Bow/stern lines with ladder rack

I’ve got a crew cab pickup with a ladder rack, and while I’ve read many threads about bow and stern lines, I’m having a hard time figuring out how to place them for my setup.

The ladder rack has cross bars 6 feet apart, and my kayaks are 10 feet long. Bow and stern straps likely wouldn’t help much there, but what about if I carry my friend’s 14 footer? On the front, the boat will just barely reach the windshield, and in the back it’s going to hang over 4 feet.

Is there any way to get both bow and stern tie-downs pulling inward? Where could I attach the lines in the front?

If the rack is firm, you can use snub
lines to achieve fore/aft control, and while lines down to the bumper are still desirable, their angle will no longer matter.

I used that system to tie canoes and kayaks onto my Subaru Outback. The racks were absolutely firm, so snub lines from the ends of the boats to the rack were effective.

with that spread
You will be fine.

I have the same set up and don’t bow or stearn line my 17’ boat very often. And if I do I just put a bow line on to help control shifting at highway speeds.

For saftey, another line over the boat anchored to those bed hooks in every truck is all I do. That way if my saddles break, the boat is being held down against the rack. If you wrap the boat with the line once, it would really help keep the boat down until you could stop.

Ryan L

Pulling “inward” versus “outward”

– Last Updated: Aug-20-12 1:56 PM EST –

I assume when you say you want the lines to pull "inward", that means you want the forward lines to prevent the boat from moving forward and the rear lines to prevent it from shifting backward. If that is your goal (good for you for addressing an issue that most people ignore), g2d's method would work, but it can also be done by reversing the role of the bow and stern lines, so that both sets of lines pull "outward". Run the bow lines forward, either to loops of strapping attached to body bolts under the hood, or to someplace around the front bumper (maybe tow hooks, if you have them). Now, to get the rear lines to pull "outward" (to the rear, the opposite direction as the front lines), attach them NOT to the tail of the boat, but to some place a bit to the rear of the cockpit. A simple rope harness wrapped around the hull and anchored against rearward slippage by means of a loop that's cinched tight around the coaming will do the trick for attaching ropes to the boat at that location.

snub lines?
I tried figuring it out, but I couldn’t determine what “snub lines” are. Could you clarify? I can’t visualize what you’re suggesting.

single point of failure
Ok, that’s a good idea. My motivation for the bow/stern lines was to eliminate the single point of failure. Certainly on my 10 footers I haven’t had any problems with them wanting to turn or lift, since so little sticks out past the rack.

You’re right - I wanted to make sure the fore-aft forces balanced out. Maybe I can combine your suggestion with radiomix’s and attach from the center of the boat down to my stake pockets, therefore balancing the forces and providing the safety backup. Thanks for the suggestions!

horizontal lines from the boat ends back
to a “hard” point on the rack or on the roof rails.

good thinking
I’m pretty skeptical that bow and stern lines do much more than that anyway. Especially if there is sufficient spread.

Ryan L.

side-to-side control
Well, I can see, especially if your crossbars are 2 feet apart, it’d be pretty easy to push the bow of the boat crooked. On a trip last season, my friend’s boat shifted 10 degrees sideways when his j-cradle slipped on the bars. His bars were WAY close together. The ropes going slack let him know something was up.