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I had a scary moment last weekend after my night fishing session on the Georges River.

I'd paddled back to the ramp at around 10.30pm after a nice afternoon/night on the water. I loaded the yak onto the roof, tightened the roofstraps (I use the black rola type straps) and packed away all my gear into the car careful not to leave anything behind in the darkness.

I thought that I'd just give the tiedown straps another 'yank' before I left, so I grabbed the front one and gave it a pull only for the 'male' end of the tiedown strap to come out of the 'female' part. Hmm, mustn't have been in properly I thought, so I clicked it in again and gave another yank.

The same thing happened - the clip came straight out again. :? what the?? :?:

Anyway, I grabbed my headtorch and had a look at the buckle. It all looked fine, but on closer inspection I noticed a thin hairline crack along the edge of the clip so that when pressure was applied it sprang open enough to release. It was only that I'd given the straps an extra good tighten that it happened and that I'd noticed it..

So I'm glad that I found it otherwise I'm not sure what may have happened on the way home at 90/100km and I'm fairly sure that I dont want my yak to seperate from the roofracks at that speed.

Funny thing is that I've sworn by these straps for years and have carried surfboards, skis, timber etc on my racks and never had a problem. I'm not sure whether the buckle had been trodden on or damaged and that's why it cracked, or whether it was just not up to the job.

Anyway, methinks I'll be investing in some 'heavy duty' roofstraps for the future. What type do you guys use?
 

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I use cheap rather tiedowns purchased from a large hardware chain. Bought them before I bought the yak and before I read The Mariner's advice not to use them because of the risk of overtightening them. I am careful about how much I do tighten them and loosen them a bit if leaving the yak on the car while stationary for any long period. An occasional spray of inox keeps the mechanism working well.
 

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:shock: ? You use something to hold the yak down? :shock: Mine just sits there!

Actually, I have the locking straps, came with the Rhinorack kayak holder. But I also rope across front rack. And I rope nose to front rack and tail to rear rack. So, if straps are loose then yak cannot slide forward or back. If front strap comes off, rope is still on. If yak comes loose on racks, then crikey, look out as I'll be driving with one hand out window hanging on to my baby.

Yeah, Daveyak, good one finding that your yak was not secure.
 

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Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.

Red.

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Peril- What does the Mariner recomend instead of tie downs?
 

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I use the Thule Kayak Straps with a jam cleat in one end. After I pull em tight, a couple of half hitches round the lot and they're not going anywhere.

Good pick-up Davey. Much better to find it there than to have your yak sailing off in the breeze.
 

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The tie downs not recommended are the rachet ones. These have a small lever that you use to pull in the last bit of strap and tighten it up. Because it is a lever, it can potentially exert too much pressure and so bust the yak, especially a glass one. Most of the straps I have seen in the auto section at Kmart etc have been these ones of varying quality but with the lever winding up some of the strap. It is the excess pressure that they are capable of that is potentially unhealthy for yak.

The recommended straps just have a cam lock and you pull the strap through and the cam locks onto it. There is no lever you use to tighten it up so no excess pressure can be applied.

There is a thread about it somewhere, probably can find it via search.
 

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Yeah Troppo, they're the sort I use - no lever.
 
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I have used a set of larger (truck style) ratchett tie downs since day one and never had any problems at all. The wider straps spread the load on the hulls and I can strap it down very securely without any warping or give in the hulls, even when travelling many hours in the QLD sun.

I know alot of the guys say they don't recommend ratchett tie downs, but if you choose the correct ones (wider straps) I think they are quicker and more secure than the alternatives?
 

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I use ropes and a truckies knot. This allows me to get my ropes tight and secure without exerting too much pressure on my scuppers through using a ratchet type tie down. What i like about ropes is you soon devlop a feel for how tight it needs to be and can easily guage it so you never apply more than you need.

Catch ya Scott
 

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Scott said:
I use ropes and a truckies knot.
Like Scott I used rope and truckies knot on my old van, up to two months ago, and with firm pressure never had the yaks move.

On getting the present van I got a couple of cam lock straps and pulled tight and half hitched as had been recommended on the forum; found the yak sometimse slipped a little sideways, although no risk of coming off the roof.

So I've replaced with a set of ratchet straps and take them to firm and have had no problem, and now wouldn't change back.

With the potential leverage I can understand why they are not promoted, but with commonsense and only taken up to a firm hold I think they are great
 
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Scott said:
I use ropes and a truckies knot. This allows me to get my ropes tight and secure without exerting too much pressure on my scuppers through using a ratchet type tie down. What i like about ropes is you soon devlop a feel for how tight it needs to be and can easily guage it so you never apply more than you need.

Catch ya Scott
I do alot of travelling and the ratchetts give me more comfort on a 20+ hour drive, as I did recently to FNQ......with ropes I'd be stopping every couple of hours to check everything, double check, and move on again.

The ratchetts have the ability to exert the exact same pressure as any other method of securing your yak, without the risk of loosening.

You just need to use a little self control in tightening rather than ratchett them right down.

If used properly they are IMO safer and more secure than other methods, as well as being much faster to load/unload.
 

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Dallas, mate I find I need to stop for a slash and or stretch my legs every 2 or 3 hours or so. I tend to over tighten things when using tie downs as I obviously don't have your restraint or commonsense mate. I am probably overly paranoid about damaging my scuppers but they seem to me (possibly in my ignorance) to be the weak point on an otherwise bullet proof poly yak.

Catch ya Scott
 
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Heya Scott,

I'm sure if I ratchetted my tie downs down as far as I could I'd end up damaging my yak......with a little extra effort I might even end up with a folding kayak :wink:

Everyone transports their yaks differently, in different conditions, different durations etc.

Just didnt see the point in scaring everyone off ratchett tie downs, when they do work very well when used correctly.

All the systems mentioned here have the ability to cause damage in one way or another (directly, or indirectly through failing to secure the kayak).
I can understand your concern re: damaging scuppers.

Mine is my kayaks flying off my camper trailer at 100kmh into oncoming traffic on a long drive over sometimes less than ideal road conditions I guess.......
 

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for tiedowns l have always used motorbike straps the ones you just pull down on the straps after you hook them on,, BUT when l use them on the yaks its over the yak throughthe car doors and hook the straps to geither and pull like hell on them that way the roof must go with the yak if it desides to fly to a new home.. and a lenth of the old telecom rope at each end so there is no slipping forward,or backwards during high speed take offs and stopping and so far she still there havent lost them yet :p :p and also you can see if they are getting loose from the inside of the car because all you have to do is pull the strapabove your head to see if it need tighting
 

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I use ratchet and cam types depending on which ones I pick up before I go. I only ever use two and I have never had a problem with the ratchet type. I actually prefer them on longer trips. I only have the cheap type purchased from Super Cheap. Apart from the rubber coming off the ratchet handle they work fine.

IMO you would need to be exerting a hell of a lot of pressure to collapse or damage a yak with ratchets. You can tell when you are getting tight.
 
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