I have an idea!

I built a duplicate of your cartop carrier (4" thin walled PVC, 80" top segments ziplocked to my Jetta Sportwagon roof rack). However, I now realize you are a bigger stronger lad than me, as I struggled to get the bow positioned on the yoke for the final push upward (I'm a 5'10", 190 lb, 64 year old, reluctant to begin a weight lifting regime). A larger friend stopped by and helped me out this one time, so everything else is fine. Perhaps with practice, I could do it.

Do you have any tips on how you positioned the bow upon the yoke solo (not shown in your video)? A longer yoke that extends all the way back to the ground (a smaller incline) would no doubt help, but then I would have a much longer carrier to carry.
Thread starter #42
Let me say while I can still press the bow up onto the yoke, it is not easy and usually my Wife will not let me do it by myself. But with that said I always do the loading and unloading on a grassy area. I like to use the "Gudgeon" if that is the right term for the bracket that holds the rudder, to dig into the grass as I lift the bow or in the reverse. I set the stern in line with the back of the car and set the bow to be a foot or two forward of the bumper, at an angle. Then press the bow up and get under it, and then lay it over onto the yoke. Once in the yoke I move to the stern and wrestle with lifting it up and forward. I found going up is pretty easy once I have the stern at my waist. The yoke and tubing prevent the boat from skidding one side or the other! Coming off I have found using a hook to grab the "Gudgeon" is very helpful to pulling it off, as my car is tall and I am only about 5' 8 or 9".
For those of us who sail (and cartop) solo, I'd be tempted to add a block (at the "x") and configure a small winch to an existing tow hitch. A light line (parachute cord) could be strung under the Sunfish, secured to the gudgeons (using a long 3/8" bolt and nut). Once it's winched more than halfway up, a nudge would get the Sunfish loaded on the PVC bunks. :cool: Watch for gusts of wind! :eek:
Only ziplocks attach the PVC to the roof-rack; so not strong enough most likely so a winch would end up snapping/fracturing/breaking the assembly at your X. Perhaps attaching the mini-winch to a roof-rack crossbar (I have one on my Thule rack), but then you have the winch attaching/removing time involved and the crossbar could also be bent.


Well-Known Member
I like this idea, I have had the notion to have a line on the bow handle possibly to have assistance in pushing the boat forward and control of boat but with the bunks in place it seems to not be an issue like when I was doing it with only the luggage racks. My van is almost six foot tall and when I lift the front of the boat into the yoke, the boat is setting at a forty five degree angle. Witch is too much for the handle on the boat or the said pulley arrangement. I think if I then lifted the back of the boat over my head, then the Wife could use the pulley to move the boat forward or the line on the bow handle.
(I accomplished the following idea with a heavy load of galvanized steel mesh—successfully loading it up on my truck's rack). :cool:

OK...You've devised a wheel for the gudgeon. Tail Wheel | SailingForums.com

As none of us are getting younger, how about tying a two-foot bowline knot through the bow handle—making an effective "bridle", to put any bow handle stress in sheer? Lean the boat against the yoke, tie the other end 6-feet up a tree, and back the car up s-l-o-w-l-y. You'll need a "arresting line" at the gudgeon to keep the boat from skidding too far forward.

(In case anything goes wrong, be sure to put your wife at the wheel). ;)
After loading/unloading several times in the boat ramp asphalt parking lot with your rig design, and a small caster dolly found placed where the stern touched down to protect the gudgeons, I found the process just too unwieldy for my physique (I tended to lose control at the angled lean position and the bow scraped my car's hatch). I also saw that my hull was getting gouged by the seams on the pvc yoke as well as by the injection molded nipples of the pvc. More power to you George, but I splurged and bought a RightOn trailer and Dynamic dolly combo.