end tie-down ? for long glass boat

I’ve been hauling canoes and short, plastic yaks for decades: webbing straps with trucker’s hitches on the load bars, end lines through the handles or grab loops to bumper tie-downs. Has never been a problem…

I recently bought a used 18’ FG sea kayak and needed to bring it home from NC to MD (Jetta sportwagen). The previous owner suggested webbing loops around the hull inside the ends of the deck lines (about 30" from each end) as connection points for the lines to the bumpers rather than using the grab loops. This made sense, since those points are close to the bulkheads and prevent some bending of the ends toward the bumper. The small surface area of the 30" cantilevered ends wasn’t enough to cause side-to-side movement on the way home.

Other than stress on the deck line hold-down fittings, is there any reason to not continue to use this method for end tie-downs for a long FG kayak? (Yes, the end tie-downs are in addition to straps at the load bars.)

The glass structure of the boat prevents
it from getting distorted the way poly kayaks can. But one has to evaluate the attachment of grab loops or toggles on a case-by-case basis. My ww kayaks have grab loops designed for high force rescue efforts. My slalom c-1 has grab loops designed to just barely get by race inspection. My Necky poly touring kayak has toggle handles merely screwed into the hull. For the latter two cases, I would not just attach end ropes to the handles.

How about security bars?
My first question is how these webbing loops are installed so that they don’t slide off.

Second, I would think you would want the bow and stern ties to actually be as close to the ends as possible.

How about installing security bars, since they have double utility for tying the bow and stern plus a padlocked cable for security?

I’d use the grab loops
Presuming they’re in good shape. I’ve used mine for years and years.

If a deck fitting fails, you get to fix it. Might not be fun.

what model boat is it?
I have an 18’3" boat I carry ad well as a 19’ surf ski.

Probably fine
but why not as far towards the ends as possible?

I tie my bow and stern lines under the deck rigging lines at the very front and rear.

Being under the deck lines prevents the tie from moving off the end of the boat, and the hull taper prevents moving towards the cockpit.

But my deck lines run all the way to the front.

Bow and Stern Line do several things -

– Last Updated: Jul-17-13 5:44 PM EST –

they hold the boat to the vehicle if the rack pulls loose from the vehicle, they can help minimize side to side movement in some situations, and they also can help prevent forward sliding of the hull on the rack with braking and rearward movement from the wind. If the ends of the hull are extending beyond the ends of the vehicle you are using I think it is a good idea to attach the lines along the hull instead of at the very ends because that placement will accomplish all three goals. The best rig I have used for a long kayak is a pick up truck with a rack in the rear of bed and a rack on the roof near the windshield. This gives a very secure rack and eliminates side to side and front and back movement. In that situation the end lines really only serve to hold the boat to the vehicle if the rack to vehicle attachments fail. A single relaxed line is all you need. Other vehicles raise different issues. So you have to adapt to your particular situation.

1st, my thanks for all responses. 2nd a few answers: The boat is a FG Necky Chatham. I used 1" webbing slings and a simple girth hitch to “attach” the end tie-downs around the boat. As someone mentioned, I ran the slings under the deck rigging so those fittings kept the slings from sliding further toward the ends. Yes, it could be an issue if those fitting pulled loose or broke.

For me, it’s personal judgement and “feel” for how tight end tie-downs should be. On a canoe or plastic yak, I like those lines pretty tight, not enough to bend the boat, but tight. My concern is that by putting the end tie-downs at the ends of a glass boat that overhangs the load bars about 7’ (18’ boat - 4’ space between bars on a Jetta wagon) over-tightening the end lines can easily bend that 7’ of cantilever, damaging the glass, especially as the hull get narrower in x-section toward the ends. The main reason I like the idea of moving the end lines “centerward” is that it cuts the cantilevered arm in half and locates the “pull” where the boat is larger in x-section and strengthened by the bulkheads.

I’m not really worried about the grab looks coming off, I’m worried about hearing that dreaded crack of glass!

Thanks again for the replies!

don’t worry about bending
Fiberglass can sustain huge bending without damage.

Think tent poles, fishing rods, aircraft.