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What Is a Canoe Hoist?

A canoe hoist is an ingenious device designed to lift and store canoes overhead, maximizing space in your garage or shed. Utilizing a system of pulleys and ropes, it effortlessly elevates your canoe, keeping it secure and out of the way. Curious about how a canoe hoist can streamline your storage and protect your vessel? Let's explore the mechanics and benefits together.
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A canoe hoist is a device used to lift a canoe off the ground for storage in a garage, shed, or other appropriate space. This system usually includes two or more pulleys as well as a rope or cable that runs through the pulleys; the ropes may have hooks and/or straps attached to them so the canoe can be secured to the canoe hoist system. Once the canoe is secured, a user can pull on the end of the rope and lift the canoe off the ground, often making way for more storage space or even parking for vehicles.

In many cases, the canoe hoist will lift the boat off the ground vertically to any desired height. Many homeowners use such systems to store the boat above a car parked in a garage, which means the pulleys must be mounted to the garage's ceiling or to beams above the garage. Once the pulleys of the canoe hoist are mounted, the rope or cable can be strung through the system; most systems use two pulleys, but more elaborate systems may use three or more. The more pulleys included in the system, the more weight will be distributed, which means a user will be able to lift more weight more easily.

Pulleys are a key part of a hoist system.
Pulleys are a key part of a hoist system.

Straps are usually wrapped around the hull of the boat so it can be lifted with the canoe hoist. Some systems use hooks that attach to secure points on the boat instead. Once the boat is secured, the user will pull on the rope, effectively raising the canoe off the ground. Once the canoe is in place, the user will tie off the end of the rope to an anchor point. This anchor may simply be a fixed beam or stud, or it may be a hook mounted on the wall. Most canoe hoist systems can be purchased with an included anchor point designed for use with the included rope.

A canoe hoist may be used to lift a canoe off the ground for storage.
A canoe hoist may be used to lift a canoe off the ground for storage.

Installation of the system must be done carefully. The pulleys must be bolted or screwed into a solid beam or post; it is not safe to simply secure the pulleys to drywall or other weak materials that may let go of the pulleys during use. The anchor point must also be strong and secure to avoid a failure of the system. The user will need to read all included instructions to learn the most appropriate way to anchor the canoe while it is stored.

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Discussion Comments


We have a garage hoist system in our garage that we use for more than just the canoe. This comes in handy to store anything up above the garage.

We have used it to store our bicycles in the winter time as well as the canoe. As long as you have the system securely installed, you would be surprised at how much weight you can pull up with a pulley rope.

You do need to make sure and have anything securely fastened once you get it up there. It probably would not work very well if things were just swinging around from the top of the garage.


We have a pond on our property that we keep the canoe by all summer long. In the winter we keep it out of the snow and store it in the garage.

Our garage isn't that big, so we use a canoe hoist to store it up above. This works great because there isn't anything else up there and this way it doesn't take up valuable floor space.

We only hoist it up there before winter and bring it down in the spring. My husband is very handy and devised his own canoe hoist pulley system that really works great.

It is much better for the canoe to get it out of the cold winter elements and this is much better than storing it along side of the garage or shed.

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    • Pulleys are a key part of a hoist system.
      By: Zerbor
      Pulleys are a key part of a hoist system.
    • A canoe hoist may be used to lift a canoe off the ground for storage.
      By: Zsolt Biczó
      A canoe hoist may be used to lift a canoe off the ground for storage.