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Car Topping a Sunfish...first time went well

Debmar

New Member
Needed to get our sunfish home to do some repairs and dry it out a bit. I don't have a trailer and wasn't sure how I was going to manage it. My wife lent me her Subaru Forester but while it has roof rails running front to back it does not have rails running across. I had read somewhere on here (I think) where someone used old bicycle inner tubes to tie down roof racks so thought I would give that a try. I used some 2 x 4 's as the cross rails and cut some strips off of an old tractor tube that was shot. The rubber inner tube material worked really well to completely secure the 2x4's. I used some old foam under the 2x4's so I would not scratch the roof rails. and also on top of the 2x4's so I wouldn't scratch the boat.
I positioned the sunfish alongside the vehicle and lifted the back onto the 2x4's (they were a bit wider than the vehicle so I could just set it on the edge without it falling) Then grabbed the front and moved it up. It was no problem on my own.
After adding a couple tie down straps I headed back home on the 2 hour trip. It never budged at all. I did add a strap to the front and another at the back but I think those were not necessary as I couldn't even budge it when I tried to move it back and forth from the front.
It was a very low cost solution that worked great and I will definitely do the same thing for the return trip.
hope the pics help show what I did. I didn't get a pic of the loading so took one of the unloading which shows the same technique. IMG_4642.JPGIMG_4641.JPGIMG_4640.JPG
 
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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Well that worked well!! The tie to the front bumper is always a good safety measure. If something does do wrong with the roof straps, the boat will still be attached to the car and not fly off and hit someone else.

Looking forward to seeing the daggerboard repair! If you don’t like the look of the filler against the wood you can always paint the board white with an epoxy paint.

You also will probably appreciate having the West epoxy and filler around for misc boat repairs or any fix that needs a good epoxy.
 
I brought home a sunfish that I bought 4 hours away from the house, on the top of my Chevy Mailbu. I had rolled up yoga mats under it, it was hull up and tied by the bow handle and strapped down. Worked great but I will say that the 93 decibels (I measured it) it made at 60 mph was really tiring. Would've put me in a foul mood but then again, I had my new Sunfish with me. :)
 

Gray Young

New Member
Thank you for posting the photo's!
I would like to downsize from my Capri 14.2 to a Sunfish eventually and your pictures gave me confidence that I could car top it on the Subaru Outback if I needed to.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Well that worked well!! The tie to the front bumper is always a good safety measure. If something does do wrong with the roof straps, the boat will still be attached to the car and not fly off and hit someone else.

Looking forward to seeing the daggerboard repair! If you don’t like the look of the filler against the wood you can always paint the board white with an epoxy paint.

You also will probably appreciate having the West epoxy and filler around for misc boat repairs or any fix that needs a good epoxy.
When I cartopped my Sunfish(es), (photos elsewhere on this forum) I worried about an accidental launch forward in case of collision. :eek:

The hull would be a giant spear pointed at the rear window of any vehicle forward of my vehicle. :(

The bow handle wouldn't count for much, so the attachments at the rear got my full attention.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
On a similar note, if ya hear a tremendous crash, look in your rearview mirror and see your boat 1/4-mile behind ya on the interstate, you'll know ya didn't secure it properly... :confused:
 

leob1

Member
The bow and stern tie downs prevent the boat from moving sideways. No matter how tight you think your other straps are, just a little bit of sid to side movement can loosen the boat, and then a preventable disaster.
I put my 14 foot kayak on the car for a short 3 mile trip, without the bow line. The first curve I watched in horror as my boat slid to the right side of the crossbar. That was the last time I didn't use a bow line.
 

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
One suggestion: Move your hull a few inches forward so the weight is resting on the flat section on the deck just aft of the coaming and not the coaming itself (as shown in your photo.) This will prervent damage to the coaming and the deck area under the coaming. See attached photo of my rig.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

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Debmar

New Member
Alan
Thanks for that suggestion. In my picture it does look like it is resting in the coaming but it isnt actually. The foam i put between the boat and the 2x4's is bulging out a bit and makes it appear as if its resting on the coaming.
I had it right up against the edge of the coaming though
 
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