Bow and Stern Tie Down?

I will be traveling about 275 miles (Minneapolis to Grand Marais, MN) this weekend. Think I will need to tie down the bow and stern for this trip?

I always tie down my bow/stern whenever I leave my driveway. Fun/safe paddling is largely about risk management, and that starts when I am building my kayak, and continues when I am transporting it. Be careful about the tie downs however, as more than one person has not secured their lines and the rope gets caught up in the wheel well and well…you can imagine what can happen. It is also a good idea to put a red flag of some type on the stern.

My .02…enjoy your trip!


Yup part 2
What Bob said.


I’ve never had a problem with the straps or the rack coming loose. But imagining launching a boat into traffic is enough to make me add the extra lines.

what if your boat is already red? :wink:

not enough information
to give a worthwhile response. It’s kind of like wearing a seatbelt, you never know what rapid decelleration will do until it’s over.

More Information
I have Thule Crossrails with 2 Thule J Cradles. There will be two Necky Zoar Sport LV’s that are 13’ 7" long. I have gone 30-50 miles many times, but never this far. I am thinking tie downs are the way to go. Thanks for all the information.

Regarding flags…
I affiz a length of blaze orange webbing to the stern of my touring kayak for several reasons:

Hopefully the senior citizen in the rented Winnebago will see it before plowing into the boat;

It serves as a visual aid when backing up;

It reminds me to duck when walking under the boat.


I canoe
but always use two seperate tie down methods with my rack. Straps fore and aft, then bow and stern painters tied to cleats. Other canoe in bed gets tied down forward, rear gets tied to cleat, then seperate line tied down to back up anything that might snap or come loose. 2 canoes locked and loaded …6 minutes; not worrying about causing"emotional trauma dodging a canoe, leading to a lifetime of therapy and inability to work"…priceless

tie downs?
To be honest, I’d say about 99% of the kayaks zipping along on the highways on the south shore of Lake Superior nowadays don’t have stern/bow tie downs. When I go on interstates, I use tiedowns; along the local highways, I don’t. That doesn’t necessarily make a whole lot of sense.

"It reminds me to duck…"
Thank you jsaults.

I tie strip of yellow webbing to each stern for all the same reasons.

It is particularly helpful when backing up to SEE exactly where the sterns are. My doctor’s office has a center posted ‘Patient’s Parking’ sign at the back of each spot. I back in so the boats aren’t sticking out into the driving lane. Without the ‘tails’ hanging down it would be difficult to be certain bracket the signpost.

I take the extra two minutes to tie the bow and stern down whether going across town or 400 miles up to the Apostles. I know someone who lost a rack on the highway - little if any car damage but considerable damage to the boat and rack. This was the best possible outcome of that situation, too.

Tie downs
After driving at least 15,000 with canoes on various vehicles, usually without tie downs, I had a canoe come loose at 80 mph from very strong cross winds. Destroyed the plywood canoe (only slight damage to my Van.) I always use tie downs now.

Depends on whether you plan to arrive with – or without – your boat.