Strap padding anyone?

I found some 24in micro fiber towels at one of the local cheapo stores and got the big idea of making 24in tubes to run my straps through to prevent scratching the gel coat during transport.

I found myself wondering how much of what makes a strap work is strap friction and how much is just pressure.

Anyone here use any kind of padding under the straps?

I know-I know…scratch, use, enjoy. I don’t care about scratches during paddling but scratches during transport seem more like some kind of failure on my part.

i have never had any of my boats scratched from the straps, what are yours made of? I could see it possibly happening if sand or something gets trapped between it & the boat, which is more likely to happen with your Strap covers.

First Road Trip QCC 500
You may be right and it may be a non-issue. I never worried about the poly boats because they are poly boats and the worst I could end up with is scuffed up yellow.

I don’t know much about gel coat except that it looks really nice. I may not be giving it enough credit for hardness.

I’m just trying to be careful after reading some of the gel coat repair threads. Sandpaper and buffers and things that require some touch just don’t agree with me.



Boats are consumables
Wear that boat out. Paddle it until you break it, fix it and paddle it some more.

Boats are made to be used, not as objects d’ art.

Paddle it, used it, let each scratch remind you of a wonderful time on the water.


it would suck more if your strap pads trap dirt against your boat and rub the gelcoat off… Just like those strap on Bug shields did to the paint on many cars…

Good point
The pads would probably be just something to flap in the wind catch dirt and actually do damage.

Ok, I’m glad I asked. Idea scrapped.



Paddle damage
I don’t really care if I paddle it until I break it. I just don’t want to haul it until I break it.

The difference is only in my head.

I’ve been with me a long time and I know how I am. A bit strange.



Scratching during hauling
I never worried about the straps with my plastic 'yak. However, after I built a wood kayak I noticed that the varnish (softer than gel coat) got a bit dulled where the straps sat. I live on a dirt road, so it’s not hard to figure out where the dust/grit in the straps and on the kayak came from.

I had been washing the straps after every haul anyway. The wash water comes out BROWN even after only one haul session. Once I noticed the dulling and water spots (which did not come off till I sanded them off! but we have hard water around here), I also began washing and wiping dry the kayak after getting home.

I figure it’s unavoidable that some scratches, nicks, and dulling will occur but the above 2 precautions seem to work at preventing the etched-in water spots and slowing down the dulling.

I carry the kayaks on a low trailer. If you carry yours on a roof rack, it may get less dusty/gritty. Anyway, gel coat is harder than varnish. I think that rinsing the kayak and using clean straps should be enough, especially if you do not drive on dirt roads.