Boats on Cars - Part 2

Looking over the hundreds of pix that were posted on the Boats on Cars topic, I was surprised at the number of kayaks and canoes that were attached without bow lines. Sure, for a shorter boat on wider crossbars, it’s overkill, but otherwise, I think it’s a critical safety feature that counters torque from the wind at highway speed - a force that has been known to rip J-cradles right off the crossbars. I have a short video that explains the system and also has examples of kayaks flying off cars:

Also, here are pix of transporting our kayaks and our canoe. The boats don’t budge an inch at highway speeds.

Since the crossbars are secured to the Subaru’s roof rack, I tie off to the roof rack.

The bow lines run to seat belt webbing that is bolted to the frame underneath the hood.


Nice job on the movie. I haul two canoes hull up or some combination of canoe and rec-kayak on a small KIA soul and I double cam strap each boat and run both a front and back line tied off to a bolted on hood strap like you show and a DIY hatch back strap.

I like to think of it as wearing two belts and suspenders to keep my pants up.

The other big part and the only part of your movie that had me raise an eyebrow was the testing of a setup at 80MPH. For me with a tiny car and a couple huge sails on top I will never be in a hurry to reach my destination and will drive super conservatively trying to stay of interstate highways and sticking to secondary roads. I know some people are forced to use highways and if that is your only way to go I would stay at minimum speed an not max for the roadway.
I’m set up for double lines front and back as a X and that is what I do for longer travels shown is my local setup and if I’m just going to my neighborhood launch about a block from home I leave the front and back off.

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Actually you may notice in several of my pix in that thread no tie downs whatsoever…

The point of your comment was lost on me Darkstar. Perhaps you’d like to elaborate on that thought.

I take your point about speed, and you have some nice rigs on those vehicles. We weren’t testing the system at 80mph, we were using it with confidence. The kayaks never budged.

I was merely pointing out that pictures could be quite possibly taken at various stages of loading in that thread and may not be representative of how they actually traveled with them. I quite often load boats but don’t apply stern tie down (to allow access to the trunk) until we are about to drive.



OK. I see. No problem. I mistakenly thought you might be making light of tiedowns. It’s often hard to get nuance in online comments.