Transporting Kayak - Type of Rope

I recently installed a rack/crossbar system on my car but looking into options on bow/stern tie downs. I’ve looked at the Thule/Yakima options, but really want to get opinions on type of rope to use in the interim (nylon, etc.). I will be driving down the interstate, so safety is a necessity!

Thanks for any opinions!

This for now…
I use the rope/hook/ratchet system right now. I’ve had no problems with it, but I do worry about a hook coming loose & breaking my windshield. I have the tie down loops attached under the hood of my SUV.

I’m thinking of switching to something like one of these.

Any outdoors stores around you?

– Last Updated: Nov-09-16 5:00 PM EST –

I am thinking of West Marine or Hamilton Marine, which have nice ropes you can buy by the foot that are solid citizens. Or a sports store with climbing stuff. It just has to be solid, not way thick, if you have straps for securing the boats to the main rack points.

Get enough rope to tolerate several tie-down options depending on what is on top of the car. You can always double it for the shorter ones.

poly rope
half inch or so. Not nylon cause that stuff stretches when wet. I am not a ratchet strap fan cause its too easy to overtighten and break hulls. ( plastic cares less)

Suggest polyester rope.

Not the yellow stuff!

Cam strap types
Now that I have an Eddyline kayak on the way, I’m less of a fan of my current ratchet and rope/hook set-up. I can totally see the over tightening thing. I’ve had to be very careful about that up until now. What are the thoughts on the cam strap options I posted above. The one with the carabiner seems like a simple on & off system, and the cam buckle could be positioned closer to the kayak and not so close to my windshield. I know that over tightening with the cam buckle will still need the be avoided.

Straps are “way awkward” as end tie-down

– Last Updated: Nov-09-16 6:09 PM EST –

For tying the ends of your boat, rope would be far easier. The first strap option in your other post would require you to double-route the strap, just as you'd do when wrapping it over the hull to hold the boat to the rack (in the boat-to-rack situation, double-wrapping makes perfect sense, but it makes no sense at all for stretching a connection between your boat and some part of your car). The second option, the one with the carabiners, will result in a bunch of "free-end" material sticking out of the buckle, and you'll have to deal with that somehow (and with strapping, dealing with such excess material is unnecessarily difficult). You could cut off the excess material, but then on a different boat or a different car, you might find that it's too short and can't be used. With plain old rope, any reasonable amount of leftover material can just be used up within the main "pulley part" of a trucker's hitch, or even within a smaller, non-adjustable loop at the other end.

Oh, besides all that, having straps cutting across your field of vision is far more distracting than rope. And straps tend to flutter in the wind, which also is obnoxious to have to look past and it will tend to scuff your car's paint, but ropes do neither.

Have used cam straps all summer
hauling my Eddyline Samba around. They came with my cradles which I was happy about having read warnings here about how rachet straps can damage a boat if too tight.

For the tie-downs I use Thule’s quick-draw system (also supplied), but replaced the hooks with carabiners. Just didn’t trust the hooks even with tension on them.

When does your new boat arrive?

The Thule 885 Quick Draw tie downs are still the best I’ve seen and are what I use. I did ditch the metal S hooks and put under hood straps on my Santa Fe, and sturdy looped sailboat rope under my rear hatch so I can use loop-to-loop connections.

You could get by with simple poly braided rope. Not the stiff, floating kind though.


2-3 weeks for my
Eddyline Caribbean 14, red over silver with rudder.

I like the idea of replacing the S-hook with a carabiner. I still would have to be careful not to over tighten.

Yes, the cam strap idea would be wide and more obstructive of my vision. The ends would be more problematic to deal with. Extra rope length is easier to secure.

Twisted Nylon
I use nothing but half inch twisted nylon and it does not stretch when it gets wet. If you happen to live near a paper mill, they use the twisted nylon in the drier sections. I used to work at a paper mill and could get all I wanted. This stuff lasts for ever and it’s super strong. Also very easy to splice eyes and crown the ends.

that must be the secret
regular nylon rope might not be twisted.

OTOH I wonder if I can walk in to a paper mill unintroduced. We have a few here but I don’t know anyone there.

How to be invisible at a papermill
Wear an orange vest

White hard hat with the words SAFETY in peel and stick letters

Carry a clipboard. If possible put some green or orange paper on it, people respect colored paper.

Look pissed off

When you find the rope grab a roll and say “Oh hell no! Somebodies getting fired!” You’ll be as to come and go as you please

I’ll put my architect friend on it
he has requisite equipment. All I have is a orange vest.

whoa too much. Knotting half is way too tedious. .25 is all the yak needs fore n daft

if you use rope make sure you know the proper knots. If you use straps make 5-6 twist in the strap it prevents flutter. This is easy snug easy will not over tighten unless your crazy. Other wise climbing rope or arbor rope 3/8" is plenty.

Parachute cord (550) for fore and aft lines. Small diameter than most other options for the strength. And, learn how to tie knots, specifically a bowline and truckers knot.