Strapping down a canoe

I am curious to know…when you guys strap down your canoe on a trailer, does running straps over the top actually keep it from shifting forwards and back? I do alot of highway driving and just bought a trailer and want to make sure I strap it down correctly. I have nowhere to strap it down in the front or back which is why I ask. Any pics would also be greatly appreciated.

If you think about the shape of a canoe
Their circumference is greater in the center than it is at the ends. So, when you strap it down at the ends, it can’t move front or back either. But, you should use bow and stern lines too.

I know
I always did strap it down front and back while it went on my van…but the trailer doesnt have anywhere to strap it down to. This week I am going to try to find a way though.

It can’t move forward or back IF the
straps are next to the gunnels and don’t move.I suggest you at least tie your bow rope back to the trailer.

The best invention for canoes I’ve seen are the brackets that go on the rack bars.

The boat will not move .

for the info. All help is appreciated!

Look at how close the thwarts line up to the cross bars on the trailer. You might be able to use a third smaller strap around a thwart to insure little or no front/back movement.

It’s good to consider this. You wouldn’t want to jam on the brakes or (yeesh) have a collision and have a canoe comin’ at ya from the rear.

bow and stern tie downs
work best when at an angle. THink spring lines if you are familiar with docking a larger boat. Tie your bow line leading aft to some point in the middle of the trailer and just the opposite with the stern.

The previous posts about sunwale brackets are spot on. If you can figure out a way to rig thses, you can keep your canoes rock solid.

“try to find a way”

– Last Updated: Apr-22-08 4:58 PM EST –

I think finding a way will be easy. I assume that the boat sits on two cross bars? Okay, simple. Tie a rope to the bow, or a carry thwart, and run it directly back to the first cross bar and tie it tight. Now do the same at the rear of the boat. People get used to the notion that bow and stern ropes "must" angle down because that's what they always see on cars. To stop forward/backward slippage, horizontal ropes are even better.

Good idea…
I will do that and see how it works. I always thought the angle thing was the correct way to do it…Ive always done it that way but your way seems to make alot of sense. Thanks guys!

Bicycle tires
work for me. My rack is metal tubing, so my boats always wiggled around a lot. I cut old mountain bike tires and strapped them on the bars, tread up. Now as long as the ropes stay tight enough to prevent lift, the boats don’t wiggle around. And they were free.

Are we talking about …
… the ratcheting type straps ?? … I promise that with them you can tighten her down with one fore and aft , not a smidge of movement at highway speeds … just be careful not to over tighten and crush the trailer frame works , lol. … when using ropes for tightening something down , make a standard overhand loop on one end of rope , put rope around the object to be squeezed tight , put tag end of rope through loop , pull rope back towards you (opposite direction it went through loop , this makes a hair pin pully) , torque by pulling and simply make a half shoe lace tie by pinching hair pin bend at loop to hold tension , with tag line (the side you were pulling) make the half shoe lace loop and send it through the naturally created loop leading away from were you are pinching , pull till tight … to release the tension and remove , just pull the tag line until the loop knot comes out , almost exactly like a shoe lace does … the system works like a block and tackle , and will squeeze things until they pop if you want it to … a modified version of this is when you have the loop end of the rope around something like a trailer frame (tag end through loop still) , go over the object (canoe ??) , around the other frame side , and start back up again like going back over but don’t , just make a standard over hand loop in the rope but only make the loop in the away side , then put tag end through loop and make hair pin as before , toque and use same tie off with half shoe lace … you can take the resulting shoe lace and make another “loose” knot for added peace of mind if you desire … ps., this is so , so simple to do , unties with a simple tug of the tag end , and holds tight as you want it to by amount of presure you are pulling against the hairpin , will never fail when understood and tied properly , and I use it for everything and anything I ever do with ropes , which is a whole lot … if there was a way to simply draw it out for you and post the drawing , you would understand immediately !! … it’s really that easy and the best rope torque fastening possible !!

pilot for the information. I use those ratchet straps but dont think I would feel safe going down the highway with only 1 starp on front and back but like that rope method you mentioned.

I trailer boats about five thousand
miles a year.

If you loop your straps right next to your boat and under the bar, they boat will not move because of the shape of the boat…I tend to loop about three feet from the ends of the boat.

At EVERY rest stop check for tautness. Some lines are nylon and will stretch when wet. Then you tighten…But when they dry, the tauten up…watch for this as it can actually damage the hull.

You can loop a safety line to a center post on your trailer for each boat…just so it remains with your tucker in case of accident…I have heard of canoe trailer rollovers and safety lines prevented boats from flying all over.

Gunwale brackets are a great idea and I have them on the top rack of the trailer…

Make sure the boat does not slide over the trailer crossbars easily. I wrapped my bars with a rubber type of pipe insulation so there is good grip…Metal alone against vinyl gunwales particularly is very slippery.

all great
ideas thanks everyone for sharing with me.

I used to use ratchet straps on my canoe trailer, then I took a look at the canoe shuttles at the canoe outfitters, they all use those black rubber bungees. My crossbars on my canoe trailer are about 3 feet from each end. I put one bungee on each end and have NEVER had a problem. We regularly cart our kayaks and canoes 3.5 hours from Tampa to the Everglades on I75 doing 75 mph. No front and back straps. If your nervous put 2 on each end, they’re a whole $2 each.