DIY: building a canoe stand

by Jason Bain | June 9, 2022
a Wolverine canoe on a wooden stand

Judging from the number of vessels leaning against outbuildings or sitting in tall grass, providing a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, we don’t always provide our canoes resting places fitting of the respect they deserve.

I was no exception — my fibreglass canoe leaned precariously, for years, against the side of my house, propped up by half of a cinder block and scratch-preventing chunk of pool noodle.

My stepfather and I crafted this stately, do-it-yourself wood canoe stand, mostly in one afternoon.


Pressure-treated lumber:

  • 4×4 (eight-footer)
  • 2×4 (eight-footer)
  • 2×6 (two eight-foot pieces)
  • Two deck-or-post 12×12-inch concrete support blocks
  • Two 2×6 inch galvanized joist hangers
  • Four stainless steel eye screws
  • Two bungee cords or poly- propylene ropes
  • Four to six wood shims
  • Deck screws: 3.5 and 2-inches (we used 34 total)


  • Table saw or mitre saw capable of cutting 45-degrees
  • cordless drill
  • hammer
  • punch
  • square
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • level
  • clamps
  • roundmouth shovel
  • fan rake

Build it

1. Making the 4×4 posts is easy — cut the eight-footer in half.

2. Use the 2×6 to cut two rests to fit the width of your canoe (about three feet long for mine). Use the other 2×6 to cut the five-foot long piece that joins the posts.

3. Cut the 2x4s for the diagonal braces. These prevent the rests from warping. Cut them to the length you feel best for your weight load. Steel “L” brackets would also work here if your canoe is light.

4. Assemble by screwing the rests onto the top of each post, using five long screws. It’s handy to have a helper to hold the wood as the other drills. Pilot holes are recommended to prevent splitting.

5. Attach the 2×4 diagonal braces with your shorter screws.

6. Attach the cross section to the posts using the joist hangers. You can set yours higher on the posts if you want clearance for your lawn mower under it.

7. Set the eye screws under the end of each rest, so you can tie down your canoe.

8. Dig two holes for your concrete support blocks.

9. Place and level the blocks, then set the stand inside. Hammering shims between the bottom of the post and block.

10. Backfill the hole, using water to settle the material, then rake the soil level.


Originally published in the June 2021 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine.

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