Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:55 am Post subject: Tieing Kayak To Roof Rails
Does anyone use either of these to tie down your kayak to the roof rails of your car?
How confident are you that the knot will not come undone while you’re tooling along at 70 mph?
I’m new to this kayak stuff and I’m thinking of using one of these.
not fancy, but works. had it for a few years with no problem. but, the straps taht connect it aren't terribly big, so I either strap the kayak through the car inside the doors, or what I do know is wrap a strap around the bars and through the car. then I strap the kayak to the rack. but the rack bar is secured very well.
I used to use the ratcheting straps but they can be tightened to tight and bend the kayak. now I use the straps like the yakima straps. I pull down pretty snug, then tie a couple of half hitches with the strap to keep it from slipping.
I use the foam blocks shaped for kayaks underneath which helps with slipping.the big problem is the vibration and bouncing. I also run a strap through the ahndles and inside the car as a security measure. if something does happen, then at least it won't fly off before I can pull over and fix it. _________________
member Malibu Flotilla, Kayak Coastal Assault Squadron
orange Cobra Fish n Dive
red OK Prowler 13
tan OK Trident 15
In 25 years of kayaking, I've seen a lot of kayaks come off the top of vehicles. And you don't want it to happen to you. Plastic kayaks are pretty tough, but losing a kayak off a vehicle can still be an expensive mistake. You may never find the kayak, and a kayak which has been run over by a semi is a sad sight. My recommendations:
(a) tie down your kayak with cam buckle straps, which you can get at a variety of rafting and kayaking supply stores such as Northwest River Supply.
(b) Run each strap over the top of your kayak, under the far side of the bar, back over the top of the kayak, under the near side of the bar, and through the buckle, so there's no way the strap can come off the bar. Then tighten the straps real firmly.
(c) If there is a solid loop on the kayak, run the strap through that loop. Then if the straps get loose, the kayak can't slip out of the straps.
(d) In addition, tie one end of a rope to the front handle of the kayak, run the other end of the rope through the passenger side tow loop under the front bumper, and tighten the rope using a trucker's hitch. This third point of attachment will keep the kayak from sliding backwards through the straps due to wind pressure, and will keep the kayak attached to your car even if one of the cam straps breaks. It may also remind you not to drive into your garage with the kayak on top of your vehicle, which could damage the kayak, your roof rack, and your garage.
(e) To further reduce your chances of driving into your garage with your kayak on top of your vehicle, as soon as you tie your kayak on top of your vehicle, throw your garage door opener into your glove compartment or under your seat, so you have to look for it in order to open your garage door. After a long day on the water and a long drive home, it's easy to forget about the kayak, punch the garage door opener, and drive into the garage. Or partly into the garage.
(f) Don't use any kind of strap which attaches with a hook. Kayaks can be as slippery and sneaky as watermelon seeds, and tend to slide out from under straps. If your kayak moves and the straps get loose, hooks can come completely off your roof rack, which is not a good thing.
(g) Pad the bar on your roof rack so the bar won't rub dark lines into your pretty kayak, and so the bar won't bend a dent into your kayak. A low-tech way to pad your bar is with pipe insulation held on with duct tape. A fancier method is to take two pieces of 1" x 4" hardwood and attach them to the bars on your roof rack with pairs of carriage bolts, metal bars with holes for each pair of carriage bolts to go through, and thumbscrews. Slide some pieces of clear plastic hose over the carriage bolts and the metal bars so they won't grind up the bars on your roof rack. Then pad the bar with several layers of closed cell foam, and stretch heavy nylon over the foam and glue it to the wood bar. These padded boards will last for many years, and will protect your kayak from abrasion and denting.
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