Pulley System Instructions for Storing a Canoe

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Canoes take up a lot of space. Hanging them from the rafters saves space and makes room for other toys. A pulley system makes hanging a canoe much easier. A single person can hang a canoe with a pulley, although it’s easier with two people. Best of all, you won’t need many tools or equipment, or much money, to build an effective canoe-storage pulley system.

Securing Materials

  • Buy the required materials. You’ll need one pulley for each canoe, one screw hook for each pulley, rope, a cleat (like you’d find on a dock) and screws. You’ll also need a hammer, screw gun, screwdriver and a ladder. A block and tackle is optional, as are two short lengths of chain and two S hooks per canoe. Make sure the pulley, rope and screw hooks are rated to hold the canoe.

Locating the Center Rafter

  • Lay the canoe on the floor. Find the center and match it up with the according rafter.

Attaching the Screw Hook

  • Climb the ladder. Pound a screw hook into the underside of the rafter to start it, then insert the screwdriver between the shank and the hook for leverage as you screw the hook into the wood.

Hanging the Pulley

  • Hang a pulley or a block and tackle on the screw hook. Hanging via a single pulley isn’t difficult, especially with help. However, a block and tackle reduces the amount of power required to lift the canoe exponentially.

Attaching the Rope

  • Run the rope through the single pulley.

Attaching the Cleat

  • Screw the cleat to a stud on the side of your garage wall about waist-high. Or attach a crank winch to the wall in lieu of a cleat to make hanging the canoe even easier.

Securing the Rope to the Canoe

  • Hang the innermost canoe first if you plan to hang multiple canoes. Tie the rope around the center thwart. If the canoe doesn’t have a center thwart, tie the rope around the thwarts between the seats so the canoe hangs horizontally. If using a block and tackle, tie a rope around the thwart, then slide the hook under the rope.

Raising the Canoe

  • Pull the rope to raise the canoe. If possible, have another person lift the canoe as you pull.

Tying Off the Rope

  • Wrap the rope around the cleat in a Figure 8 pattern when the canoe is high enough. Then make a loop, twist the rope, loop it over the entire cleat and pull to tie it off.

Chain Option

  • If you’re only hanging one canoe and the rope isn’t in your way, you’re done. However, you can also secure the canoe with chains over the rafter and remove the rope, either so the rope isn’t in your way, as a safety measure or to move to the next canoe.

Securing With Chains

  • With the canoe secured, climb the ladder and loop a chain over the rafter at each end of the canoe. Wrap the chain around the carrying handle, a thwart or the seat. It doesn’t matter where, but secure it in the same place at each end. Secure the chain with S hooks.

Rope Options

  • Remove the rope so it’s out of your way or leave it as a backup. Move on to the next canoe if you’re hanging more than one.

References

  • Joe Shead; avid canoeist; Superior, Wisconsin
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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