Bow and stern tiedowns

I’ve been wondering this (not, should they be used, mind you…) since getting my kayak last year.

Straps or rope/cord? What do you use? I have straps and used the front and rear tow hooks which are on the passenger side of my car. I’m going to pick up some hood loops for this year so I can tie off to each side of the car rather than down to one side which kind of pulls on my boat while it’s on the roof.

I thought maybe it would be better to use paracord. I just have hooks at the end of my straps and was thinking that isn’t exactly the most secure should something fail that the boat would come off the roof for any reason. Using some heavy paracord with a secure knot I think would be better. I can’t get the hooks out of the loops on the straps to change them over to carabiners. With just hooks, I am thinking they could slip from the towhooks easily should something fail.

What do you all do for bow and stern tiedowns? You can read all about how important they are but I’ve never read anything confirming what is best to use.

3/8ths-inch rope is what I use
I find rope to be easiest to work with. Even fairly cheap rope will have plenty of strength and low stretch for this application. I think you’d want all your tie-downs to have the kind of shock-load capability that ensures your boat stays on the car even during worst-case situations. That’s my thought anyway, and rope has a lot more reserve capacity than para-cord. Less special effort is needed in making adjustable anchorage knots that will not slip, also.

I agree that “convenience hardware” like hooks is for the birds.

Scratch paracord off you possible list.

It was never intended to be used to tie down canoes on top of vehicles.

Breaking strength is lacking, and tying knots in it will further weaken it.

Have you ever stress loaded paracord?

A piece of paracord tied to a canoe, and through a loop under your vehicle’s hood will most certainly be stress loaded with a 50 to 70 lb canoe; especially when it’s doing 60 to 70 mph down 100 miles or more of interstate highway.

Huge waste of time trying to untie knots out of paracord after you stress load it. May not have to worry about it; it might just snap from the stress.

Or cut it with a knife to get it loose?

I wouldn’t drive to town (12 miles for me) with a boat tied down with paracord painters.