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Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Agent009 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:08 pm

On the way home from Wivenhoe on the weekend I noticed my Barracuda kayak had slipped on the top of the car.

So I pulled over and noticed one of the Thule ratchet straps I use had come a tad loose...anyway, I tightened this up and headed home. However, now I'm seriously considering tieing the yak to the car at the bow and stern. I thought that because the Barracuda is such a light weight yak that I may not need to attach to the car. But now I'm thinking the opposite: because its so light it may definitely need this extra reinforcement?

I tried searching these forums and found heaps of posts about this but I couldn't find anything around what type of rope and how to make the tie downs. I drive a Mazda 3 hatch...where does one tie down to this car at the front and back? I don't know much about cars but I'm assuming it would have tie down points somewhere? Also, as per my previous sentence, how does one make these tie downs? Is it simply rope from kayak to car or do you need some sort of bungee in there? I'm guessing you would need some sort of bungy to make it nice and tight...otherwise the rope would have to be exactly the right length?

Also, because I drive a Mazda 3 hatch, my Rhino Rack Sportz bars are fairly close together. So I think this is another reason why I should tie the front and back down.

And lastly...when driving in excess of 70km/hr, the wind is SOOOO loud under the kayak (kayak is face down on racks). I mean, REALLY loud. Is this normal lol?

Thanks everyone.

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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby theGT58 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:30 pm

G'day Mate

Re: tying down I simply use a bungy with attached carabiner clips on each end. If travelling long distances I clip to the tow point at the front, otherwise I just wrap it back around the roof rack bar(This will obviously not hold it properly if the straps let go but my hope is it should contain it enough to allow me to stop). I also lossely run a reinforced, plastic sheathed chain through the rear scupper for long distance. This obviously could severely damage the yak if all goes to hell (but it would likely be in pretty bad condition if taking a fly along the highway at 110km/h anyway) and everything else lets go but I do it anyway as it may contain a situation as a last ditch thing, or stop the yak spearing off and killing somebody. Also acts as security so I don't need to worry if i'm leaving the car for a little while somewhere.

I think most tie downs will slip at some stage on long trips. No matter what I think it's always important to stop at least every two hours and check them.
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby keza » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:32 pm

I tie my yaks front and back for long journeys.
I just use rope but that because I have bull bars.
You may want to thread whatever you use through a bit of pool noodle where is contacts with the bonnet, just to stop any rubbing.
I just tie mine off and then tape the knot to stop it fraying or coming lose in the wind.
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby geebz » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:46 pm

I just tie the front and back with rope and a truckies hitch.

The back I tie to the tow bar and the front I tie to some flat webbing that I have made into loops and bolted to the chassis under the bonnet (got the idea from here). The loops of webbing are just flipped under the bonnet when not in use.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=19504&p=210732&hilit=bonnet#p210732

Ive been using this for a while and havent had any problem with it rubbing the paint. I dont tie the ropes super tight as they are more just a worst case thing and I worry about them bannanaing my kayak.
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Marty75 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:53 pm

How do you guys stop the buffeting noise of the bow tie down strap? I believe making a couple of twists in the tie down helps but how do you get the 'twists' to stay without untwisting itself?

On my car I have used the tow point attachment at the front of the car (usually hidden behind a panel that pops off the bumper bar) and tied the tie down to that but the twists kept unravelling and the humm was deafening.

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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby nad97 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:02 pm

You need to twist the strap before you run it through the buckle to keep the twists in. It dose stop the huming sound
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Agent009 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:52 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies! Those Thule Quick Draw tie downs look great - just got to find a local supplier and I'm sold!

In regards to the humming...it sounds like my Thule tie downs are causing this. I was being fairly anal and made sure there were ZERO twists as I thought this would hold the yak down better and more secure? But if twists will stop the dreaded humming (its Bl00dy loud!) then I'll definitely do this.

How many twists do I need to put in the straps? The way I secure my yak is throw the strap over the hull and then diagonally under the yak/roof racks and then over the hull again and then diagonally the other direction (to make a "X" under the roof racks). Then I put the strap through the ratchet and tighten.

Is this above tie down process correct or is there a better way to do it? And how many twists should I have and should the twists be on the hull? (kayak is face down).

Thanks again
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby keza » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:49 pm

Not sure if this is much different but I would throw the strap over the hull, hook it under the rack and then back over the top, under the rack and then do it up.
2 lines rather than a X will give you a wider hold.
Just a thought.
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Iseered » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Front and rear plus one for each bar and you won't go too far wrong. It's a pretty bumpy road from Brisvegas up to Wivenhoe, not like the M1. I've never had a problem with my system. Drove down to Victoria and back at the start of the year no probs.
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Ado » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:36 am

Always tie down front and back if doing over 60 km/h. Racks can part the roof no matter how well the kayak is tied to them.
I love the Thule racket tie downs too.
If you use webbing loops at either end of the front and rear tie downs, then put a twist in them before you connect the tie down.
Use toe points or find something under the bonnet that you can loop something through.
I'm not sure about the x-cross with the single strap. It will tend to pull the two racks together and put some stress on them.
Use two straps, one for each rack. A single twist on each strap that's not contacting the yak will stop the noise.
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Bretto » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:06 am

I tie mine front and back. The last thing I want to brake hard and see my yak flying off the front of the car. Better peace of mind driving down the highway too.
Cheers,
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Agent009 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:24 am

Thanks Brett. I agree 'piece of mind' is very important!

So what exactly am I looking for on the Mazda 3 at the front and back? Should there be somewhere I can clip the Thule Quick Draws to?
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby nad97 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:33 am

In the front of the bumper there should be a round or square insert to remove it you really need to reach up from the bottom so that you do damage the pait and plastic. Then with the spare tyre tools should be a large eye bolt this will give you somthing to attach to. it should be the same on the back but you would need to get a secont eye bolt from a wrecker as a dealer will pull your pants down and .................
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Agent009 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:15 pm

Thanks Nads! I'm glad you posted that because I don't think I would have figured that one out by myself!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Kayak tiedowns to car - bow/stern

Postby Salty Dog » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:49 pm

Hi Guys,

Used to work with a guy that was in NSW Sea Kayaking club. Their kayaks tended to be really long with an upturned bow. Being glass, they had to use rubber saddles & would most usually load them the right way up, (as opposed to upside down).

He used some loops of seat belt material attached to his struts, (shockys) so he would have a loop to run something called a ratchet rope through - just had a couple of little loops sticking up on each side of his bonnet. It had a flat rubberised section in it to go over the ends of his kayak.

Looked similar to these:

http://www.amazon.com/Malone-Sentry-Ratchet-Kayak-Canoe/dp/B000SXP2OI
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