Chandlery December 2013 Issue

Chandlery- December 2013

Stor N Boat Rows 'n Stows



The Stor N Boat rowed well with one person, and it fit snugly atop our Jeep Liberty, but even empty, it exceeded the carís specified limits for rooftop stowage by nearly 50 percent.

When an entrepreneur in Ohio called and said he was rowing around the local lakes in a car-top carrier, we knew we had to test it. The Stor N Boat is a ruggedly built polyethylene hull with three removable seats and a 450-pound weight limit. Itís 8 feet long with a 3.5-foot beam, and it weighs 115 pounds with the seats (98 pounds without). It can be rowed or powered with a 2-horsepower outboard.

What sets this little boat apart is that it mates snugly with a polyethylene tray that bolts to a carís existing roof rack, turning the dinghy into a storage unit. The whole package weighs 153 poundsónote that this is more than some carmakerís specify for their roof racks.

When we tested the Stor N Boat, it took 20 minutes to install the removable tray on a 2003 Jeep Liberty already outfitted with kayak roof racks. We loaded the boat up alone (itís easier with two people) and drove around for a few days before discovering that weíd increased the Jeepís already inherent rollover risk by exceeding its specified 100-pound limit for the rooftop carrier. At 65 miles per hour, testers noted no rattles or whistling from the secured setup, but some rain leaked in at the edges of the tray.

The Stor N Boat feature testers most-liked afloat was its rugged construction. The thick gunwale provides excellent protection against bumps and scrapes. Molded-in drink holders, removable seats, and a built-in battery tray rounded out the neat features.

The boatís shape maximizes volume, so it is not very efficient to row. With one person aboard, it rowed well. With two, speed dropped to 2 knots and it became sluggish. However, when we slapped on a 2-horsepower Honda, the boat handled surprisingly well considering the narrow beam.

Bottom line: This is a tough boat and an interesting concept. We think that itís better suited for solo hunters, campers, and fishermen than cruising couples or families. It might also serve the needs of a trailer-sailing pack-rat. Weíd opt for an electric motor. Cabelas sells it for $1,500, with a one-year warranty.

Next: Solar Kettle Calls for Patience

Comments (1)

This reminds me of a boat made to fit the roof of the 1955 - 1967 VW microbuses, the "Vacation Waterfarer". They were made in the 60's, and if you had a bus with a sunroof, it was like having a high top camper conversion. The boat fit the rain gutter that ran around the roof, so no racks were needed, and from what I've read online, the boat was made of fiberglass and wood and weighed 125 lbs. There are pictures at:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=334458&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Posted by: Mark R | December 12, 2013 9:36 PM    Report this comment

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