Strap bow and stern to roof rack?

I have some foam kayak roof rack pads and often use those, along with lashing straps (very snug) around the hull and bungee cords for extra reinforcement on long trips.

Should I also strap the bow and stern down? I could strap the stern to my hitch receiver but don't have a good tie off for the bow. I don't want to damage any paint on my hood and am leaving tomorrow. Should I just strap it to the roof rack itself?

Don’t leave home without

– Last Updated: Jun-19-16 8:26 PM EST –

having the bow and stern tied down. A hood loop won't damage your paint. If you're worried about that, use a piece of foam around it.

BTW, bungee cords are worth squat in securing anything but a cockpit cover on a boat.

Use a hood loop
It won’t damage your hood and there is no point to doing what you propose. The whole point of a bow line is so that it is where you can see if something is starting to move inappropriately. Has to be visible thru your windshield.

A boat that goes loose on you will produce a hell of a lot more damage than a hood strap. It sounds like this is all new to you, so you should suspect your tie downs a great deal until you have more time doing this.

soft rag will protect the paint with a hood strap or a rope. Just tie wrap the rag or duct tape around rope so it doesn’t slide down.

Damage to Paint

– Last Updated: Jun-19-16 9:33 PM EST –

I can't tell you how many miles I've driven my current car with boats on top, but it's been an ongoing thing for 21 years, and an extremely frequent thing for about the last 12 years. I "think" I'm finally seeing some marks on the paint where the ropes run around the front edge of the hood after all this time. I'm not even sure about that, though, because a few weeks ago I washed the car with more than cursory effort and it seemed the marks went away.

I use soft braided rope, but under-hood loops should solve your problem in any case.

hood loops
I drive a Subaru forester at this time. I use hood loops and I even made a set for the hatchback. They are simple. Take a length of web strap, about 14" long. Bend it in half and melt a hole about 3/4" in from the tag ends with a hot nail or soldering iron. Then lift your carhood, find a fender screw that is in a good spot. take it out, add the strap loop and replace the screw.

The idea of tying down the bow and stern is for safety. Yours and the rest of the drivers on the road. If your rack fails (which can happen) your canoe or kayak isn’t going to become a projectile on the highway.

bow tie down
reports the tie down pictured works

drilling 2 holes n adding a 60 degree strap washer under a nylock prob .25" bolt is best.

lines on paint: try 3M electrical tape held lengthwise along the rope run then from one end thumb n forefinger or what have you run up line squeezing tape together. Tape seam down with a second run…poss side aginst body.

3M vinyl will abrade against body wax…the vehicle is compounded n waxed 2X/year right ? …leaving vinyl on wax.

3M, at Wal ect…available in colors affording a choice of seen or not.

3M tapes off poly rope ends after flaming and tapes to itself around buzzing n slamming loose ends on I-0

I use a truckers knot on the one side of the car top so I can synch it down tight. What knot so you use on the other side.

hood loops
Hood loops work. You don’t even have to find a fastener under the hood to attach them. The pair I have are soft 1" webbing (the kind you can buy in outdoor sports stores that sell climbing equipment, like REI and EMS) looped through a 3" chunk of thick rubber tubing (like industrial hose). You could do the same with a short scrap of 1" PVC pipe. Just lay one on either side with the tube part under the hood and slam it shut.

I have been using them with a new car I bought last year and have not noticed any wear on the paint. Though I admit I would not care if it did mark the paint. Cars are transportation appliances, not museum pieces, and I feel it’s kind of pointless to worry about the finish on something that spends most of its time outdoors in all weather and much of that flying along at high speeds. That’s kind of like fussing that the luggage that you check with the airlines gets scuffed up. It’s a container that is made to convey and protect what’s inside of it. Accept that your vehicle is going to get dinged up in use no matter what you do, especially if you’re into paddle sports. I’m far more concerned with the safety of people driving behind me than I am with a few square millimeters of paint finish.

the finish is important.

– Last Updated: Jun-20-16 12:22 PM EST –

If the finish gets damaged the steel will start to rust and rot. Not good. But I don't see any damage to my finish so far. I like having my loops attached to the vehicle. It means I don't have to look hard to find them, LOL!

sort of agree
People’s cars are to them what they are. There’s no use having that battle.

One can use tie downs and still not damage paint. It’s not a choice between one or the other.

THE CORD not rope is covered as posted above, with 3M 33 vinyl electrical tape, the tape rub outs out on wax not paint.

My van front bumper has eyebolts before the wheel arches. These cords rub on front fender sides on the way to front of canoe and kayak.

The cords move fore and aft mostly in the draft of moving forward.

The paint under wax is undamaged after 8 years. What wears off is the 3M tape leaving a black smudge. I could use white, itsa white van of course.

Roof racks break
Not often but it happens. Tie bow and stern to the car.

yup. It happened to me
It took 50 years but it finally happened in Julesburg CO

Good info

thanks for the info. My preferred method is to load everying in my car but I can’t if I have kayaks or boards longer than 11 feet.

That goes for boats too
People view damage to boats in their own way too. I once strained my back getting a fairly heavy boat up on my shoulders, but to avoid that injury I would have needed to drop the boat six feet onto concrete. I got chastised by someone here whom I won’t name, with the reason being that “a boat is only a tool”. Well, knowing how poorly that particular hull survives even light impacts at vulnerable spots like the stem tells me that I traded severe boat damage for a couple of days of muscle discomfort (my body heals itself - my boat does not, and I even realized that in the instant of decision about whether to hold or drop). Besides, “it’s only a tool?” Abusing a wrench or hammer is one thing, but how about a lathe? After all, both are tools, so why not?

My DIY rack is tight yet there is fore aft movement primarily from braking.

A 1/8th" cord looped around hull fore and aft of cockpit coming snubs the braking motion as loop tightens as hull increases volume/cross section. Wal sells a cord in black hanger.

Commercial racks should have a metal stop holding hull from transverse motions, 4 u bolts n vertical plates with padding for OEM racks.

I doahn speculate that is happening, maybe commercially movie

ng into the J holder first.

But the transverse stop, a canoe gun wale stop, for kayaks hulls eliminates on rack motion. Where straps try.

Several racks are reported lost going thru Julesburg, reported from alien interference.

yes, absolutely
My hull has enough battle scars to allow me to beach it on stone in conditions, during trips, without cringing too much. But I still avoid doing so at any other time.

Personally I like a clean paint job but have come to accept surface scratches, door dings, etc. on my car. It’s unreasonable for me to expect anything more if I want to use it daily. My kayak deck has a nicer finish.

Tiedowns saved my arse
I’ve always used bow & stern tiedowns for anything but around the corner paddles (Like less than 2 or 3 miles w/no highway speed).

What reinforced it with me was one day when I was driving in Maine at about 75 MPH with 2 sea kayaks on top if a '95 Mustang, and the bow lines all of a sudden got super tight. I slowed down real careful and pulled into the breakdown lane only to see that the rack system had let go of the roof. Had I not used bow & stern tiedowns, a very bad or maybe even catastrophic thing would have happened when the boats and rack came off the car at that speed. Luckily, no problem to reattach & tighten the rack.

I also check how secure racks are on my car religiously now.


I use a similar metric, if I’m getting on the freeway or will be going faster than 45 or so I always use them.