Delivery of Sunfish via Pickup Truck

Thread starter #1
If properly tied-down, cushioned at all touch points and thickly wrapped in moving blankets, is it ok to transport a sunfish as shown in the diagram below…. This would be a one-time only 100 mile trip for delivery.

My concern of course is around stress on hull.

Thanks!

Mark

upload_2018-2-7_14-57-1.png
 

leob1

New Member
#2
I wouldn't. In addition to stress on the hull, a moments inattention while going under a sign or wires or trees could be a disaster. I'd make an upright for the rear out of 2x4, and some pool noodles for padding, and padding on the roof, tie it down good.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#3
I’ve seen it done that way quite a few times. As Leob says, watch out overhead!

You can also rest it in the bed on padding, keep the tailgate down and put a red flag on the back of the boat.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#5
This is how I transported my 2nd Sunfish almost 2000 miles. The seller is giving his Sunfish good-by pats.

I just ran a 3/8" bolt through the gudgeon and added a raised 2x4 platform secured to tie-down points in the truck's bed.

Unavoidable wind blasts from trucks caused the boat to "steer to port". Note the very-helpful bridle at the front.

GEDC0057-002.JPG
 

torrid

Just sailing
#8
Nothing wrong with cartopping if properly secured (tied to crossbars AND the bumpers), but that arrangement looks really sketchy. The hull angled up like that is going to create a bunch of drag and could cause the boat to fly away.

The PVC pipe rack idea would be a big improvement. It would also help to have a crossbar on the cab of the truck.
 
#9
I agree with all of the above. At highway speeds, your "high bow" truck rig is going to generate a lot of stress on the hull and drag, OK if you are going only a few miles at low speeds, but not 100 miles at highway speeds. Here is my VW cartop rig that just completed a 1,200 mile trip from the Florida panhandle to Updstate NY - no problems and no damage to boat or car. Note redundant tie-downs, ratchet straps and rope.

Alan Glos L1040559.JPG
 

torrid

Just sailing
#10
I like the redundant rope in addition to the ratchet straps. As a personal preference, I would tie at least the bow to the front bumper too.

This is something I have said many times before, at least in other sailing forums. Cartopping is great for a long-distance trip over several days, but it is kind of a pain in the butt tying everything down securely. It is not something I would want to do every time I went sailing. I suppose if you did it often enough, you would get a system down.
 
#11
When I bought my Sunfish I put it hull down, stern first into my 5.5ft pickup bed. The bow was hanging out but I put a red flag on the bow handle and tied down the whole thing very well. I also put
cushions under and around so avoid any chafe damage. No problems at all with my freeway driving in Houston like this.
 
#12
Ratchet straps are mixed blessing. If you don't have your car top bars, trailer bunks or truck bed well padded, it is possible to crank the ratchet straps down too hard and damage or crack the hull. I pad my car top bars with split foam pipe covers that any good hardware store offers. I cut them full length, Gorilla tape to the car top bars and then use ratchet straps judiciously with soft rope back-up tie downs. A "trucker's hitch" on the ropes lets you tie them very taut. The after 20 miles or so, stop, get out and check the rig. For a car top rig, you will fine that the hull moves aft an inch or so in the 60+ mph widstream and the straps and ropes will be angled back a little - a good thing as this re-tightens the rig a little.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#13
Ratchet straps are mixed blessing. If you don't have your car top bars, trailer bunks or truck bed well padded, it is possible to crank the ratchet straps down too hard and damage or crack the hull. I pad my car top bars with split foam pipe covers that any good hardware store offers. I cut them full length, Gorilla tape to the car top bars and then use ratchet straps judiciously with soft rope back-up tie downs. A "trucker's hitch" on the ropes lets you tie them very taut. Then after 20 miles or so, stop, get out and check the rig. For a car top rig, you will fine that the hull moves aft an inch or so in the 60+ mph widstream and the straps and ropes will be angled back a little - a good thing as this re-tightens the rig a little.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
With the truck's optional sliding rear window, the tension can be adjusted from the driver's seat—without stopping.

SunfishMoving08.jpg
 
#14
I agree with all of the above. At highway speeds, your "high bow" truck rig is going to generate a lot of stress on the hull and drag, OK if you are going only a few miles at low speeds, but not 100 miles at highway speeds. Here is my VW cartop rig that just completed a 1,200 mile trip from the Florida panhandle to Updstate NY - no problems and no damage to boat or car. Note redundant tie-downs, ratchet straps and rope.

Alan Glos View attachment 25322
Alan - Is that Apalachicola. Are you still there or back in NY?
 
#15
rohrbeck,

Hey, you have a good eye! The photo was taken just west of downtown Apalachicola in early February of this year. I had just bought the boat up in the Florida panhandle and was on the way to Cedar Key for a few days of R&R and the best steamed clams money can buy (no sailing) Then it was a 1200 mile solo road trip back to Upstate NY, the longest I have ever car-topped a Sunfish. Made it in 2.5 days without incident.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 
#16
rohrbeck,

Hey, you have a good eye! The photo was taken just west of downtown Apalachicola in early February of this year. I had just bought the boat up in the Florida panhandle and was on the way to Cedar Key for a few days of R&R and the best steamed clams money can buy (no sailing) Then it was a 1200 mile solo road trip back to Upstate NY, the longest I have ever car-topped a Sunfish. Made it in 2.5 days without incident.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
We're staying on Cape San Blas which is just west of Apalachicola and make the trip there several times to hit the restaurants. Great place for oysters.

Now back to car topping a sunfish.

Randy
 
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