Never a canoe, but all sorts of other stuff, including a 40 ft ladder from Long Island to VA. You'll be fine. If I was riding with a canoe up there often with lots of interstate miles, I'd probably invest in a Yakima or Thule setup, or remove the OEM rack and run some of those foam surfboard pads directly on the roof.
For long stuff, you can stabilize it using rope or tie-downs to the tow hooks.
I have carried a canoe on the stock roof rack for 1000s of miles and it has worked out fine.
- Use closed cell foam pipe insulation (similar to pool noodles) at the points of contact between the boat and the rack.
- Tie the bow line and the stern line from the boat to the front and rear tow points to prevent fore and aft movement of the boat. You want these to be tight, but not too tight, so they do not stress the boat's hull when you go over bumps. Maybe use a length of rope between the left and right front tow points on the LC, then tie the bowline to that loop. I offset the boat about 1 foot off center to the passenger side for better driver visibility out the windshield.
- Use old bicycle innertubes to secure the boat to the rack. The rubber tubes have some stretch to absorb shock, but they are strong enough to hold the boat in place. You will need several old bicycle inner tubes.
The only mishap I have had was when using ratchet straps to secure the boat to the rack. The straps were too tight, and the ratchet mechanism damaged the hull of the boat while driving on a potholed road at speed. That is why I recommend using the bicycle innertubes instead. They are soft and plaible, yet strong enough to do the job.
The main thing is to tie the boat on tight, but not too tight. You want to allow for a little movement when you hit bumps or wind gusts. The combination of the foam noodles under the boat and the rubber innertubes act like a shock absorber for the boat so it moves alittle bit instead of stressing the hull.
In my experience, the stock roof rack works fine for carrying a canoe. You want to keep the canoe down as close as possible to the roof to minimize air drafts under the boat while you're driving.
All the time. On one trip from take out back to put in, I had an Old Town Camper upside down on its gunnels, with an Old Town Appalachian bottom-to-bottom on top of that, and the Appalachian had a kayak in it.
We paddle a lot. One trip, I laid two pine studs over the roof rack side rails, put two canoes side-by-side, two more studs, two more canoes on top, and then one more canoe on top, with a kayak handing off the back resting on the rear window. Yep; 5 16' canoes and a kayak.
By the way, braided nylon rope is much better than straps. Make sure it is pushed up next to the canoe hull on each side. I also use safety ropes on the front and back (bow and stern). Someone make these little nylon loops with a grommet in them. You bolt them under the hood, and they stick out through the grill or wherever you want. They make good front tie down points.
I inserted a picture of us getting ready for a small float using the 2x4 trick.
I don't like tying the front to the bumper or frame. It wore a spot in the paint on my 60. I have just run ratchet straps under the rack and over the hull, with some rope tied to prevent forward/backward movement.
I put a canoe up there many times. Sometimes 2 canoes, sometimes a kayak on j-racks, sometimes 2 stacked kayaks and a canoe. I use two 2x3 boards bolted to the rack with U-bolts when I'm doing 2-canoes-wide.
With one boat, I put it right on the rack, and tie it with 2 cam straps. I use bow and stern lines only if I'm going long distances, or on the interstate, we have several paddling places pretty close by.
I've never had something come loose, except my buddy's Mad River Adventure 16. His gunnels tuck in from the widest part of the boat. Like hkeller said, you have to have the ties up against each gunnel, it keeps it from scooting around. But the Mad River Adventure makes this impossible, so his boat ended up scooting around when driving at 70 mph. I fixed this by adding small blocks of wood to fill the gap, preventing any sideways motion.