Bow & Stern tie-downs

Okay, so I want to put in a plug for a couple of products I got to tie down the bow and stern of my kayak. In the good old days, I just used rope tied to the towing loops under the chassis of any car.

Now that I am get older, I don’t want to be wriggling around on the asphalt under the car each time, nor fussing with rope any more than I need to, given my pitiful knot-tying abilities, and am looking for things to make life easier.

I got a couple of pairs of these Thule “Quick Loops”, which are nylon loops fixed to what looks like reinforced rubber hose. You just position the hose inside the edge of the hood or trunk opening with the loops facing out and close the lid on them. Voila! Instant handy anchor points and no gravel to be dug out of my back.

Then to fix the kayak bow & stern to the loops I got a couple of these XRT rope lock tie downs. It’s basically a nylon pulley block with a ratcheting pulley. There are two vinyl-covered steel hooks, one fixed to the pulley block, and the other tied to the rope. These too were a winner, a quick, no-fuss, no-muss way to tie the bow and stern down to my newfangled quick loops.

Cheapo version

– Last Updated: Jun-04-15 6:16 PM EST –


for a thousand years
sailors are using ropes…now here’s a fragmented sentence…now here’s a paddler using rubber hoses.

Where is this “nylon pulley block with a ratcheting pulley” thingee ??


– Last Updated: Jun-04-15 8:46 PM EST –

...for a thousand years, kayakers covered their boats in seal skins.

I do prefer the Thule "Hood Loop Straps" though where the strap has a metal grommet that can be securely bolted Inside the engine compartment, rather than just relying on the piece of rubber hose being held by the closed hood.

oh Brady
that’s caws they didnah have any hoses.

Anyway, have you tried eating a radiator ?


Referenced thingies
No thingies were harmed in writing this post.

Ratcheting block pulley thingie:

Hose/strap thingie:

Vivva la Truckers Hitch

I thought about buying…
the radiator hose thingies, but opted instead just to tie loops of heavy nylon rope to part of the chassis near the hinges of the hood, so that they could be tucked under the hood but stuck out in front of the windshield a couple inches when deployed. Then I just use ropes tied to them, using a trucker’s hitch to tighten the ropes. I had some of the ratchet thingies, but never felt as much confidence in them as a do the trucker’s hitch.

On the rear of my Highlander SUV, I simply tie the rope to the trailer hitch receiver.

nice ratchet

wonder if the ratchet is doable on a spray skirt shock cord ?

Using a rope, you tie a knot you know and can see: a loop round fixed point then 2 half hitches.

Yes, miss-tying the hitches is possible but hard not to notice that is the result: 1-100.

But using a hiding mechanism…you cannot see if the mechanism is prone to or in the action of malfunction.

a strap and hose
costs $20 ?


I surprised they only cost $20.00.

Another option

– Last Updated: Jun-06-15 2:27 PM EST –

I attach cam straps to the bow and stern carry handles with a large carabiner clip and leave them there all season. That way you don't have to hunt for your straps and attach and remove them each time you paddle. While I'm paddling I tuck the straps under the deck bungees. If you're worried about any metal parts of the cam buckle scratching your kayak, thread the cam strap through a piece of closed-cell foam for protection.

The end of the strap has a hook that I attach to a hood loop in the front and an eyebolt (Walmart under the rear bumper. No need to crawl under the car---the hook on the cam strap attaches easily to the tow eye. I leave the hood loop attached all season.

Now if I could only figure out a way to simplify attaching the two center straps.

for a thousand years
people died of polio and smallpox.

well done.

– Last Updated: Jun-05-15 10:30 AM EST –

the response, not the radiatori. I'm sure you make a fine al dente radiatori.

a question
I wonder if the opening between the hood and bumper is tight enough to hold that little bar if the canoe wants to come off the roof during an emergency stop.

This is probably also a good question for anyone tying bow and stern lines off to random and uninvestigated locations, such as the plastic grille.

Some good ideas here!
I do think the Thule Quick Loops would hold, and the bow and stern lines are not the primary lines securing the boat, but I also think straps bolted down under the hood are a better option.

And it would be great if a simple eye bolt could be attached handily under a rear bumper but many modern cars have at least a foot of plastic before you get to anything you can secure something to. Certainly in the case of my Santa Fe, the closest secure attachment point is at least 2’ under the rear of the car.

I really don’t think this hose can be pulled through an opening of a few millimeters, or the strap can break, based on the deceleration of the car braking - maybe if you drive off a bridge or hit an oak tree head-on, but then you have other problems than your canoe/kayak getting damaged. I may in fact get a sturdier 1/4in rope for that ratchet - the supplied one is only rated to 150lb, but the straps look plenty good to me.

Ease of use
Yep, I forked over the big bucks for these loops. Like I said, my goal is to make my life easier, and my wallet will recover in time. Compared to the violence it suffered from the boat, rack and paddle outlays - the wallet is currently in therapy for PKSD (Post Kayak Stress Disorder) - I don’t think it’s noticing the pain of the tie-down loops too much.

I’d be a bit afraid…
of the opening between hood and fender widening enough to let the hose through it…the sheet metail is not all that rigid. Probably not a problem, but I prefer actual knots to something solid.