How to Build a Canoe Rack on a Utility Trailer

Have more than one canoe and need to get them to the water a little easier? This can be a dilemma, but a remedy can be found by converting your old utility trailer to a canoe hauling machine. It just requires a little material, a few tools and a little time.

Measure the width of your trailer to determine the length of the cross members (you will need two). Measure the length of the trailer to get the length for the braces that will run lengthwise (you will need two). Measure for height, adding an extra foot to the measured length to give added security at the top where the canoes will sit (you will need four). This can be as high as you like to still allow use of the trailer.

Cut to your measured lengths with the cutting torch or reciprocating saw.

Weld the vertical bars to the trailer. Depending on the length of the canoes this can vary as to where you will weld.

Weld side braces to the vertical stands 1 foot from the top of the vertical pipes.

Weld the cross bars at the same height as the side braces so that the canoes now have a place to rest.


  • Secure the canoes with tie straps or rope.


  • Adding foam wraps to the cross bars will prevent damage to the canoe during transport. Adding more cross bars and braces will give you more racks for as many canoes as you would like to transport.

About the Author

Justin K. Otto is a freelance writer & editor from Pensacola, Florida. He has been writing for 9 years and professionally for just over 2 for several publications such as The Pensacola News Journal, a Gannett Publication, the PJC Corsair and Kayak Angler Magazine. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in journalism.