Canoes that fly

Every time a Family embarks on a road trip there is bound to be some excitement. Although, Most Families don’t necessarily encounter that excitement as they are leaving town. Then again, we, are not most families. As we were driving down the Hiway no more than 5 miles outside of town, my co-pilot (the wife) made a ‘sharp gasp’, I quickly assessed situation, noticed nothing was out of the ordinary and then said “WHAT?” She responded by saying, “I think the canoe just flew off the roof!”

Last summer on our vacation, with some really good and long time friends, we discovered that they really wanted a canoe. Well out of that discussion the decision was made to give them our canoe and that we would deliver it this year during our trip. Here is where our story begins. It all started with a new roof rack since the stock rack on the Pacifica was never designed to be able to load a car top carrier, let alone, a canoe, and we wanted to put both on. So off to a perry a craft we went. We ended up ordering 2 sets of load bars. One set are standard size that carry the car top alone and then a wide set for the canoe and/or a couple of bikes and the car top. They fit great and sure enough the ar top and canoe fit with 3 inches to spare on both sides as well as in between.

So off we went. A few short stops prior to hitting the highway to fuel up and get breakfast then freeway bound we are. Well apparently I didn’t check the straps thoroughly because about 5 miles into the trip I hear from the seat next to me a gasp and of course I quickly surveyed the situation as any good husband does when his wife gasps as he is driving down the highway. I didn’t find anything out of the ordinary and responded with a “What?”. My wife’s response was, “I think the canoe just flew off the roof!”. I have to say I though she was joking but then I looked out the rear view window and saw the strap that was supposed to be securely holding the boat to the roof was flapping freely in the wind. The odd thing was I didn’t see a boat nor any signs of someone else noticing a car that just lost a canoe.

I pulled over the car, got out, checked the roof and quickly scanned the area for canoe debre or possible damage to our car or someone else. Luckily no one was hurt and to my surprise the straps were still attached to the roof rack. Now one might think that a 18.5 foot aluminum Grumman canoe would be easy to spot on the side of the road but what do you know it took us 20 plus minutes of searching over a 1/2 stretch of Hiway before we spotted it. There it was just laying there on the side of the road, belly down in a bed of grass. Just like someone had put it there on purpose. The canoe didn’t even had a scratch on it. Way to go Grumman for designing and building a canoe that can make a 3 point landing with no landing gear!

We did end up getting the canoe back on the roof but did not end up taking it on the trip. We have had to alter our plans a but and will attempt another transport latter this week after we add the Thule 576xt canoe straps to our kit. Safety lesson for the week is not only should a canoe be secured front to back, but it should also be secured side to side.





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