This may be quite unorthodox, but I have gotten back into kayaking and own a 2002 Firebird. I purchased a used Yakima Q Tower system and because of the shape of the frame the front roof rack slides backwards a bit easier than I like. It does take a little force but I don’t like taking chances. Are there any kind of bars I could use to attach the front and back bars together so that it cant slide at all? One other question, I normally lay my kayak across the bars and use a bow and stern line along with 2 across the mid section, but carrying two kayaks I have the option of using two sets of saddles or two J cradles. The J cradles don’t give me much options for tying down bow and stern without awkward pulling on the front and rear carry handles. The angle of my car puts the front of my kayak lower than the rear. Is there a better way to carry a kayak between cockpit up or down?
bow and stern lines are safety lines
to keep your boat damaging your car and not others in case of rack failure. And with the sliding, you are well on your way to that. Get the stretch kit pronto. It worked well on my two two door Accord coupes.
Bow and stern lines should not torque the boat and need not be taut.
The Yakima Q-bars on both our Honda
Accords are solidly connected. I used Stacker uprights, turned toward and next to one another and locked together with stainless hose clamps. You can use a Yakima bicycle trough, or there may be other ways of connecting your front and rear bars.
I don’t like hearing that your front bar/tower assembly can be shifted. You should go over the Yakima instructions and try to set the dimensions and clip grip again. I have not had towers that slipped just from my pulling on them.
When you tie your boat on properly, it also serves to tie the bars and towers together. End ropes are important, though misplacement of end ropes can tend to pull the boat back, or forward. Good cradles for a kayak, or good gunwale clips for a canoe, help keep ropes from having to do too much.
Roof Rack bars
I appreciate the responses, I took them off and remeasured and put them back on, they are now much harder to slide, but it can be done. The distance between roof and doorjam gets smaller as it goes back so it creates a path of less resistance. I’ll be checking into a stretch kit and stacker bars, if i dont sell the car for something more kayak worthy soon. Thanks
Front and Rear Tie-Downs
You can always tie the front and rear of a kayak without resorting to attaching lines to the carry handles. Simply rig a "lasso" knotted with two-half hitches, and loop that around the coaming. Then, run the trailing end of the rope out the length of the boat and tie a harness type of hitch around the boat, then run the remainder to the anchor point on the car. Alternatively, tie another two half-hitches on that rope near the end of the boat, and attach another line to that loop, connecting that loop to the car.
With this method you can put the tie-down point anywhere along the length of the hull that you choose. It works best for the front tie-down, because the forward angle of the rope going to the anchor point on the car helps keep the connection between the hull harness hitch (or loop) and the coaming loop tight. For the rear tie-down, you are much better off positioning the hull loop close enough to the coaming so that the rope going to the anchor point also keeps everything tight, rather than at or near the end of the boat, a method which might tend to pull the hull connection toward the coaming and loosen things. You can even route the rear tie-down line directly from the coaming loop to the anchor point on the car. Arranging the rear tie-down so that, from its connection to the boat, it goes rearward on its way to the back of the car (rather than forward on its way to the back of the car as most people do) serves the additional purpose of putting the front and rear tie-downs in opposition, which prevents any chance that they can loosen, meaning that they will actually function to keep the boats on the roof in the event of rack failure. Few people consider that detail, but in your case (with a rack that might slip) it's certainly worth attending to such things.