Roof rack, ratchet straps, kayak & anxie

-- Last Updated: Aug-30-14 7:58 PM EST --

Total newb here: so I have a Honda Passport with roof racks and cross bars, kayak centered and unsure whether to wrap ratchet straps around the cross bars or not. I have RachetX SmartStraps and they are smarter than I.
Advice please. And photos would help.

Simple advice:
Ditch the ratchet straps and use cam-lock straps instead. Get versions with no hooks. This kind of strap has a buckle (cam lock) at one and and nothing at the other. The only way you can use it is to loop it around an attachment point on each side of the boat (that would be the cross bar), and thus make two passes of the strap over the hull.

Ratchet straps are unnecessarily cumbersome to work with, and are capable of easily creating tension that is far in excess of what you need (you can damage your boat with these if you over-tighten them). Almost all serious paddlers use cam-lock straps, and most of the ones who don’t use rope and a knot called a trucker’s hitch.

ditch the ratchet straps
Go with something like this

Do not by cheap CAM straps. Get good quality ones and your life will be easier.

Anxiety lessening…
Ok but do I go around the outside of roof racks with ratchet or cam straps or the hair I’ve pulled out of my head. That’s the real question.

For your reading pleasure.

cross bars
Your straps wrap under the cross bars, over the Kayak then under the opposite side cross bars, then over the kayak again, hooking on to the opposite end of the strap.

There are multiple you tube videos showing how to strap down your boats, I am however, to stupid to link them.

Once you see a video of it being done it is remarkably simple.

The main thing to remember is that ratchet straps can over tighten, and cause damage to a kayak. Cam straps are inexpensive, and easy to use.

Ratchet straps have no advantage over
intelligently placed and tightened polyester ropes.

Pleasure indeed
Like read instructions? As in when my computer crashes and the bf says “read the instructions!”???

Got it!

– Last Updated: Aug-30-14 8:54 PM EST –

Ok- I've got the yak loaded and secured with the dang ratchet straps. Guess I'll journey back to the store no where near H2O and buy some non-ratchety straps.
Thanks everyone 😊

Now I know why all the young thunder cats are saying things like “She’s so ratchet” and why sailors are legendary for their cursing

Using 1" wide heavy duty nylon strap with a spring latch buckle, loop the strap around the rack crossbar on one side of the kayak. Throw both ends over the boat and run the plain end under the crossbar on the other side of the kayak. Tug it to tighten the slack until the buckle is positioned at eye level or so against the side of the kayak. Thread the loose end through the spring buckle and pull it snug, testing the kayak by trying to wiggle it. Once the boat feels nice and firm in place, pull the remaining end of the strap down, away from the buckle and wrap it a few times around the cross bar then tie it off so it doesn’t flap around. Then tie off the bow and stern to your bumpers using nylon utility rope.

If you have an aftermarket roof rack that is connected to a factory rack, the straps should got around that as well as the added rack.

Another thing I would add is that you make a routine of loading and tying on your boat, the exact same steps each time so you don’t forget any part of the process and so it becomes automatic. Keep a small duffel bag in your car with all the straps, rope and a cable lock if you use one, so you always have them with you. Those small nylon “tool bags” from hardware stores are perfect for this. Invest in good straps, like the ones Thule makes – L.L. Bean sells similar ones. They are strong, have a rough surface that holds well and the buckles have a protective cover that keeps them from scratching the boat.

Making a routine of it

– Last Updated: Aug-30-14 9:15 PM EST –

Having a routine is a good idea, but inevitably there will sometimes be things that happen which break up your routine (like a friend who comes over to chat or to tell you it's time for a group photo while you are loading). Therefore, another good rule to have is to do a "walk-around" prior to getting in the car to drive. Do the walk-around no matter how sure you are that everything was properly secured (though I admit that I really only do it when in a group setting, which is when distractions are most likely). Do this long enough and there WILL be a day when your walk-around causes you to catch a mistake.

lean into it with
half your body weight ? Who wrote this State Farm ?


I’m a user of the complete loop method(s)

with a cam strap…Walmart is OK but not super-duper…NRS is super-duper and Seattle Fabrics DIY is tops: choose your colors.

The length of this method goes abt 20’ each strap.

Roll a complete loo around hull with each running end then going around crossbars then one side runs long, one side short.

Run the long side strap over the hull…this is the second over the hull…thru the cam end on the shrt side strap which shold now be directly in front of you abt " or so above the cross member.

This cam position depends on the hull curvature. The curvature or not aids snugging the strap thru the cam.

Having cammed the hull lightly I both loops, tie of the free end left over thru the cam, tie off on the cross bar with that bitter end running rearward.

Tie the bitter end down with a loop of electrical tape run over itself. E tape tapes to itself.

With 2 bow and 2 stern cords abt 1/8"…see Wal’s black carrier cords…you are ready for Bonneville.

I completely agree on the final walk around check which is part of my routine.ALWAYS. Another always is that I welcome other people helping me lift boats onto the car but I do ALL the strapping and rigging myself. Kinda fanatical, I know, but I have seen too many loose straps, mis-fed buckles and incorrectly tied bowlines. there are only a couple of people I trust to fasten boats to my car.

I’m a rope guy.
I don’t trust straps of any kind and don’t really want any of those metal gadgets around my boats. My advise is to use soft nylon rope and learn some hitches and knots.

Cue Jimmy Buffet Thread Theme Music
"Son of a Son, Son of a Son, Son of a Son of a Sailor… "

1/8th" cord

– Last Updated: Aug-31-14 8:10 PM EST –

tied off from a complete hull loop is very secure.

Usually use one at stern, prevents waggle.

Swift ? large diameters are unnecessary with quality small cord as 3-4 cords sharing load.

If the hull IS tied down then stresses are low.

Magooch should try polypropylene. Home Depot or Lowes may have a selection.

A good diamond woven nylon is pleasing but doesn't show up in small diameters.

Reminds to fondle rope next visit to West Marine.

of course they do
You don’t have to rely on knots.

If you know someone
The rope I use is dryer rope from a paper mill. This stuff is super strong, yet soft. It is also easy to braid and crown. If you know anyone who works at a paper mill maybe they can get you some. It will last for ever.

Again, replace ratchet straps
with cam straps. Ratchet straps are for tying down non compressible loads like lumber, or crushing kayaks.

Step 1. Get cam straps

Cam straps, cam straps, cam straps.