Straps VS Ropes In Joisey

-- Last Updated: Jul-17-05 11:21 AM EST --

Wha Ho, Pilgrims;

Git a'load o' dis! One member of my canoe club got pulled over by the local police a few weeks ago... Why? The person used rope to tie down their kayak instead of straps! Well, luckily the officer didn't give this person a ticket, but did warn that ropes are illegal to tie down anything on your car in the illustrious State Of New Jersey. Not quite believing this, our Club president called the NJ State Police and was informed by one of the head honchos that it is indeed the law that one must use cargo "straps" to tie anything to a vehicle. Ropes are technically illegal in NJ. I've used ropes for decades without a problem from the law and probably most police officers probably are not even aware of this law. But, that's the offical law on the books in "Joisey". Go figure. But then again this is Joisey....

Fat Elmo

Save the Ropes
Perhaps they could be put to better use tying up some ignorant, misinformed and misdirected, lazy and gutless politicians.

I was quite surprised…
yesterday when I saw a guy holding his expensive kevlar C-1 on roof racks using two bungee cords and hooks.

I almost said something to him, but he looked close to me in age so I didn’t.

I have been kicking myself all day for not speaking up.


But officer, there are no ropes on boats
only lines …

Wooo Hooo! I’m a scofflaw!
Drove through northern NJ TWICE several weeks ago, boat affixed with belly straps.

BUT in an act of defiance aimed at THE MAN, I used ratchet ropes bow & stern! What a rush!


Seriously, anyone able to link to the law’s wording?

Oh, but I do have a rope.
It’s attached to the anchor.


– Last Updated: Jul-18-05 1:01 AM EST –

I'm not sure where you can get them, but there ARE good bungies suitable for tying down boats. My dad tied the jonboat on top of the car that way for years. These bungies were about one inch in diameter and each one was about four feet long (probably because the piece he scavanged was originally eight feet long), with a length of rope adding just the right amount of length so no adjustment was needed (making this the quickest tie-down method ever). When tossed over the boat and hanging loose, they were about eight inches short of the far attachment point, and it required at least 100 pounds of pull to stretch them that last eight inches to engage the hook. Even with no side-stops on the rack, the boat never budged.

Back to the subject at hand, I think it's crazy that there's a state law making it illegal for someone who knows how to tie good knots from doing so. Ten dollars worth of rope can be used to tie down virtually anything just as well or better than what could be done with 200 dollars worth of strapping, and with no wasted material. What are they going to want to control next?

I Use Straps…
But as a longtime sailor and boat operator I understand the value of a good length of line and the ability to tie a proper knot.

What a bunch of bunk, the state regulating what material to use to tie a boat down with.


Anchor Rode not rope
Bell Rope would be the only one found aboard a vessel.

So a strap to tie the boat to the car, and then the bow and stern GUYLINES are rope. Letter of the law.

I use straps because I never learned
good knot tying. The problem I have with the nylon cargo straps is that they shrink when hot and they lengthen when cold or wet. This means that if you strap your boat down in the day when the straps are dry and warm, they will loosen up on you when they cool down or get wet. Conversly, they tighten up if you strapped the boat down when they were cool or wet and they either dry or warm up as while the boat is strapped on. This requires continued vigilence to assure that the straps aren’t too loose or too tight, because the tension changes with weather condition.

Does good rope lengthen or shrink with weather conditions?

I’ve been using cargo straps for 12 years, but they’re not perfet by any means. They are very simpler and safer to use for people with limited rope knotting skills.

Real hemp lines
will stretch and shrink with the weather. I don’t think the syntetics are effected as much.

ropa dope
Conspiracy afoot to eliminate deer hunting. Can’t tie them to the fender and can’t hide them in the trunk…without breaking the law.

Really the law was meant to support the NJEA agenda to require a non competitive knot tying curriculum in all grade schools. Graduation contingent upon tying 3 versions of the bowline, a figure eight with a half hitch and snell a hook, barbless of course.

All is well in NJ, more laws on the book with discretionary enforcement. Perhaps if we can ammend the law to allow use of rope but require specific knots to be used. Tickets issued only if the knot is tied incorrectly.

Easy to see the value of preventing tradgedy on the roads but you would figure some well paid and pensioned NJ elected official would be proud of such an accomplishment and publicize it. A good place to start would be with conspiciously placed handbills posted at mattress and home improvement stores.

My idea was that the law was aimed at commercial haulers, and that recreational haulers simply got swept up with the legislation. But mattress haulers were probably the reason the law was written.


did you know that the only people who call jersey, joisey, are not from jersey?

Knot true and I support kids knowing not

My guess…
is that the law is based on the fact it’s tough to screw up a cargo strap…hook it on, cinch it down and it’s not going anywhere. However, an improperly tied knot can (and will) (as all of us here are aware) easily slip and let go, so what seems like a secure tie-down suddenly turns that your boat into an anti-personell ground-to-ground missile. Having been in a construction truck that lost part of a load once (2x4 drain tubing) it is NOT a pretty sight, and one individual on our crew was never allowed to tie down a load again.

Tell the BCU
BCU requires knowledge of line and knots to tie boats to vehicles. It is required by or at 3 Star. The concept being that should you find that your strap or buckle has broken you are likely to always have acces to line to tie boats.

I guess there weren’t enough BCU coaches or paddlers in the NJ legislature to stop or amend this law :slight_smile:

Try straps from

I use the loop straps. They are super strong,

and you don’t have to mess with a ratchet.

I grew up in Philadelphia and have been traveling to Jersey for over 40 years… My friends and I have been calling Jersey “Communist New Jersey” for decades…

seems every so often they pass some law that screws thousands of people over untill it gets overturned a few years later in the state supreme court as being found unconstitutional.

ever see a black and white photo of a Jersey state police officer? they look like Nazi SS guards!