could tow it with a family sedan.

Heck my 7 yr old can push it on the trailer easy enough.

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When I was shopping for jons I saw 10' that were as little as 80 lbs. I started looking at 1032 and ended up with a 1436 on a trailer. That size, i could safely bring someone with me, deck it, put in a 8 hp and really get some comforts in there. It is still light enough on the trailer that I could tow it with a family sedan.

Heck my 7 yr old can push it on the trailer easy enough.

Cartopping is done as a need not as choice, if I could carry my boat everywhere and everywhere I could launch it from a trailer I wouldn 't have purchased a tub for starters.

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The number of times you try to put the boat on the roof is equal to the number of times you will make a dent in or scratch the vehicle body. Ask a Toyota dealer what the weight capacity of the roof is, then multiply the boat weight by 1 1/2 or 2 to account for wind pressure to compare that capacity to.

I have a Highlander and my manual states to not exceed 100 pounds on the luggage rack.

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If you decide to cartop, I'd suggest including some bow and stern lines.  The lift underneath the boat on the highway can really exert some force.  By taking up just snug on the bow line, it helps prevent some of the lift and relieves your main tie downs of some of that force.  Besides that, if anything happens to your two main tie downs, the bow and stern line are sometimes the only thing left to prevent your boat from bouncing down the highway hitting other cars.

Any time you transport the boat, tie it down like you're going to be driving 1000 miles.  Overkill is always better ;)

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Car topping is def. an option I have a 10' jon and drive an xterra.  You may need help to get it on the roof I know i always did.  For shorter trips, half hour or less, i fold down back seats and strap it in as well as straping down the trunk(about 3' hangs out of the back but no big deal).

I've driven to vermont and back with it strapped on top wihtout any problems at all.  IF you can afford it the yakima or thule crossbars that attach to the factory roof rack work very well and you don't need to worry about scratching your roof rack or boat (the crossbars are rubber coated).  

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