VW Jetta owners

I have a 2003 sedan and haul my kayak on a Yakima rack on the passenger side of the car. This way, I can use the front and rear tow hooks as tiedowns. This summer, I’ll need to have a second boat on the car and need to find good places to tie down front and rear on the driver’s side of the car. I’ve looked under the car but there aren’t any options in the front - possibly in the rear though.

How do you tie down on the driver’s side? Thanks!

I don’t own a Jetta
and I dont use stem and stern tiedowns. Is there any reason why you could not tie it diagonally left to right? I see many folks tie 2 boats to one center point…

I have an 04 Jetta TDI wagon. I carry two QCC’s regularly on Thule cross bars and racks fitted to the standard roof rack. I dont use for and aft tie downs but I did try them on for size when I first purchased the Thule stuff.

I used a piece of line to connect the two stern eyes and the two bow eyes. Then I ran the Thule bow and stern tie downs from the new line connecting the bow and stern eyes. I tied to the rear tie down on my car and to a small loop hooked around the hood lock, (before closing the hood).

All that works, but I did not see any reason for the extra lines. If I ever deceide to use additional tie downs I believe I would go from the bow connection loop back to the front cross bar to prevent forward movement in a panic stop.

Happy Paddling,


Its a Chinch
Take a look at this website. While they market tie-down systems, their best feature is the strap anchor designed to be closed in a door, hatch, or hood.

I fabricated one out of 3/4" PVC pipe and caps and a short length of 1" nylon webbing. You could temporarily use these for your second boat.



Also have a TDI wagon

– Last Updated: Jun-08-05 11:07 AM EST –

What I do is tie flat webbing into holes in the fender sheetmetal inside the engine compartment on both sides & close the hood over them. Then, make loops in the free ends & tie the bowlines to them.

On the rear, I use one long rope through both boats & tie off to the rear towing ring. Works great. I carry two boats long distances all the time. The only time I don't use bow & stern lines is when I'm going less than 10 miles & staying off the highway.


we use webbing loops with grommets on one end. Put the fender screws (the ones nearest the windshield, that way the hood doesn’t get tweaked or rubbed at all) through the grommets and tighten them down. Pull the loops out from under the hood when it’s time to tie a bow line on our canoe.

My old gold had

– Last Updated: Jun-11-05 2:08 AM EST –

tow eyes behind the plastic lower grill panels in front. EDIT:(that's golf not gold). I used tubular webbing, threaded them through the top opening of the lower grill panel through the tow eye and out. I used copper picture hanging wire to do the threading then pulled the webbing through with that. I held the loop of webbing around the loop of wire with tape, a knot was way too fat to pull through that mess.

Check behind those plastic grills. Then again the design might well have changed. Older golfs and Jettas had more rear passenger leg room thant the new ones or even the Toureg

Towing loops
The 2003 (probably all '00-'04) has a place to screw in a towing loop on the passenger side, behind the plastic trim piece below the headlight. Since the rear towing loop is also on the passenger side of the car, this works great. I don’t think there’s one on the driver side front but I’ll have to take a closer look.

I used to use webbing loops under the hood of my Explorer but the spacing between the hood and quarter panel is pretty tight on a VW so I’m hesitant to try that. Guess I’ll have to get creative…

Didn’t want to start a discussion on whether or not bow and stern tie downs are necessary, we’ve been there/done that! I use them, period. Thanks for the info!

Webbing loops for Jetta
I made similar nylon webbing loops the others mentioned but I attached each strap to 2 fender screws so the webbing is only one thickness thick when it exits the hood. May fit in your tighter fitting (read quality) VW hood. Good luck.

I have on '03 TDI wagon,
and simply use the towing hooks–bow and stern tie-downs don’t have to be tight, so the angle doesn’t seem much of an issue to me. I see them as backup in case one of the main straps or the roof rack come loose.


(I chose this car on purpose because, not only can it be run on Biodiesel, but it is also one of the lowest wagons on the market, so I can keep my boat on the car when I park in super-low hospital garages. So far, it’s been great : )

It amazes me the number of people that don’t use bow and stern lines. Do they understand that besides acting a leash in case their straps or rack break? They also take the strain off of the straps and rack thus helping to keep things from failing? I would imagine that they have not seen a flying yak?

Taking stress off straps?

– Last Updated: Jun-09-05 6:36 AM EST –

I am like you on this in the basic aspect. failure of a strap or rack can cause death or ruin a boat so I use redundant systems (bow and stern lines).

On the other hand I keep mine a tad loose so they do not take stress off the straps. they are a secondary system and a warning system for me. If the bow lines go tight I see the boat has slipped and slow down and pull over immediately.

I often see plastic boats pulled down at the ends by over-tightened bow and stern straps. This is way too tight. The ends of the boats need to have some flex in them.

Yeah, I just don’t see how the few seconds saved by not using them is a good idea. Redundancy is a good thing here. And I agree that they don’t need to be tight - I take a little more than the slack out, but have a glass boat. With plastic I wouldn’t go that tight.

I’ll try some webbing straps that have a loop sewn into one end, that should solve the problem. I also like the low height of the car because I can set the boat on the rack rather than have to lift it. Thanks for the replies!

Peter_k I’m not talking really tight but

– Last Updated: Jun-09-05 7:37 PM EST –

just enough so that as the boat tries to lift going down the highway the straps stop that from happening. I guess people just don't understand the forces put on a boat/rack while driving.

Yep take a bit of freedom off the top
end of the swing. Seems OK by me.

The forces are huge–
I often wonder how the boat and rack components stand it. I try to imagine holding onto a piece of 2 by 8, which would have similar windage, in a 70 mph wind. And passing trucks and thunderstorms add extra forces.

Redundancy is good–just the other day, I was chatting with someone while tying down my boat, and accidentally didn’t run one strap under the bar–so there was only one tie down. The boat elevated strangely when I hit highway speeds, but the bow tie-down kept it from flipping off the car.


rearview mirrors
rearview mirrors

Rear view mirrors??
I’m missing something.

Vw Jetta Wagon towing
I have the roof rack and a trailer hitch I used to carry the boats (Aluminum Canoes) on the roof but tieing down was always a concern The back I tied to the rear towing hitch and the front I had another Eye bolt installed by the garage. Once I built the small box trailer it was easier to use it than put the boats on the roof and a lot less noisey will driving as well.