Anything to be wary of?

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I bought some extra long cross bars for my canoe carrying car so we could carry both our boats (both tandems).

I've never carried two boats on a roof, anything I should know before I do? I have two sets of Thule cradles to keep them from sliding about and a bow line for each.

I haven't been using a stern line but I used to, and just tied it loose to keep the boat from slipping forward too much under braking. With the cradles it hardly moves though.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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The driver and passenger should be careful not to bang their heads on the protruding bars when they get out of the car. No joke.

I'd recommend a set of separate belly straps over each canoe rather than one set of belly straps over both. If you are going to use bow and stern lines, I'd use both. If the rack comes loose, a stern line in conjunction with a bow line will be more likely to keep the flopping canoe under control on top of the vehicle. It's often hard on modern plastic cars to find tie down points.
 
G

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OK thanks. The plan was to use separate straps for both. I will bang mine, I am sure of that. I usually whack it on the stern when walking around the car. It is just low enough I can hit it and my wife misses it (she is about 2" shorter than me). I usually follow her right into it LOL.

The vehicle is pretty new and I haven't put a hitch on yet, but plan to. My usual method is to tie the stern to the hitch frame. When I have an extra $300 I don't mind spending on something not fun, I will get a hitch frame. I have a truck for towing so this is mainly just for the bike rack... not a high priority.
 
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I definitely agree about the head banging on the bars extending outside of the car. Watch out. If you tie a length of brightly colored flagging to the stern of the boat (which may be required anyway if it extends more than 3 feet behind the vehicle), it will help with the head banging there. Such flagging has saved me several times within an inch of injury with a rapid reflex response of the flagging flashing in my eyes.

Also, I run the straps around the vehicle rails, not just the external cross bars that are connected to the rails. If you run the straps around the cross bars and the cross bars connection fails, it is better to have the straps around the vehicle rails to hold everything together.
 
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I don't worry about my rack separating from my vehicle but I echo the use of separate straps for each canoe. I highly endorse the gunwale brackets. They really shine when a convoy of trucks is passing you at 75MPH. I have 78" bars and after 10 years I hit my head regularly on the cross bars and stern of the canoe, often in full view of the public. Firstly, refrain from cussing, you decided to put those ungodly long bars on your self. Second, if you hit your head on the crossbar on the way in or out of the vehicle, grab your head with both hands in a dramatic fashion and cry out "I CAN'T FEEL MY FACE!" as you fall back into the vehicle. Than wait until you can regain your composure and all witnesses have left the area. Alternately, you can just take off skipping across the parking lot singing your favorite song until the pain subsides a little. Generally, I found this the best way to recover from your faux pas, but it's harder to pull off if there's no boats on the vehicle to begin with.
 
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I have Thule 78 inch load bars that I use on my Element. Yeah, watch your head, as everyone has already said. I sometimes use clamp on ski brackets to hold the gunnels from sliding around. I also have some straps under the hood, to tie off the bows if needed. I never have tied off the sterns... I use cam action buckles on nylon straps that I have sewn myself, I can make any length strap and it generally costs 25% of ready made straps. I always use one strap per boat per load bar, in a continuous loop over the boat and under the racks on each side of the boat.
With all that said, I rarely tie off the bow, even though my racks are set very close together (factory mount points force this)

I do get some movement of the boats, they try to separate from each other, but the gunnel brackets solve that issue.
I have searched my photos for a good view, this is the best I can find...

BTW, I have a 2 foot overhang with my solo and tandems, MDB's solo canoe and kayak fit much better.

DSC_8205.JPG
 
G

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Yup that is what I bought... 78" Thule bars. We have a new Forester. It looks maybe a little longer than the Element.

We had a Jetta but ditched it because of ground clearance issues. It was nice car but I was sick of bottoming it out on Adirondack dirt roads (and worried I might seriously damage it). I have a beast F150 4x4 but it gets such terrible gas mileage... And my Miata... well... not such a good boat car. Not such a good ADK car... but it's light, it's dirt simple to fix, and it's cheap to own... it's a good fair weather commuter. I tried to get one car that could meet all my needs but it just didn't happen. It had to tow my race trailer, get good gas mileage and be fun to drive in the summer... and well my wife needed a car too.

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I like the Thule straps better than others I have tried. I used to use ratchet straps with my Radisson but I've been weened off them with the kevlar boat.
 
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I bought all of my strap materials from The Rainshed, in WA or maybe OR state...The buckles are made by ANCRA and hold quite well. I tried polypropylene straps, but they didn't weather too well. Nylon, either regular of heavy weight works best.
This is my second Element, I wish the gas mileage was better, but I suppose it's not bad considering that I'm pushing a brick through the air! The E has good ground clearance, and amazing cargo space, especially with the rear seats folded to the side or, better yet, removed and left in the garage. All of the seats are waterproof (great with a dripping wetsuit) and the entire floor is just rubber matting, no carpets. The AWD works better than any 4wd I've ever driven, and I have some "real" Jeeps that can't compare in the snow. My wife and I have many rental properties, and the E can fit an enormous amount of material and tools inside. We can even fit a 19 cu ft fridge inside, and still shut the rear gates!
I just wish the the anchor points that are welded to the roof structure were farther apart...
 
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Hi Bird, I don't know anything about a tandem rig, sounds as if the guys have it just about covered. Couple of other ideas; do a pretty good inspection of the tires, inside part with a flashlight. Get a good quality pressure gauge and use it. Years ago I got a little portable air compressor to use with my air brush. I felt silly doing it, but over time that compressor sure has been useful.

As well as checking all the lashings, once I'm in the seat behind the wheel and the seat has settled down under my weight, I check the mirrors are where I want them to be. Also I align a small piece of masking tape on the inside of the front window with the point of my canoe's bow. That way I have a reference point to check if anything has shifted.

Usually at this point I remember "Darn, I forgot to check the oil................"

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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No worries Rob. I have a big IR compressor I use to run my air tools. I also have pretty accurate (not cal'd) and repeatable gauges I use for racing. I even have them in different scales!

Usually at this point I remember "Darn, I forgot to check the oil................"

I went to check the oil on my Miata and something looked strange... :confused: I think something is wrong?

543362_303132909753843_1246456100_n.jpg


J/K I bought that car with burned valve and took this shot when I was rebuilding the head.
 
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...I also have some straps under the hood, to tie off the bows if needed. I never have tied off the sterns...

I also have straps installed under the hood, to tie off the bows if needed. This means I tie off the bow of my 16 ft Swift canoe but not my 10 ft Hornbeck. I also attach straps to built-in rings in the rear corners of the floor of the cargo area of my Subaru Outback, behind the rear door, so I can easily tie off the stern of my longer boat. I don't know how many vehicles have some sort of secure attachment points inside their cargo areas or trunks, but I would guess that stern lines could often be attached using straps as attachment points, in the same way that straps under the hood can be used to attach bow lines. I have not heard this mentioned in forums but I wonder how often this is done.

It does seem that, if bow lines are used, stern lines ought to be used also. In addition to helping to restrict boat movement forwards and backwards, cinching lines at both stems seems to prevent the tendency for the opposite stem to lift when only one stem is tied down. The shorter the distance between crossbars, the more significant this risk becomes. Just a thought...
 
G

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Our Subie has those cargo net attachments in the back. There was something I didn't care for about it... might of been the gate didn't always shut fully with the rope in there, I don't recall...

I like a stern line too. With my old Radisson I didn't care, I just cranked it down with ratchet straps. Now that I have more expensive boats, I am a little more careful. I am constantly hearing horror stories about people losing boats, although I must say most of those stories include 'home made' racks. Not that they can't work, just some people are not very mechanically inclined and probably shouldn't DIY.

I'm much less concerned with the cradles though. Maybe I shouldn't have false faith in them but they do keep the boat from moving around. The rubber inserts on them are very high friction. I can't even slide the boat up on the rack with them there... they are too grippy! My Swift used to violently thrash from side to side in gusts of wind and now it is stable as can be. Only issue I've had is the bow lines loosening up on really bumpy dirt roads, and that I suspect is from the boat creeping forward under the tension of the lines and the constant vibration moving it forward a micron by micron.
 
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The AWD works better than any 4wd I've ever driven, and I have some "real" Jeeps that can't compare in the snow.

Oh no doubt, and yet another reason I like Scoobies.

I have seen some of your jeep shots on the ADK forum. I used to have an ancient cousin of a CJ; one of these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willys_Jeep_Truck

All the pictures I may have had of it are on film and I have no idea where. It spent a good part of it's life in Big Moose IIRC as part of the fire dept (it had all the lights and such on it) and we bought it from them. It then lived in Old Forge for a little while with my Dad and finally made it's way down state to me. I used to drive it around on our farm and in the hills around where I'm from.

Ours was a '61 with the Super Hurricane I6 (flathead line 6). Not much juice out of those. No heat. I used to crash it all the time in the winter, it wasn't very good in the snow - but hey, it had a plow frame and lights. A winch would have been better seen as how any tiny bit of ice would send you into the nearest snow bank... and well it handled like a dump truck. Tough as nails though. I used to beat the heck out of it.

It was cool but for practicality I'd take a modern AWD system any day.
 
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My daughter has a Willys pick up, and a CJ5 and a 1950 Dodge Power Wagon, her hubbie is a mechanic and a tinkerer and they both are motor heads.
My son has a CJ8 that we rebuilt from the ground up when he was 15...he says he'll never sell it.
I have had the same '77 CJ5 for the last 18 years. It is heavily modified, suspension, drive train, engine, all new and extremely capable. It is impossible to use 4wd in the snow, both front and rear diffs have lockers, and the little guy weighs but 2,000 lb with 300 lb-ft of torque. Great fun, but not when the roads are slippery.

Hang on to that Willys wagon, they're very cool vehicles...you could always toss a TJ frame and running gear under it!
 
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I always use bow lines, crossed, which is more difficult to do with two boats but I still manage it. Stern line not always. I also use ratchet straps even on my Kevlar Swift, just don't tighten too much. Since my racks are 2x4's U-bolted to the factory rack, I like to add wood blocks along the gunwales to prevent sideways movement as much as possible, but with always carrying different boats it can be annoying at times, but the eye bolts I run the straps to would prevent any boat from going all the way sideways unless a strap broke. Oh, and the whole, put a twist in the strap to prevent it from "singing", doesn't work for me, if there is a twist it will sing, so I make sure there isn't any.

One time coming home last year, ran into a big storm head on and despite the bow crossed ropes, the boat still shifted 6 inches sideways when we hit the leading edge of the wind.
 
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Oh it's long gone. At least for me it is.

I'm not much of a motor head actually. I've always been into racing but it doesn't really matter what propels me.
 
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