Hieght of canoe canvasing anchor points

Tom Widney

LOVES Wooden Canoes
I am currently converting my old stand alone garage from a storage bin to a workshop for restoring WC canoes. The garage is only 20 ft deep and has an over head garage door.

My plan is to anchor one end of the canvas envelope to the back end of my pickup truck which will be backed up to the garage and the other end to the back wall of the garage. We are to the point of bracing the garage wall for the come along anchor points with a 2"x10" brace to spread out the load.

The question is how high off the ground should we place this horizontal brace? I assume it should be as high as the anchor points on the truck in order to keep things (tension) symetrical. I've never recanvassed a canoe so I'm kinda in the dark on this one.

Any thoughts or suggestions?


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Anchor points

If your truck attachment point is a trailer hitch it will be way too low for comfort. Try to estimate a convenient/comfortable working height (say 44") and use a temporary 2X4 tripod to lead cable up from bumper hitch to that height. Attachment point on back wall should be the same as over the top of the tripod so the canoe hangs level.

20 Footer

I have a 20 foot deep garage and I use my trailer hitch on one end. I have a movable anchor across the studs at the rear wall. I bolt it high for right side up canvassing and low for upside down canvassing.

The depth of the garage is an issue for bigger canoes. The end sticks out and there is no place to hang the canvas clamp from, so this may require upside down canvassing or a tripod rig as bluecanoed mentioned. I had a friend who had good luck with two low anchors in opposite corners of his shop (diagonal) and upside down canvassing. We did a 20 footer that way.

I like the upside down method, but lately it seems that no matter which way I try and canvas it seems like some jury rigging of the stretching gear is involved depending on the canoe being canvassed.
Canvas stretcher

Open the inside bedroom and hall doors, or whichever are necessary. Run the chain through the house, short length where you want to work.


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Open the inside bedroom and hall doors, or whichever are necessary. Run the chain through the house, short length where you want to work.

Now that is thinking! However, my wife might have something to say about that! Great idea. :rolleyes:

Easy reach to the fridge for a snack and cold one! Then sit on the couch and look at your handy work! :D
Thanks guys,

As I'm trying to get away from jury rigging I think one high and one low should give me options and I'll stay away from the window trick which is actually quite clever.

Happy Spring,
I learned the upside down method from Bill Clement...Made a nice little seat on wheels with a storage area under the seat...I have the same problem with a 20' garage and no way to canvas in the upright manner...I use my Jeep with the cable to the trailer hitch and on the back wall, the cable is mounted the same heigth as the trailer ball.Oh, and that neat little copycat seat and storage box on wheels,,,,EXCELLENT..as you can just roll along in just the right postion...OH! ...pad the seat...easy on the end thats not doing the work!.
I used a piece of railroad track clamped across the garage door opening.
Can be easily adjusted for height. In the absence of railroad track, could probably use a 4x4 or 4x6 if the 4x4 wasn't stiff enough. Of course, the door must be left open for this technique.
You know...that the creativity, the out of the box resoursefullness, the willingness to share, along with a strong healthy sense of humor of folks which use this forum is truely amazing...I love it!