How to transport canoe on car

We just got a VW Jetta station wagon and it seems like a great car for road trips to all kinds of places. BUT we can’t figure out how to tie the bowline for transporting our canoe. Unlike my truck that has big eyelets under the bumper to tie a rope, the vw has none and I can’t find any solid attachment points.

Any other ideas (short of buying a trailer)?

For the bow–pop the front hood and tie a loop of line to the hatch lock loop. Let that stick out when you close the hood. Tie the bow line to that loop.

other suggestions

Some tips here and pictures are included

hide-away webbing loops
I often see people with smaller cars who have webbing attachments installed somewhere along the edges underneath the hood. Out of sight when you don’t need them, but ready to go when you’ve got your boat, and with no rolling around in the dirt.

Sorry I can’t remember where I’ve seen them described or what they’re typically attached to, but somebody should be able to fill you in.


Hideaway how-to
Open your hood, look for a row of bolts attaching the fender to the vehicle body. Choose one closest to where a loop would work best, and remove it. Notice the nice sharp point? Clamp the head of the bolt in a vise, pointy end up. Take a length of webbing, typically 8-10" long (enough to stick up when the hood is closed and allow you to hook your straps onto)and double it over. Heat the vise-bound bolt with a propane torch, then push the doubled over webbing onto it, near the open end. Careful, melted nylon stings. Let the bolt cool, and reinstall it along with your loop. Usually the fender bolt has an extra large washer built in, but if not, use one to spread the strain on the loop.

And a pic
Sorry, doesn’t show much detail. The loops tuck under the hood when not in use:

Great pic
Shows a smart way to do this. Thanks!

Does the web type straps vibrate or thrum while driving?

getting rid of the hum
if you put a single twist in the webbing it will help get rid of the humming.

thanks for your ideas everybody. It never occured to me to check under the hood rather than under the car itself.

Tiedown Straps, Paje Products
Such straps can be purchased at a variety of paddling retailers, such as Rutabaga:

I just saw these straps at Canoecopia this past weekend and they seem very well made. Small Mom-n-Pop operation.