How often do you use bow/stern lines?

Good points.

I wouldn’t go highway speeds without them, but I may begin using them on local drives. I need to install a couple anchor points to make it easier as my Flex has no tow hooks

Agree with not using open hooks on the bow and stern lines. A lot of rack manufacturers supply their rack components with these. Especially with a long boat they can bounce free. Can be catastrophic on a long front tiedown or even a rear one if backing.

I use a heavy bench vice to close them into loops and then use a large carabiner or swivel snap hooks.

Another option is either of these:


I’m going to use a pair of these attached to some inner fender bolts. They’ll flip in when not in use and it will be one less thing to keep track of

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I always use bow and stern lines. It don’t make no nevermind to me how far or how fast. Belt and suspenders for this kid.

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Depends on the boat and distance.

Canoes I always use Bow lines because in a cross wind the side area of a canoe is very high and easily affected by the wind, even with gunwale brackets.

With my surfski I rarely use bow or stern straps. Only if I’m traveling more than a couple hours 1 way. Mostly because I carry by boat upside down and backwards on a custom 8’ bar. The upside down/backwards config turns the nose into a weather vane that pulls the boat straight. The low profile stern (facing forward) has no cross section to attract the wind.
Yes im sure the rack could fail yada yada, but have never felt uncomfortable with my ski on the roof.

The canoe was sketchy feeling in strong cross winds even with bow straps

We use both bow and stern lines, and have boats strapped to our canoe rack with 2 straps for each boat.
Never had “any problem whatsoever” with that set up.

My wife and I can load, secure 2 straps on each boat, secure bow and stern lines on both boats, and be ready to hit the road in about 15 minutes. We are never in a hurry to get anyplace 15 minutes earlier than we do.

See no need to change a winning system.
I have seen so many half assed systems that people use; I refuse to follow closely behind anyone carrying canoes or kayaks. Most people are in too big of a hurry, lazy, or don’t know any better.

Use whatever suits you; I don’t care.
Some systems I’ve seen I think to myself;I sure hope they have good insurance.


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They’re very similar to the Thule ones I use.

And the Thule QuickDraw lines (thank you @Rookie for reminding me of the correct name!) makes attaching them very easy.

I guess my wife and I just have all this down after loading and unloading our kayaks this way over so many trips.

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So after paddling for hours I don’t think it is to much to ask myself to spend literally 5-6 minutes to place bow and stern lines for the safety of others and my kayak all the time.

My Yakima racks are attached with 4 small bolts into plastic mounts. I am sure they do their calculations but I’ll take the extra precautions.

I have trucked enough heavy equipment, masonry scaffolding, and masonry materials to be familiar with Murphy’s Law.

My friend ran over a front bow strap’s excess line. Needless to say that was the end of a 17’ eddyline raven. Bent the bow down and destroyed the kayak. Make sure you lines are secure.


When I car topped our Loon 100 and Loon 138 I only needed bow and stern straps for the longer 138 but not for the 10 foot yak. Both were strapped upside down with the cockpits resting on the cross bars. When I had them strapped down neither one moved at all.

Glad that you have a setup that works for you. The guilt trip/lecture isn’t necessary.

Not sure what you are trying to show with the screenshot. A canoe would be far from the equivalent of a passenger not wearing a seat belt.

Whether it is rooftop, in my trailers or the bed of a truck, I am very careful about ensuring loads are properly secured

Your ask for opinions to bad if you don’t like them. Just like when you were looking for you Yakima parts you couldn’t find. Yes they were in italy on eBay but if you really need something it’s was a option. Your were nasty then so I am not surprised now.

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This is awesome. Wondering if you would bring that up.

Thanks for sharing your opinion on this. Glad to have you in the discussion

So you’re asking the question here now because?

Anything that stops suddenly has G Force strapped or not.

Curious, why did you use the lines on the larger canoe but not the smaller?

Thanks, I’ll take a look. I would want something that doesn’t require knots and won’t make noise. Are yours quiet?

Both were strapped individually onto the load bars with cam straps. The 10 foot was rock solid but the long one seemed liked it wanted to move sideways strapped down so I added the bow and stern straps to the 138. I used Saris load bars with hook eyes added to the center to connect the cam straps. The cam straps were quiet but added rubber kit for the slots in the load bars to get rid of wind noise.

Gunwales straight on the crossbars?

I use Yakima Keel over brackets which make the boats absolutely rock solid. No sliding at all

To clarify, my use of bow lines has nothing to do with concerns about my rack system itself, or my boat straps per se. Using double the number of the latter that most do it’d take pretty catastrophic failure. I replace components in my racks sooner rather than later.

It is because should ANYTHING unexpected occur, I will see it show in the bow lines thus have a chance to pull the car over.

There is no 100% guarantee against unexpected. All you can do is reduce the percentages.


I really don’t notice any significant noise with those bow and stern lines.

There again, I have two Thule Hullavators on the roof of my Santa Fe, and while there is noise - and drag - from them I don’t really find it annoying even at highway speeds and I’ve driven the SUV from South Carolina to Nova Scotia a few times.

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