how tight tieing down

Joined
Feb 13, 2014
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142
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minnesota
I installed cross rails on my Jeep Grand Cherokee. When I was using foam blocks, they would 'smoosh' down when I tightened the ropes. With rails, I dont think I'd want to go too tight and be bending on the canoe. So, how tight do I go, particularly with the ropes on front/back to bumpers?
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
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Northern Wisconsin
I just snug them down with a truckers' hitch (knot) just enough to stop the windmill action and so that there's no slack in the rope. I also have canoe carriers on my Thule rack so there's no side to side movement. I never use ratchet straps either lengthwise or across.
 
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Aug 23, 2013
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Red Lake, Ontario
Funny this came up. Just back from a little fishing and the canoe moved quite a bit on the roof of the truck. The road is washboard and rough so it was rattling around like crazy, I use cam straps and put a fairly decent pull on those straps. I fear less about cracking the gel coat than I do the damage that's happing from the canoe moving on the racks. Metal racks and aluminum gunnels are not getting along very well. It's all good going down paved roads, but an hour of beating the snot out of my Taco on bush roads is another story.

I think I want to install rubber on the cross members. But I fear the canoe won't slide well well taking it off and putting it back on.

I also think that if you cave in your boat using cam straps than you have super powers or super bad canoe.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
Not too much force. I use camlock buckles rather than ratchet straps. Bow lines are rope and just taut enough to avoid the bow moving around in truck wash. We're now on I 90 in South Dakota on the way home. When the tower broke in Colorado the boat did not move on the rack. Gunwale brackets are a real help. Wind is about 30 mph crosswind today. Not much in the way of trees to break it.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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For years I tied my canoes down, and was generally unhappy with the results. I think it was Yellowcanoe who introduced me to cam lock buckles over on myccr, haven't looked back since. When we are tying 12 canoes onto the big trailer for a school trip, the cam straps save hours.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
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Manchester, CT
I use Yakima gunwhale brackets and camlock straps. As long as you have everything snug enough so it doesn't wiggle around, you're good. Two belly straps and, at the very least, a bow tie down. I tie the stern down as well.
 
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Feb 1, 2013
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Warren, Manitoba
Just to be different... my cross bars are 2x4's u-bolted to the factory rack on my Highlander, either for a single boat or longer ones for two boats. I have strategically placed eye bolts to tie off to and they would keep a boat on the truck if ropes let go. I use ratchet straps always, on the stripper, w/c and my kevlar. I do have carpet on the cross bars, but still get the straps tight, wiggle the boat, if the truck moves we are good. I also tie the front off on both corners and a single rope at the rear.

It isn't what I would recommend for everyone, but it works for me and I have no concerns with busting a boat. Besides, my skinny girly arms aren't strong enough for cam straps or rope. :p

Karin
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
I'd bet all these methods will work, but the thing I do in addition is after the canoe is up and lashed down is to walk around the thing pretending I'm the wind or a big semi that's coming whooshing along. I grab each end and shake it from side to side hard.
How hard, I hear you asking? Well, you've felt the concussive effect of a powerful gust of wind? You see just how much surface area is presented by the canoe to any wind? That's how hard and then just a little bit more.
I've noticed that for some reason that the lashing left on overnight or in the rain get loose a little bit. Before I take off and at every stop along the way I walk around and shake the canoe and tug at the ropes. After a while you'll get better at determining how tightly to pull the lines.

Also while you're driving along it's a good idea to check in the mirrors the tie downs, if they are starting to "buzz" they may be coming loose.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
I have found out from trailering without gunwale brackets ( I have eight and insufficient funds for some sixteen more!) that vinyl gunwales do not stick well to vinyl.. Embarrasing episode.. the Mohawk Solo 13 merely slid out the back of the trailer in front of the local grocery store ( at this time you wish you did not know everyone in the store). Some sort of grabby but rolly stuff has saved me since..pipe insulation and camlocking so the insulation is squooshed. When the boat is released the boat can slide over the rolling insulation.

Yes the OM Shake Rattle n Roll is what I do too! You don't want to hear shimmy shimmy kokobop.

Also aluminum gunwales and metal nekkid bars tend to slide.. Maybe Walmart Carpet Grip?
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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Middle of the Florida paddling paradise
meopilite Mlhun09 and I are about the same. The only thing different is I use quick-n-easy brackets and carpeted 2 x 4's. There is this twang sound I am looking for when I pluck the straps like a guitar string. Just gently tighten the canoe then use oldie moldy's method to check for tightness. If it moves tighten it a little more. Repeat until you are satisfied you have meet the oldie moldy standard. Then pluck your rope/straps and remember the sound.

Pool noodles work well on cross bars/gunwale and will give you back your smoosh'.
 
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My experience. Don't use ratchet straps, it's too tempting to over tighten. Some sort of gunnel bracket is important. 2 diagonal bow ropes really help truck wash. I fasten the front thwart to the front bar with two small ball type bungees. this secures against fore-aft movement. Maybe overkill, but I drive secure.
Keep your paddle wet,Turtle
 
G

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I switched from rope to ratchet straps, and haven't had problems, nor load shifting. Testing with a tug and wiggle before departing gives me some peace of mind. I tie off both fore and aft with trucker's hitch. I used the pool noodles with success when I didn't have a roof rack. Now that we have racks again, both me and the boat are more comfortable. I never use bungees. I carry a cable lock in case we might wander from canoe/car for awhile.
This May long weekend, while memaquay was fishing (sigh!) me and my honey were up north doing family stuff. On the road home we saw several canoe carrying carloads heading south. They all had different rope or strap choices, and all looked secure. To each his/her own. I'm good with that. I'm not good with the idiot cruising down the highway with his canoe open side up in the bed of his pick up truck, tailgate down and nary a rope or strap to be seen. Maybe he was trying to get rid of it. I pity the poor souls adopting his junk at 60 mph.
 
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Guest
My experience. Don't use ratchet straps, it's too tempting to over tighten. Some sort of gunnel bracket is important. 2 diagonal bow ropes really help truck wash. I fasten the front thwart to the front bar with two small ball type bungees. this secures against fore-aft movement. Maybe overkill, but I drive secure.

Very much the same here.

I’m a rope guy, and prefer good quality rope to cams or ratchets. I know by feel how tight a trucker’s hitch should be pulled.

Gunwale brackets or stops are an important piece of securing a canoe on roof racks, combined with two belly lines and bow & stern lines.

When I most often carried a single canoe I used two diagonal bow lines, which if positioned and tied correctly prevents any sideways movement of the bow overhanging the front crossbar. But when carrying two (and sometimes as many as four) canoes on the roof the mass of double bowlines is like peering through the windshield at loose macramé.

With two boats or more boats on the tracks I use single bowlines, but still tie them off on the diagonal for better visibility.



Belly lines and gunwale brackets will prevent the hull(s) from moving sideways, and a bow to bumper line will keep boats from moving back. But moving back is less of an issue than the hull moving forward, especially in a panic stop or hard brake.

The bowline(s) typically pull forward. Unfortunately the usual position for stern lines is also pulling forward. Having the bow and stern lines springlined, pulling in opposite directions (bow line forward, stern line back), prevents any movement.

I don’t trust a bungee for that heavy duty and secure the stern painters with a trucker’s hitch between thwart and rear crossbar, so that the stern lines are pulling backwards. On the truck that has the added advantage of not occluding the tailgate and cap door with ropes for easier access.



Some restraint preventing the boat from sliding forward is critical. If you’ve ever locked up the brakes with boats on the roof you know what happens. The shorter the crossbar spread the more likely the hulls will end up as hood ornaments. Think something like this =()=

On the whole I’d prefer that the rear-pulling lines be somehow attached to the vehicle/body and not the roof racks, so I had belly lines tied to the roof rack crossbars and bow and stern lines tied to the vehicle. That’s something else I need to figure out/retrofit on the Tacoma.
 
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The distance between bars is another big factor. Longer is better. It resists sideways twisting better and securing to the narrower parts of the canoe automatically resists fore-aft movement. dealers with multi canoe trailers with wide span bars use just straps at the bars.
Turtle
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Whether rope or straps, use a material that doesn't stretch when wet--namely, polypropylene. Virtually all cam straps marketed for boaters are made of polypro. You can also get non-stretching polyester straps, which are more expensive.

http://www.strapworks.com/category_s/691.htm

However, many of the better ropes sold in local stores are nylon. Nylon rope absorbs water and will stretch when wet, and it will shrink as it dries. So, if you tighten nylon rope properly when it's dry outside and then it rains, you will probably find the rope becoming too loose on your car-top boats. On the other hand, if you properly tighten nylon rope when it's wet, it will shrink and over-tighten as it dries. I've seen fragile composite racing hulls damaged by this phenomenon.

In my opinion, straps distribute force better than rope and hence are less likely to damage a hull due to over-tightening or chafing, especially a gel-coated composite hull.
 
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Ropes and RX hulls

Ropes and RX hulls

In my opinion, straps distribute force better than rope and hence are less likely to damage a hull due to over-tightening or chafing, especially a gel-coated composite hull.

I’ve carried a variety of gel coated boats over the years using ropes and trucker’s hitches and never seen any wear on the gel coat.

I have seen (actually, caused) damage to a couple of Royalex boats using ropes. The foam core of a fresh from the factory RX hull will bruise like a ripe peach. I have tied off the knots (hitches) is such a position that the ball of rope was pressed tightly against the hull, leaving a permanent dimple.

Er, dimples. Apparently on one particular canoe was of ideal size and shape to press the hitches against the side of the hull. And apparently I tied it down several times in slightly different locations, leaving a series of dimples a few inches apart.
 
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