If you are tired of storing your canoe on the floor of your garage, take a couple of hours to get it out of the way by constructing a simple-to-build canoe hoist. It lifts the boat up and off the floor to give you room for your car and makes it easy to load and unload the boat from your car's roof rack. The hoist is a simple pulley system with ropes that allows you to raise and lower the boat easily by hand.
Divide the length of your canoe by three. Round that number upward to the nearest foot. A third of a 17 foot long canoe would be 5-2/3 feet rounded up to 6 feet. Find two ceiling joists that are as close to that measurement apart in the place you want to hang your boat. If hanging the boat along the length of the joists, you'll make two marks on just one joist. Make sure the marks are at least one third the boat length plus one foot from the walls at either end of the boat for clearance.
Measure the width of your boat at its widest point (the beam). Divide the beam by two. Add one foot to provide clearance to the walls at the sides and mark where that distance touches the marked ceiling joist or joists. If the beam is 3 feet, then add 1-1/2 feet plus another foot and you'll mark the joist at 2-1/2 feet. These two marks will be directly on the joists and, in the example above, at least 7 feet from the end walls.
Screw a hook into each mark you made in the ceiling. Pilot drill the holes with a 3/8 inch drill bit. Make sure the eye hooks are well seated into the ceiling joists. Hang a double pulley from each hook. Screw a half inch eye into the joist beside each ceiling hook about 4 inches away. Pilot drill the holes on these as well to avoid splitting the joist.
Attach a clip on boat hook by the clips to the eyes of the other two double half-inch pulleys. Tie a second pair of boat hooks to one ends of each of the two 7/16 inch ropes. Hook the ropes to the eye bolts in the ceiling with the boat hooks.
Thread the end of one rope through one pulley of the unattached double pulleys. Thread it up through a pulley in the upper pulley – the one hanging from the ceiling, the back down through the second pulley on the same loose pulley. Then run the rope back up through the remaining pulley on the double pulley on the ceiling. Take up rope until the lower pulley is hanging about 4 feet off the floor. Now thread the second pair of double pulleys the same way.
Find a convenient clear place along the garage wall where the boat will hang. Make sure to allow a clear path for the rope to run to the pulleys you are going to attach to the wall. Find a stud in the wall, drill two 3/8 inch holes about six inches apart and screw in two half inch hooks. Seat them well with the open ends of the hooks turned up.
Attach two single half-inch pulleys to the hooks and thread the loose ends of the ropes through them from the top down. The part hanging down is what you pull on to raise the boat. Screw a large heavy duty flag bracket into a wall stud at waist height for tying off the ends of the ropes.
Cut a 10 foot length of excess rope from your pull ropes if you have that much left. If not, get a pair of at least half-inch ropes 10 feet long. Tie one end of each rope to the eyes of the hanging pulleys. Tie the other end to the eye of the boat hook.
Hang the canoe by unclipping one end of the rope loops on the lower pulley. Pass the ropes under the canoe about a third of the way from the ends and clip them back to the lower pulleys. Pull the free end of the ropes over by the wall and hoist the canoe up to the ceiling and tie off the ropes on the flag bracket. Pull both ropes together to keep the canoe level as it rises.
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