Hi, I wasn’t able to find anything on the internet about this topic, so I thought I’d better ask before I did something stupid.
I have a roof rack where the bars are relatively close together (about 3 feet). With a 16ft canoe I worry about it flexing downward too much, especially on bumpy roads.
I was wondering if I could tie a non-stretch rope through a grab handle, then over the back/hull of canoe, through the other grab handle, and then back over the hull again, and tie it off.
Seems like this would prevent flexing, and I don’t see any downside…
Is this a bad idea?
I don’t see the point in doing it. Canoes are stronger than one may think and are subjected in use to forces far greater than they will see car topping.
Three foot between rails is what most of us do and the method to strap them to the rack with cam straps is to go under the cross bar over the inverted canoe with both ends of the strap and then under the bar on the other side. Repeat for both cross bars. When done looking from above you will see the straps 4 places. Then each end should be tied down to a tow hook or bumper or loops in the hood and tailgate/trunk lid. These connections are to prevent front to back movement and lifting by air flowing under the inverted canoe.
I look at it as belt and suspenders. The front and back straps are best is done double on each end to form a triangle. Two belts and two pair of suspenders. Although a single line front and back is what I do when hauling two boats at the same time.
Keeping speeds moderate is always advisable as much for driving the car with a sail on tops as for the boat. It would be rare to hear of a boat damaged from flexing on the car top. It is less rare of hearing of a boat damaged coming off the car during transport.
Welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the response, and for reassuring me that the canoe is stronger than I’m giving it credit for.
I have been tying down as you described. I previously transported a 12ft canoe with no worries, but the 16ft makes me nervous. I’ll keep my speeds down and gradually I should be able to trust it.
Nothing wrong in thinking about it. I wish more people would. When we pull our boats out there are normally a few others loading boats and the things I see make the hair on my neck stand out. I start to walk over and I feel a hand grab me and say Bud you are not the boat police let them do it their way.
The first time I had two boats loaded on our little Kia Soul I stood back and thought am I crazy. After a few times out I got more confidence in the process. Strap them down and check everything twice and you should be good.
I would be more concerned with it sliding side to side in the wind than it flexing up and down. If you have good bow and stern tie downs and the boat securely strapped to the bars, it should be fine.