Securing Bow & Stern Lines

My previous kayak transportation had the old chrome bumpers with holes that allowed S hooks to enter though one hole and exit another, making for a secure tie down for my bow and stern lines. The car I will be using this season has some holes in the undercarriage that an S hook could go into without a hole to exit. My Outfitter and others say that as long as there is tension holding it taut, this should be fine. What do you think?

I’ve been looking for a tie down fastener that I could maybe toggle bolt through one of the undercarriage holes, but I haven’t found anything yet. Maybe I’m just going overboard here, but it would give me some peace of mind.


Many of us who use saddles
don’t use much tension, just use the bow and stern lines as indicators. No matter what you need a good tie down point, and if someone is using foam blocks perhaps light tension is a good idea.

For convenient tie down points, I simply use 1 inch nylon tubular webbing tied where it is locked into the frame and will not get hot or touch the ground. I use a doubled figure 8 knot and replace every two years. I’ve tow eyes on either side of the front end but use the webbing to go through the top of the grill, (so pulling up will not cuase stress to grill.) In a grittier circumstances, (under the car rather than in front), I might replace yearly

Have a look at this…
We’ve got these on both of our vehicles, and they are utterly fantastic!

Little straps with grommets that fit on a fender bolt under the hood, or close into a trunk or hatchback.

We’ve Personally tested these on both vehicles in 30 mph plus winds with excellent results, and they are soooooo easy to use!

No more crawling under the car.


I was thinking about these
I’m not very mechanically inclined, so I was a little concerned about removing fender bolts, but it does look like a nice solution.

I just found a chrome tiedown with a toggle bolt that looks like it might do the job. The mfg is supposed to get back to me with the size.



Good Idea!
I’ll give this one some thought.



If you are concerned about the S-hooks coming off you could replace them with carabiners, or something similar.

However, if you use even a little tension, and good ratchet type straps, you shold not have to worry about the S-hooks coming loose.


Look behind the bumpers for the tow eyes
used to secure the vehicle on a flatbed towtruck. These are very strong, unlike modern bumpers, which are just a plastic shell over foam.

You can make your own tiedowns
like those above with 2 - 2’ pieces of nylon strap. Heat a nail and melt the holes in each end. Raise the hood on your car and unscrew the hood stop bolts , put the straps on them and rethread them. Just tuck the straps inside when not in use.

My cost exactly nothing. My outfitter gave me the strap.

Its a Chinch
ANother option if you are handy withy a sewing machine is to make some anchors like those sold by Its A Chinch. They sell strapping systems, but you can make similar anchors for modern vehicles with 1 inch PVC pipe, pipe caps, and nylon webbing.


The under-hood tie-down straps…
…mentioned earlier are nice. And don’t worry about them being hard to install. It’s easy! Spring Creek Outfitters sells them in addition to the companies mentioned earlier. They’re inexpensive, costing about $10 including shipping if I recall correctly.


– Last Updated: Apr-22-04 4:43 PM EST –

I did the same thing on my Jeep Cherokee as "String" did. I had some left over Thule Strap and made my own!
Does the Job ! And as noted above... "don't have to crawl under the car anymore" ! :-)

A Pic........

Thanks All!
These are some good ideas. I think initially I’ll try hooking the ratchet tie downs to the existing holes and do a shake down cruise to see if everything holds together, then look at trying some of your ideas. I saw Itsacinchinc a while ago, and it does look good.


I have a loop
A loop that is tied to the hood latch. It does not interfere with the operation of the latch. When I have the boat on top, the loop is out and I attach my bow line to it. WHen not being used, it stuffs in the grill–simple and it works

Yet another…
… in the “do-it-yourself” line of really inexpensive tie down connections.

I now use these for two 'yaks and have added permanent loops around the hinges of the Subaru tailgate for the rear lines. Takes only a minute to attach four bow/stern lines.

Highly recommended,


What Material?
I’ll admit I go a bit overboad, and I was thinking of a loop of airplane cable.