tie down ropes or bungee

Which is better? A tie down rope or bungee cord?I am trying to secure a Perception shadow (16 ft) to a Ford Focus.Thanks for all opinions!!!

No Bungees!
I used to go that route until I was driving down I-93 in NH on my way to Mass. Had the canoe secured with bungess when a gust of wind hit it from the side. The bungees stretche, just like they are designed to, and the boat lifted right off the racks. Thankfully the gunwales caught on the racks and left it hanging there while I was trying to slow down from 60 mph! I stopped and bought some closeline to tie it off for the journey and a new pair of pants! :-0 Kid you not! Go rope and get some good stuff that you dedicate just to the use of tying down your boat.

Just my .02.



– Last Updated: Aug-26-05 6:35 PM EST –

Trust me. Do not use either bungees, or ropes. Use straps.

I cruise at 75-80 MPH, and haven't lost a boat, yet.

Now for those who have seen the bungee setup on my truck....

The forward rack bar takes all the strain. My setup on the forward bar is bombproof, with a strap for each boat, and an extra that covers both. Niether boat can go up, down, forward, or backward. The bungees in back are just to keep the back end down.


– Last Updated: Aug-26-05 6:39 PM EST –

I have found so many bungee cords on the highways, riverways, and lakes, I no longer stop to pick them up, unless they are virtually in my path. Obviously they don't do the job, or someone is buying them & spreading them all over the state of Missouri like Johnny Appleseed, spreading apple seed.

Use straps to tie it to a rack & rope for bow or stern lines. Some call that overkill, but it's worked for me for 40 years with canoes & kayaks.


yes, straps
I use nylon cam lock straps to tie 2 Pungoes to the Thule rack on my PT Cruiser. Went 3 hr to Lake Placid last week “a bit” ;’)over the 65 mph speed limit with no shifting at all.

Stop from time to time the test wiggle everything, and tighten them up as needed.

bungee or tie downs
Any particular kind of straps that you prefer? I looked at Walmart and saw a few different general types.

Use double looped cam-lock buckle straps.



bungee v. tie down ropes
Yes, I saw those at Walmart and I checked my vehicle and found a spot at the rear to attach straps to, but cant seem to see any spot on the front underneath to attach. At least not yet.It was getting dark, so I will check it out again in the morning.

Bungee v. tie down ropes
One other thing. When attaching the straps, where or what exactly are the attached to on the kayak? Do you attach the strap at the carrying handles on the bow and stern? The reason I ask is that I haven’t actually seen anyone here with the straps in the front or back od their vehicles. Thanks again for answering the dumb questions!

I heard of a story about a bungee
taking out an eye once…

place to hook bow lines
I use a set of “Top Ties” that I bought from rutabaga.com


Inexpensive, surprisingly sturdy, they fold out of the way when they’re not needed, and I don’t have to crawl around on the ground looking for places to hook my bow lines.

NEVER use bungee for tie downs!

– Last Updated: Aug-27-05 8:20 AM EST –

For securing anything do a car, you DO NOT want a material that stretches like bungee cord. Additionally, bungee has much lower strength than rope or webbing and it degrades much more rapidly in use.

IMO, bungee cord falls into the same category as Vice Grips and Super Glue. Used properly, it works as intended, but most people use it inappropriately and do more harm with it than good.

Don’t go Bungee!
You absolutely don’t want a bungee cord up there. Use a bow and stern line to the front and rear of your car. All the Thule paddlesport mounts come with a ratcheting bow and stern tie-down that is pretty slick. It is also available as an accessory called the Quick Draw (I think).

Good luck!

Another source is www.strapworks.com They will make up straps in almost any color, in any length, with cam lock buckles, etc. I needed straps slightly longer than stock sizes and found that they were better (1 1/2 inch webbing) and cheaper. Plus they will print your name on the straps, so they won’t wander away (as readily)! I use two (before and after the cockpit coaming) and a 1 inch set with hooks as bow and stern tiedowns.


bungie holding down spare wheel on roof
now that’s a winner,right up there with the person going down the highway with the mattress held on with twine but they have their arm on the mattress just in case.

1/4" rope is fine for the ends if you learn how to tie a knot. Cam straps for the middle. Absolutely no bungie for securing missles on cars.