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Mad River Adventure 16 feet is less than $500. It is a rotomolded boat, but paddles very well, has built in Seats with backs .

http://www.madrivercanoe.com
 

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A 12' canoe is mighty short for 2 people... even if one of them is small. Better go to ~16' if you want to be reasonably safe. A lot depends on what you will be using it for.
 

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Check out www.paddleva.com. Click on used boats and look there. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. I'll be using it for backwater fishing mostly. Small impoundments, Suffolk lakes, etc. I'll mostly be fishing it myself and I'll need to be able to load it onto the roof of the Cherokee myself. I still want the ability to have a second person though.
I'll also be traveling with it on the roof when I go camping. Sometimes a couple hours on the highway.

Question for you guys who rooftop. What's the longest you would recommend carrying on the roof of a Jeep Cherokee?
 

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For what it is worth, I use to carry a 16 foot canoe on the roof of my 1996 Ford Probe. It weighed 90 pounds so it was definitely a two person job. Since my Probe died, I got a trailer for my canoe.
 

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Long is no problem on a Cherokee and the fact that you can put the rear bar near the end of the car helps loading. I have had a couple and loading 17 foot canoes or even longer is pretty easy. I don't like short Canoes or Yaks long is good.

A Cherokee type car also lets you load a heavy boat without much trouble, Lift one end up to the bar then go around and lift the other end and slide forward. You can't do that on a sedan since they have to be side loaded. Some of the newer SUV's are much higher making a big lift.

90 lbs is not hard to do lifting half at a time.

P/S if you find a Alumimum 17-18 foot Canoe let me know I need one.

Boats
 

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You should be ok with std roof rack and tying off fore and aft. I already had a Yakima rack and bought new cross bars when I bought my Cherokee.
 

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I've been driving Cherokees ever since 1987. When I bought my 1987 Jeep I also bought a roof rack system called "Quick N Easy". They clamp onto the roof gutter rail and you supply your own 2"x4" wooden cross member and hardware. When I bought a 1996 Cherokee and I just moved the rack over to the new Jeep with no adjustments needed. The whole thing was really cheap too. Since gutter rails on cars have gone out of style, I doubt Quick N Easys are still available. I've hauled 2 canoes on it at the same time, 60# & 80#.

On another car, I've hauled canoes on the factory installed roof rack... the kind of rack thats supposed to haul luggage and other light stuff. To keep the light duty cross-over rail from flexing too much, I inserted a small, 12" block of wood between the rail and the roof, right in the center. I cushioned the wood/car contact with a piece of bath towel.
 
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