bow and stern tiedowns

-- Last Updated: Aug-07-05 2:43 PM EST --

Usually transport on a trailer but planning trip with fishing boat in tow, so will carry kayaks on top. Have a Carolina Airalite and Kestral. Will be using foam blocks this time only. Did a test run today and they seemed very secure, two straps on each boat, then a strap over both of them front and back. Bow lines were attached to straps attached to bolts under hood and stern tiedowns attached to each side of hitch in safety chain holes. I'm concerned about having these tiedowns tight enough but not too tight. I'm afraid of stressing these points to the point of damage if they're pulled too tight, but I want the lines to do the job. What do you think?

Forgot to add that the foam blocks are attached to a roof rack so they're not just sitting up there loosely.

bow lines

try this link if you are looking for a great alternative to trying to find something under your bumper to tie to. I’ve used them for many miles and have one strap on each side of my engine well.

Paint damage??
Have the straps done anything to the paint on your car?

What size is the fishing boat?
If its large enough, you may want to carry the kayaks in the boat. Then, you just have to strap them down so they won’t fly out. I’d think that would be more secure than two kayaks on foam blocks. One can be carried safely that way, but two may be pushing it.

Should not be tight…
The bow and stern lines are there to keep the yak from blowing away if the regular tie downs or roof rack fails. They should not be putting any stress on the boat.

Bow & stern lines also provide a good indicator if the boat is moving around too much while you are driving.

I use a piece of 2" wide electrical tape to protect any place where lines touch paint.

I paddle 3-4 times a week, so my yak has been on the roof since May, and has about 8000 miles on it this summer with with no problems.

In The Boat
I would second the suggestion about carrying your yaks in your boat if possible. I’ve done that and it’s easier than loading them on the roof. I’ll pack a kayak in my boat when hanging out on Lake Mead. Use the powerboat to get to where I want to kayak. Beats driving.

The bow lines are there to counteract lift generated by high speed air flow so the rack wont fail or come off. They should be snug but do not cinch them down hard enough to stress the boats when at rest.

Rubber tubing
WaterDoc . . .

I purchased a couple of foot-long pieces of clear tubing at the hardware store and run my bow and stern lines through the tubing. By positing the tubing where the lines touch the paint, it prevents any chafing.

hood straps
No problem so far, went over 100 miles yesterday, and not a mark on the hood. Very convenient, definitely worth five dollars a pair.

boat in a boat
I have a 17 foot split windshield boat. How do you put two 14 foot yaks in it?

foam blocks
What is the problem with foam block?. With the right strapping, they seem very secure. I have an older Tahoe, so have plenty of length for my 14 foot yaks. With bow and stern tie downs and double strapping over both yaks after they secured with two straps each, they seem very secure. Would generally use the yak trailer, but can’t in this situation.

Good website for strap needs. Will keep that in my favorites.

bow tie downs
just cut two 10"pieces of the straps I use to tie down the boats (they were too long anyway), went to Home Depot and bought a set of grommets, and punched both ends and affixed the grommets and promptly bolted them with washers under the hood. for less than $7, I have two extremely sturdy loops that tuck under the hood or when utilized, protect the finish on the car.

20 minutes tops. (ok ten to get to Home Depot and back not included)


hood straps
I am using the straps that attach to the bolts under the hood. They work great, no paint damage at all.