So where'd I screw up

I bought a couple kayaks this winter and this week bought a Yak racks for them. I tied them on today and have a couple questions.

First off, I’m a rope guy, I’ve never much cared for straps.

Once you get everything the way you want it do you cut the straps down?

Aft forward or aft back. I put them on aft forward thinking there would be less wind resistance if the seat was down, but looking at the strap locations it might tie better aft back.

yak should be farther forward if you can adjust your roof rack. That might help should the front of the yak dip down or lift up. You have lots of good points tied down.


– Last Updated: Mar-27-10 4:56 PM EST –

I thought about that, but the lengthening mod will have to wait.

I'm going to add a 'Bull Bar' to the front for tying to. Right now I have it looped around the hood catch.

ropes or straps
I seem to recall reading – perhaps here – that the police may pull you over for a ticket if you are using ropes as your main tie-downs. Straps are much safer: or they can be if tightened properly.

Ropes are only for the front and rear tie-downs.

I can’t say whether ropes are illegal in fact, or where they might be illegal if they are. But I would never use them except for bow and stern tie-downs.

As the to position of the kayak on the rack: I’ve seen bow first, stern first, top up and hull up. In other words, any way that you can put boat. I’m not sure it makes a lot of difference, although some manufacturers seem to like to see their boats hull up.


I don’t see any screw ups really …

– Last Updated: Mar-27-10 5:31 PM EST –

...... what makes you think you may have screwed something up in the tie-down ?? I've seen much much worse ...

One thing will probably benefit you are those under hood straps desingned just for the front ties downs .

Well , I guess not designed intirely and singularly for the front hood attachment points ... but using them will allow you to spread the two front tie-downs to the sides more . You won't need to use the hood latch , and the spread will help more with restricting sideways movement . Others can kick in for the links and such , I haven't needed them because we have good bumper and rope used for tie downs .

Police intervening over ropes …
I think that must be for another kind of paddling forum.

Looks fine to me, I doubt it’s going anywhere. As for cutting straps, I do…not all the way but I trim some off…seems like they’re always 4 or 5 feet too long when ya buy them anyways.


– Last Updated: Mar-27-10 6:18 PM EST –

as soon as you cut length off any strap or piece of rope'll wind up using it for something else and be that xx" short !!.I didn't see any marking on vehicle but it looks like a jeep and if so, I'm sure there must be tow hooks you can also run tiedowns to. the "hood loops" link is listed below:.......
You slip them under a hood, rear door or side door and close it and the loops become a anchor point. Also found this for dealing with straps:..
PS: I also favor bow 1st...they'll cut the wind the same way they cut thru water, plus a nice cockpit cover goes a long ways in keeping wind drag down, instead of that open cockpit acting like a big "drift sock" while going down the hi-way and keeping your bailing sponge in the boat while transporting and allowing you the option of putting other gear in the boat...well worth the money.

Straps are for those poor mariners
that haven’t learned to tie and trust knots.

I like rope
I’ve never lost a load with rope and can tie a load tighter.

What’s a bailing sponge???
Don’t you only need one of those if you screw up???

Thanks for the strapjacket link, I placed an order.

Ropes are good
IF you know how to tie a bowline, truckers hitch and reef knot.

The bow and sttern lines are a safety back up in case something goes wrong.

There was a poster here that suggested using a pair of nylons to tie to the hood latch and trunk latch: She drove a Corola.

She only lost a boat when a truck shoved her Corola over a guard rail landing on the Capella.

Outcome: New boat and a Camry.

You should be carefull, I have put well over 100,000 miles on cars and trucks with kayaks on the roof or following on a trailer.

I have lost a rack twice, (no boat damage as they had bow lines) I have had a boat come loose and managed to salvage the day. My wife had a boat fall off the rack as it was not tied down after a 3 mile drive. It fell onto our lawn.

I have rolled a trailer damaging the trailer a canoe and two kayaks.

Be carefull and you should be fine.

Front tie -downs.
As described here years ago: get 2 one foot sections of nylon strap.Double each.Bore a hole through the ends with a hot nail.

Open the hood and use bolts near the front to secure the straps through the holes so you have loops.

You have great tie-down points that fold under the hood when not in use.

wind noise
Don’t forget to put some twists in the bow and stern straps to cut down wind noise.

ok now…
your gonna have to write a product reveiw on those strap jackets when ya get them . so the rest of us know if they are up to the task or not …thanks

so how’s it all sound to you sweeper ??

– Last Updated: Mar-27-10 9:38 PM EST –

...... a bunch of good things to consider huh ??

Many ways to skin a cat it's always looked like to me . One thing seems to be the central or common point in tying down discussions , and that is to have your system arranged so any single point failure will not cause the immediate and sequential failure of the intire system ... thus giving you time to get off the road and take corrective actions before continuing on .

Redundancy and back up are there waiting when you need them most (if ever ??) , but they are there ... at least that's become my train of thought on boat securing for the road . I think you're lookin pretty good so far .

I'd imagine everything can be improved upon in one way or another ... and that's what we all seem to be attempting as time goes on . You asked , and that's good enough for most of us to kick in with a little something . Keep it safe , enjoy !!

Got you covered…
on all three.

Thanks all
I’m taking it for a short test drive tomorrow and adjust from there.


but I’m ready to move into the 21st century.

Nifty Boat
I really like the Day hatch where you can reach it. I wonder if I can put one of those on my Solstice?

I can see the desire to mount the boats aft back, so there is a relatively fat part of the boat pushing against the rear strap. Your spread between bars isn’t great and you have a lot of overhang no matter what you do. But without cockpit covers that means you also have a lot of open cockpit facing into the wind. The engineers can comment on that - I (unscientifically) wonder about it.

You may want to get cockpit covers, probably will need to be neoprene, to reduce windage.

As to straps or ropes, we paddle with a few who prefer ropes and I haven’t seen anyone pulled over by police, or their boats come off the car. We’ve occasionally used ropes for the main tie-downs (have always used them for the bow). The one diff is that over a longer trip, when things tend to stretch and have to be tightened down, it’s faster for us to cinch up straps than redo ropes.

There are things that can be used with straps to make them more reliable. One is to use two straps - we know an outfitter or two who does that - at each point. Another is to run the end of the strap back up and knot it around the strap above the buckle. I can’t describe exactly how this works but I’ve read of it here.

We do prefer ropes for bow lines - they are as fast, and the prospect of anything coming loose in front and going into your wheel well is not nice. Doubled ropes with a truckers hitch and appropriate knots below have a very secure feeling since if they fail they’ll kinda unwind rather than suddenly wrapping around your wheel at 60 mph.