How to haul on a Honda

I have read several questions and responses about transporting a yak. I’m looking for a method that truly may not exist. Issue number one: The safety of others. I can’t stand the thought of motoring down the interstate and the yak flying off the top of my car and causing an accident. Second issue: I’m a loyal Honda Accord sedan driver. I really want to avoid an aftermarket rack if possible. I’ve actually purchased a foam block kit but am antsy about its ability to hold a yak at 70 mph. I’ve got a big time itch to get into this sport if I can only figure out the transport issue. I’m turning to the experts for some guidance. I would gratefully appreciate your thoughts and ideas. Many thanks.

We’ve had three Accords, each carefully
equipped with a Yakima tower rack system. We’ve had no issues with boats coming loose or with racks coming loose.

I’ve used foam block systems, for temporary carrying of a boat when I had no rack on the car. I don’t trust them.

There’s a reason for aftermarket rack systems. They do the job. Accords aren’t cheap, and racks for them aren’t either, but then, we plan to use each Accord for over ten years and over 200k miles. That’s plenty of time to amortize the cost of the rack.

Get rid of those foam blocks and…
get a good Yakima, Thule, or Malone after market rack, and use double looped camlock buckle straps.

It is as simple as that.

Jack L

I have a Civic Coupe and will soon be investing in an after-market rack. I just don’t see any other option. Just comes with the turf :slight_smile:

fear not

– Last Updated: May-22-14 7:17 PM EST –

When you said "something that may not exist" I thought, "I've got it. Drones!"

But seriously, just make sure you follow the installation instructions on the product. The towers take some torquing down to get the lock to fully engage. I've owned thule and yakima racks for fifteen years and not once has a tower gotten loose, let alone actually let go. I check them when I load my boat but I've never had to tighten anything.

If it makes you feel better, there is a thule kit you can bolt to your car's roof structure. But it always makes me wince because I don't think that's necessary.

Thanks very much for the suggestions. I really appreciate the help.

bow tie downs
On virtually every vehicle, you can pop the hood, and attach a short loop of strap to a fender bolt. When not used, just flip it under the hood. When you need them, open the hood, flip them out, and close the hood. I good bow tie down will prevent virtually any chance of a “fly off”. Done this way, if for some reason a bow line came off, it is way above the tires and there is no chance of it getting under a tire and destroying the boat and car. I will never, ever, attach a bow line to a low spot on the car such as the front bumper or front tow hooks or factory tie down points.


Uh, are you imagining a rope tragedy,
or have you really heard of one? I ran over one rope in my canoe carrying career, which began in 1973. As newsletter editor of a very large club, I never heard a report of a rope winding around a front axle.

Some of us have the brains to use the tow hooks carefully and effectively. I’m sure you could manage to do it, too.

sorry, I’m with ezwater
I can imagine the rope under the hood getting stressed by a rack or strap failure, and the stress on that rope pulling the hood open. Ever try to drive at highway speeds with your hood open? It’s not easy.

We have done that for years
On the bumpers for the hood, multiple cars, never had any sign of stress on the hood latch. No change in tension for the hood being secure on any of the cars.

This includes 8 hour drives at mostly highways speeds, at least twice a year, and we are talking station wagons. Not heavy duty vehicles.

We have been behind cars and saw long straps being blown in the wind alongside wheel wells, had a close call ourselves for the brief time we tried doing that. The problem is not really that you can’t make it secure with the right kind of attentiveness, but the risks if the human being is having a bad day or is more tired than they realize at the end of the paddle. Half a boat could be bouncing along the highway for half the length of a football field before you actually get the car stopped.

I think it is great that it works well for so many people to use the hooks into whatever they can find lower down, but personally I don’t trust myself to always be on top of that.

Paracord is what I use,
after trying several other methods.

I make a loop with a bowline at one end of the paracord, and thread that through the grab handle of my kayak and pull it down to just above the hood. The other end of the really long piece of paracord, I put through the tow thing under the front of the car, then bring it back through the bowline loop and tie it.

If the paracord ever broke, it would no longer be attached to anything, so running over it wouldn’t be a problem.

And with the knots in plain sight just over the hood, I can see they are secure.

Works for me.

my bad speculation

– Last Updated: May-23-14 1:12 PM EST –

The hood latch would also have to be triggered for the hood to pop up. I didn't think of that.

To me it comes down to diligence. If you're like me, when you saw that loose strap it probably put a scare into you and you instinctively checked your setup at some point. But I do see your point regarding how a loooong day can impair diligence.

reason for racks is you’re addicted to gadgets, ‘engineered designs’ that is lacking ingenuity, and can’t tie a knot.

overstating JUST a BIT
I just remembered - you’re the “paddle float for everything” guy. So - nevermind.

datakoll, try thinking first.
It helps your utterances make sense.


Foam blocks prevent the roof from damaging the hull, no design intention as stock for holding boat onto the roof.

Two angled ropes, angled from centerline and midline, bow and stern are sufficient to position the hull at highway speeds. But 2 cords running starboard and port to the roof maybe before or aft the foam blocks or hull bulkheads add wiggleproofness.

But on shorter and shorter rooflines with reasonable curvature, foam blocks for hulls much longer than the roof lengths may be less effective than the clamp hull to metal rack.

When all the tie down angles and lengths begin narrowing to a level of acuteness due to very shortroof lines then stability suffers.

For short hauls at speeds under 60 mph with 6 lines to a hull on foam, that is sufficient.

For cross country interstate with a 17’6" hull on a Civic maybe expensive rack money is well spent.

No. I’m not telling any shuttle stories.

Warm it up, Lolita !


– Last Updated: May-24-14 12:35 PM EST –

My locations year around are in rack country. When unavoidable, a drive thru Oregon the state where racks are standard....for hauling non sports, cows beer stolen firewood, and sports equipment.

Looking over rack owners, I would believe 90% cannot drill a hole or tie a knot. This is an unfair judgment of course but one worthy of practice. Try it.

The overview that most kayakers bought rack$ in no way supports your rack purchase.

You don’t know what we mean by “rack”
do you? We mean the towers and crossbars to which many things can be attached with nothing but rope.

I had to make my own racks in '73, and I used nothing but rope to attach boats until Yakima started offering hardware to improve things. Kayak cradles were far more secure than just roping kayaks down on wooden crossbars. Yakima gunnel brackets are way superior to anything I, or you, can improvise by hand.

I have no idea what you’re doing with rope, but if you don’t think your posts through before submitting them, you may hang yourself.

What we have here is…
…a failure to communicate.

more foam
Foam ? From Florida to San Juan County Park, foam blocks are rarely seen if at all.

The DIY full platform air foiled tunnel flow ‘rack’ atop my van is on Quick n Easy supports from NRS. Rarely seen.

Kayaks are carried on Yakima, Thule, ?? racks.

A virus ? regional lemmingosis ?

There is a cost differential…blocks cost $30.

My analysis is missing counts on OEM roof racks with aftermarket kayak support mechanisms added on. Memory sez that may be 50 OEM/50 not OEM racks.

I could use a loader but lack the time. Loading the evening before then mechanically sliding the loaded yak of the roof would give the day an extra 1.5 hours.

Two roof top skiff loaders showed at Squaw Lake on the Colorado. Interesting to watch, push button, smooth, effortless for human and machine. Owners cited tax/fees and storage benefits for ownership.