cheaper alternative to Gunwale Brackets

-- Last Updated: Mar-27-13 12:06 PM EST --

I was going to post this as a reply to another post but thought it may get lost there.

On Yakima racks, I use these as "load stops" for my boats. They are cheaper than the Gunwale Brackets but not padded. The gunnels still sit on the bar. All you do is rotate them on the bar so that the widest part protrudes above the bar and acts as a stop on the gunnels (a picture of them is on the link below).

I usually just use two of them (one on each bar) on the inside gunnel. They pretty much stay in the same place all the time as stops. It helps you load the boat quickly and consistently every time. The strap goes around the bar on outside of the stop. If you think about it, the boat can't move laterally in the one direction because it hits the stop. Nor can it move laterally in the other direction because the strap (looped around the bar on the far side of the stop) can not move in that direction.

For highly tumblehomed boats (Solo Plus as an example), I use four of these to keep the boat locked in place. If you've never had a boat with a lot of tumblehome, you may not realize the transport implications. Basically, the straps are kept away from the gunnels, allowing the boat to move considerably side to side. But, with four of these (for about ten bucks), the problem is cheaply and easily solved.

Here are the handles for the nuts

Comments and just one nit-pick
You say “the boat can’t move laterally in the one direction because it hits the stop. Nor can it move laterally in the other direction because the strap (looped around the bar on the far side of the stop) can not move in that direction”. If the boat can’t move toward one side due to the strap being attached to the bar, wouldn’t that be true for the other side as well, since the strap attaches to the bar on both sides of the boat, not just one?

I’m not questioning the effectiveness of gunwale stops, just your explanation of the situation.

In my experience, no practical amount of tightening of the main tie-downs will stop the boat from slipping back and forth a little in crosswinds or when encountering trailer-truck turbulence (though I don’t cinch them down with the crushing force that some folks prefer), and eventually I’ll build some gunwale stops of my own. In the mean time, I use two extra ropes looped around the hull to accomplish the same thing. They are really only needed on the front bar, but in extreme windy conditions I’ll put a pair of these on the rear bar too. That method works just fine when carrying one boat, but is harder to do when carrying a pair of boats.

Ok, here’s a half arsed drawing of it

– Last Updated: Jul-09-07 4:03 PM EST –

This is only showing a single stop on each bar. But, highly tumblehomed boats get a stop against each gunnel.

cheaper alternative
dont like it at all…on logging roads where your car jumps around alot.

I have had the gunwale brackets for a very long time(egad its been over ten years. and they work just fine for solo boats with lots of tumblehome.

On a trailer I have tried cheaper combos as I have lots of attatchment parts for yak stuff and not enough gunwale brackets…but the jump around (sometimes the trailer really flies) makes the height of gunwale brackets a real plus.

Depends on where you go…the most important thing is the rope/strap be tight against the boat even around the bar.

don’t take this pic at face value

– Last Updated: Jul-09-07 4:39 PM EST –

You have to rotate the stop 45 to 90 degrees before tightening. When you do that, there is 3/4 inch stop above the bar.

If the boat jumps anywhere close to 3/4 of an inch, I'd check the strap tension first and my speed second.

I have no doubt that Gunwale Brackets are better than my approach since they provide padding. I'm just suggesting this as a cheaper approach, especially for those with plastic gunnels that don't need padding.

If you are using Yakima stuff, you stopped caring about cheap when you bought the first tower. After $500 or so for the racks, clips, bars, etc, do you really care about a few dollars for stops?

Sorry, Clarion, I’m not disagreeing with you. It’s just that I swore off Yakima because they are a little too good at engineering obsolence. They made a good product, and then they figured out they couldn’t sell new stuff if we just keep moving the racks from car to car. So they started “innovating.” But is a Q tower any better than an SST or X tower? I don’t think so. And can you interchange clips from tower to tower. Oh no, the improvements are so great, the clips are all incompatible.

I just realized this is not about your post at all. You got me started on a yakima rant!!

The cheapest and most effective stops are a few windings of rope around a 2x4.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills MD, former Yakima user.

yea, I agree with all that
I got a deal of my Yakima stuff used. So, I guess that still makes me cheap. And, maybe even cheaper than you since on my previous “rack” set-up, I only used yellow pine 2x2’s. ":stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Home brew gunwale blocks

– Last Updated: Jul-09-07 7:55 PM EST –

Here's mine. Made of ash left over from making a kneeling thwart. Positioned to fit inside of the gunwales as noted in another post. If positioned to fit outside they should be turned around so the base (below the bars) resists tipping in the other direction. Fit on Volvo/Thule square bars. Could be made to fit a round bar as well.

Nominal 1x3 ash, #10 screws through the base. Height above the bars is 1.25 in.

I want to defend Yakima.

Everything they have done is an improvement. The Q-towers fit many more vehicles than the SST. Thule’s 400XT aero foot tower is similar to the old SST and a major pain to use. Yakima has a better solution. The X-Towers were horrible to adjust and looked bad. The Lowrider MAX is again a much better solution. You are paying for ease of use and relatively good looks (compared to 2x4s).

Complain about compatibility? How many perfectly good steering wheels have you sold with vehicles? Buy one at the dealership and after you are done with the airbag, cruise, and possibly audio controls you’ve just forked out over a $1000. Yakima base rack Q-tower setup at $260 seems cheep.

I’ve certainly seen a fair number of people using Universal Snap Arounds as load stops. All my boats have aluminum or wood gunwales so I will always opt for padded gunwale brackets but it is a cheap solution. The cost is actually $12 retail for the snap arounds, bolts, and hex keys.

On one of our Yakima setups, I use
little hose clamps to locate the boat on the bar. The screw adjustment portion is on top against the gunwale. When the boat is roped down, it doesn’t move laterally. Obviously the hose clamps are a lot more aerodynamic than the Yakima gunwale clamps we use on the other car.

Incidentally, we had serious compatibility problems between the Yakima fairing clamps and the Yakima gunwale clamps on our Accord. It was so much of a problem that I ditched the fairing and went back to using Windjammers to lick the noise problem. Personally, I suspect that with a canoe on board, the wind resistance may be less with the Windjammers than with the fairing, because the fairing shoots the air up inside the boat against the minicell saddles, etc.