Carrying canoe on Subaru Outback

Yakima requires that you attach front of canoe to front of vehicle. I have a Yakima rack with the gunwale canoe brackets. I can attach the rear of the canoe to the trailer hitch no problem, but if I run the rope from the front of the canoe down to the two attachment points under the bumper, the rope will rub on the painted bumper and hood, and I have experience with that taking the paint off other vehicles. So how do you all get around this problem?

Come on Joe
If you want to use the name JoeWildlife you need to have some paint gone from your ride, no?

That is a joke. I feel you pain on the paint issue. When I hauled a canoe on my wifes van I used nylon webbing loops coming up from undter the hood.

You make loops from nylon webbing and tie a knot in one end. The knotted end goes under the hood and hopefully in a spot where it won’t slide back and forth. The other end of the loop sticks up from the side of the hood a few inces. Then you tie off your bow lines to the loops. Be careful you don’t mess up your hood. This worked fine on a Honda Odessy.

Simple solution Joe…
Don’t use them.



Hey, Joe!

– Last Updated: Sep-05-09 2:45 PM EST –

I'll send you a pic, easy fix. Like Rob (Osprey) said; under every car's hood there is a place to put a bolt or two off to the side. Bolt a nylon loop on each side. I made my own with a grommet kit, but you can buy them commercially at Rutabaga online too. About $6-8 bucks I believe. They just tuck in out of sight when not in use. WW

Here yer go…

– Last Updated: Sep-05-09 1:48 PM EST –

Fat Elmo

thanks for the idea
I knew it couldn’t be that difficult…

joe is a wildlife biologist…not a lifestyle! LOL.

see ya on the river


Good Pics FE
Joe, I’ll make you a pair this weekend if you like. Was thinking about making a new pair for myself. You need to come to the Ozark Rendezvous for a few days this year. Check the threads out in the “Getting together and going paddling” section. Take care. WW

Carried canoes on an Outback for 11
years, using roped down from the bow of the canoe to the tow rings, and the wear on the bumper paint was trivial. Trivial.

pipe insulation…
works well too. Simply slip a couple of 12 inch lengths down the line and place it one the areas of the hood and bumper that the rope rubs the paint.

Not using bow and stern lines should not be an option, not only are you and the vehicles around you safer while traveling down the road, but the major rack companies will not cover any rack failure as warranty if you do not use bow and stern lines. How they would know alludes me, but its the case nonetheless.

Cool, FatElmo,
the pictures were informative, and I also enjoyed “Andy S confesses.”

Same problem
I had the same problem on my Mercedes. Check this out for the answer.

little webbing loops bolted under the hood.

Dual web straps
Check the Placid boatworks website re fixing web loops around the radiator frame that can project above the hood.

The dual tabs are preferable to a single; the bow is stabilized and can’t yaw in the wind.

When I used to tie my canoe down to the front tow hooks on my suburban I would just put a couple layers of tape down on the hood where the strap would come in contact. When you done towing just peel the tape up and the paint looks brand new underneath.

Same as CEWilson
Two straps from the bumpers or frame area just under the hood, run a rope from one, thru the front of the canoe and to the other side. No problem, just did it.

Good luck with 2010 and up Outbacks though… the front straps are the easy part.

Use softer rope?

– Last Updated: Sep-08-09 10:38 AM EST –

I've been using rope that is "marketed" as marine rope - it's made from poly-something-er-other. It's braided (not a "twist" weave), white, and usually has a blue or red stripe woven into it. Most big-box stores carry the stuff.

Over the last 6 or 7 years, most of my summertime driving has been with either one or two boats on the roof, with two bow lines per boat wrapped tightly over the front edge of the hood and down to the tow hooks. After all this time, the only thing I need to do to erase the marks in the paint caused by the ropes is wash the car - in other words, there has never been any scuffing whatsoever. My car is a 1995 Chevy, but the paint on my old Subaru (1980) was even more scuff-resistant (of course, that doesn't mean the new Subarus don't have poor-quality paint, and I wouldn't know the answer to that).

Whatever you do, don't use straps for bow tie-downs. Straps will soon scuff ANY surface really badly. If you are using straps, learn how to tie basic knots and switch to ropes.