Is your kayak properly secured while transporting it?

Discussion in 'Paddling Safety' started by RoyN, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    I have been hesitant to cut that extra rope, too. I create a loop lower down in the main line using a simple overhand knot. After snugging the Quickdraw I take one wrap around the main line and run the excess through the loop and tie a couple of half hitches. I take the rest back up the mainline and tie a couple more half hitches. Has worked fine for over a year.

    For the excess cam buckle strap I run them to the cockpit and tie then in a simple shoelace-type bow. The cockpit cover goes over them and I'm done. No slapping straps in the wind.

    I also replaced the "bumper" hook with a 'biner.
     
  2. Alana

    Alana Wave Seeker

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    The problem is that I really do have around 10' extra. I have my bow tie downs hooked to a loop of webbing that is attached under the hood to the frame of the car. The line doesn't have to go far. The back is a different story.

    That's a new one, I'll have to give it a try :)

    Two of my newer Quick Draws have carabiners and I was considering changing the rest. Where did you buy the carabiners from?
     
  3. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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  4. Alana

    Alana Wave Seeker

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    The older Thule ones don't
    [​IMG]
     
  5. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    Alana said:
    I haven't found an easy way to replace the hooks on the tensioner end of the old style Quickdraws. I replaced them outright and they are "loaners". I put standard biners on the end that hooks to the car. I felt comfy in my ability to secure the old style Quickdraws with hooks on both ends to the boat but just never felt really great about the hook attaching to the car. I replaced those with standard carabiners that I had knocking around.

    As far as rope length, I have a couple of boats and each has it's own tie down set of Quickdraws with appropriately placed knotted loops. When I had my 14' Tern the lines were excessively long and I didn't want to shorten them because I might need them to be longer on someone else's vehicle. I ran the excess line left over after snugging the boat down through the loop after taking one or two wraps and threw a couple of half hitches, ran it back up over the hook or biner at the boat (taking another wrap) and threw more half hitches or wraps to use up the excess. The wraps matter because they reduce the amount of line vibration. That Thule line is pretty soft so knots are easy to untie.

    Not sure if any of that made sense.
     
  6. RoyN

    RoyN Paddler

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    if you want to retro fit your older style quickdraws with biners, you can use the existing hook through the new biner if you have access to a vice to close the loop on the open end of the s-hook.
     
  7. Alana

    Alana Wave Seeker

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    I was thinking about doing that, or prying the loop on the hook open and replacing it with a 'biner.

    Would me bending the metal into an 'S' stress the metal resulting in it being weaker?
     
  8. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Most of those hooks are mild steel, so bending won't have a big effect on the strength.
    Anyway, you don't want to get anywhere near the breaking strength of that hook... or you will do some serious damage to your boat.
    I wouldn't worry about it.

    Like you, I'd probably consider removing the hook entirely, though you'll probably need a good bench vise and a few tools to open the loop.

    However, I prefer line and a couple of knots- cheaper, lighter and almost as quick once you learn the knots.

    Cheers
    John
     
  9. jdberger

    jdberger New Member

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    This is sort of a necro-post, but I thought I'd add a little something about tying a secure bow-line.

    I carry a Pygmy Coho in a Yakima J-Rack on top of my Chevy Tahoe. I use Yakima's straps as well as their bow and stern lines. It's a 5 minute drive to where I paddle, but I cinch the straps down tight (not the bow and stern lines) and tie a pretty decent hitch knot in the bow and stern lines. The excess bow/stern line is tied up in a bow. Over the summer, this has worked pretty well.

    A couple weeks ago, I noticed the bow line vibrating a lot. Right after a turn, the bow untied and fell beneath the truck. I was only going about 5 miles-per-hour and I immediately pulled to the side of the road - when I heard a huge BANG!

    Apparently, the loose bowline got caught under a front tire and I was in the process of driving up it when it snapped. Of course, all that weight was also pulling the bow of the boat down toward the ground, and since the boat was pivoting on the front crossbar, the stern rose into the air pulling the J-Rack, the crossbar it was attached to, and the factory side rails with it.

    I completely pulled the rear of the factory rack (on one side) completely off the roof. The bolts came right through the sheet metal.

    The boat was miraculously undamaged.
    The Yakima rack and all its components (with the exception of the bow line) were undamaged.

    Repair to the roof and factory rack - $1,800ish.

    Make sure that you tie up that extra bow line, folks.
     
  10. KayDubbya

    KayDubbya Paddler

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    That's one tough boat. Whodathunkit? :shock:
     
  11. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Ouch! I'm guessing you weren't using a stern line?

    Yes, the Pygmy construction is strong: I lash my two down so that the entire vehicle shakes when I grab a bow or stern and give it a wiggle. They've managed about 5,000 miles that way so far.
     
  12. camshaft

    camshaft Paddler

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    I just use a standard hitch knot on my stern and bow lines works great
     
  13. windancer

    windancer Paddler

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    I hate to resurect an old thread, but I have taken the racks off the top of my car and now use a trailer to transport my two Touring Kayaks. It has more advantages IMO than disadvantages. Since the photo was taken I have added a spare tire and a storage box to my Malone trailer.

    Terry
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. windancer

    windancer Paddler

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    Unfortunately I couldn't....... :lol:

    Terry
    [​IMG]
     
  15. JimmEh

    JimmEh Paddler

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    What do you recomend for someone wanting to use rope with caribiners to make bow/stern lines? ie: breaking strength of rope, what knot to use at the ends. Any advice would be grateful. I'm moving in a couple months and have never driven more than a few minutes to launch in the lake here, want to have the proper tie downs for highway driving.
     
  16. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Straps are better. They give more surface area against the boat and can easily be tightened. Get one for each rack, sized to pass over the hull, around the rack, and back over the hull, with a last double wrap on the rack before the buckle and strap end are joined. Some from kayak shops will have integral pads attached to the buckles so they can not scar the hull.

    Polyester or polyethylene straps do not stretch when wet, while nylon ones will. Avoid the latter.

    One choice: http://www.westerncanoekayak.com/produc ... on_id=5167
     
  17. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Don't use nylon. Water expands nylon.
    Use a taught line hitch.
    Use a old mule packer's trick, after rigging, use your carabiner as a toggle between the 2 lines to pull them tight.
    If the ropes vibrate at speed, tie some short ropes to the lines at points of greatest displacement.

    I don't use bow & stern lines. I use 2 ratchet straps around the cowl flange to lock the boat from moving foe or aft and pull straps at the supports. One ratchet strap fits under the front of the cowl flange and is attached to the back of the rack, the other ratchet strap is fit under the back of the cowl flange and is attached to the front of the rack. After these straps are tightened against each other the boat can not move forward or rearward. The cowl area is the strongest part of the boat. If the cowl can't move the boat can't move. I have a 6 foot long rack. A 4 foot rack might work as good for this method.

    Roy
     
  18. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Dave, I think JimmEh is referring specifically to bow and stern lines -- an application where I wouldn't use straps (but I certainly would for securing the boat to the rack -- as you've suggested).

    I use about a 3/8" rope (I believe it's polyester but I'm not certain) for bow and stern lines and have no idea what the breaking strength is but I'd guess it's more than adequate for the task. Instead of using caribiners I would suggest using a couple of simple knots -- learn to tie a truckers hitch and half hitches -- do a google search and you'll find lots of knot tying tutorials. Big thing to remember is not to tie your tie downs too tight. Your vehicle flexes and could create unnecessary stress on the boat if the lines are too tight. I tie mine taut, but not tight. Next time I tie my boats to the car, I'll try to remember and take some photos.
     
  19. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Roy, the only potential problem that I see with your method is that there's no redundancy if the rack itself fails -- I had a rack fail and had I used bow and stern lines, I could have avoided the sinking feeling I got when I saw the kayak that was on my roof -- in my rear-view mirror.
     
  20. JimmEh

    JimmEh Paddler

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    Yeah I have straps with cams for the rack, today I found some python locks at a garage sale and it made me think about this. I was thinking specifically bow and stern for a long drive (kootenays to van-isle). I'd like to have it done up proper for the drive. I do know some knots (bowline, truckers hitch, figure 8, double figure 8 etc) Just trying to get a feel for what other people are using. I like the idea of using a caribiner for speed instead of tying knots every time. I am not going until mid july - early august so no rush.

    thanks for the suggestions everyone.