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Old 07-25-2021, 05:01 PM   #1
Bob K
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 566
DIY gunnel stops for canoe on Aero crossbars

Until I can get new Yakima adaptors (Landing pads) for my 2021 Outback, I had to find a way to safely carry at least one canoe. I’m a big believer in gunnel stops, particularly on the front crossbar to prevent sideways movement. A trip to your local hardware store will get you a functional pair for less than $10.

Get “zinc-plated double-wide corner braces”(2 pack). For me, 2” long braces (the height the vertical will rise up) work and don’t rise enough to hit the boat (tumblehome). They came 1.5” wide. You’ll also need 2 adjustable SS hose clamps suitable to fit around your crossbar.

I slipped on a length of old MTB inner tube as a soft wrap around the metal and fashioned a hard plastic sliding pad that sits on the top of the crossbar facing the center. This to make the boat slide easily into place & hopefully to protect the crossbar from scratching. I later added foam padding to the inside of the vertical face for more protection for my wood gunnels.

A nut driver on a cordless drill tightens the clamp fast to hold the flat part of the brace in place, outboard of the boat side (allows adjustments with the boat loaded). A wide flat blade screwdriver works too (or nut driver head on a 6-1 tools – you should have one of these in your car). Remember the width needed between clamps for your boat & they are on, in the right spot, fast.

Obviously, check the weight ratings of your crossbars. After this success, I used the same technique to temporarily fasten my wide Yakima bars both front & back so I can carry two lightweight canoes. Homemade outboard gunnel stops, and 2 wide center double sided stops with a U bolt strap loop make securing boats fast. This bar mount is temporary until I can get the new Yakima landing pads. I wouldn’t use this technique for heavy boats.

FYI - Forked lake level on 7/23/21 is 3-4 ft above normal. Entry sign indicates CG closed due to high water. Raquette flowing at snowmelt levels.
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