Tie Down--Car topping

Any websites that show how to properly tie down a boat (no racks yet–I drive a 96 Mercury Trio with factory racks–still trying to find adapters to fit the Mako saddles to my ovid luggage rack bars).

Have had lots of advice, but I have very little memory space. When I’m tying my yak on to my car myself, it’s never tight–you can still shift the boat from side to side before I put on the tie downs to the front and back of the car.

I’ve seen the Guideline articles on ‘generally’ where to put the lines, and the articles on two kinds of knots.

What am I doing wrong on putting my straps over/under the kayak and the cross bars of the rack. (Note: kayak is Sole, sits on two pool noodles that protect it against the cross wise bars of the luggage rack system.)

Am 40 minutes past high tide at the marsh and ticked off.

I have a Jeeo Cherokee with factory racks and had the same dilema. Check out yakima or thule for a description of how to use the strap tiedowns with a factory rack. The key is to go under both factory racks on each side. I bought some great rachet tie downs for the bow/stern just like the Yakima ones for $8 each at Home Depot.

Lateral location required
The tiedowns hold the boat down, but they only as a secondary effect hold it from moving side to side. You really need some mechanical resistance for that, either a cradle (ideal), or if the boat is upside down Thule has these little locking slider things for their rack bars meant primarly to rest the gunwales of an upside-down canoe on. Worked ok for my upside-down Folbot double when I was doing that sort of thing.

In a pinch, for now, you could consider adding independent loops of rope around the boat, anchored to the side rails of the factory rack. That should hold it better at least.


foam blocks
For several years I used foam blocks just sitting on the roof of the minvan. The kayks were secured using the cam webbing straps. they were looped under the crossbars and over the kayaks. The foam provided some mechanical resistance to shifting.

When I went to saddles on the crossbars (for the move up to composite kayaks), I still used the cam straps. The front and rear of the kayaks were “safety” fastened with some 1/4 inch sailing lines. Rather than any of the fancy ratcheting assembiles for front and rear, plain line and a truckers hitch are simple, very effective, and cheap!

Roof Racks
Beware the tendency of foam blocks and certain saddles to “oilcan” your hull. I purchased the Yakima “Hull Raisers” (‘J’-shaped cradles) and I’m quite satisfied with these. About $100 USD for a pair.

Also be very careful with factory-installed roof-racks. Many of those have not been designed to support a large load.