How Do You Make a Canoe Trailer Rack?

Making a canoe trailer rack is an excellent DIY project for anyone who loves the outdoors and wants to transport their canoe safely and comfortably. A canoe trailer rack can be expensive, but with some basic tools and materials, you can make one yourself at a fraction of the cost. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create your own canoe trailer rack.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

The first step is to gather all the necessary materials for your project. You will need the following:

  • Two 2x4x8 boards
  • Two 1x3x8 boards
  • Four U-bolts
  • Eight bolts with nuts and washers
  • Sixteen wood screws
  • Sixteen metal L brackets
  • A saw (hand or electric)
  • A drill (with drill bits, screwdriver bits, and hole saws)

Step 2: Cut the Boards to Size

Using your saw, cut both the 2x4x8 boards in half so that you have four pieces that are each four feet long. Then cut both of the 1x3x8 boards in half so that you have four pieces that are each four feet long as well.

Step 3: Create the Base of the Rack

Lay two of the four-foot-long 2x4s parallel to each other on a flat surface about three feet apart. Then place one of the four-foot-long 1x3s perpendicular to these two boards at each end so that it forms a rectangle. Use wood screws to secure these pieces together.

Step 4: Add the U-Bolts

Place the canoe on top of the base and position it where you want it to sit. Then, using the U-bolts, attach them to the 2x4s on either side of the canoe. Tighten them enough so that the canoe is secure but not so much that you damage it.

Step 5: Create the Vertical Supports

Using your saw, cut four pieces of 2×4 that are each two feet long. These will be the vertical supports for your rack. Then cut eight pieces of one-foot-long 1x3s.

Step 6: Attach the Vertical Supports

Attach two of these vertical supports to each end of your base using metal L brackets and bolts with nuts and washers. Make sure they are straight and perpendicular to the base.

Step 7: Add Cross Braces

Using your remaining one-foot-long 1x3s, attach them diagonally between each pair of vertical supports to create cross braces. This will help stabilize your rack and make it stronger.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

If desired, you can sand down any rough edges or paint or stain your rack to protect it from weathering.


In conclusion, making a canoe trailer rack is a fairly simple DIY project that can be completed in just a few hours with some basic tools and materials. By following these steps, you can create a sturdy and reliable canoe trailer rack that will transport your canoe safely and comfortably wherever you go on your outdoor adventures!

Photo of author

Emma Gibson