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bwcadan
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11/17/2017 05:28PM
I have been using 5 straps to tie down my canoe for the trip north each year. 4 at a time with a backup. After about 10 years, I am wondering about the shelf life for same and how to best judge their continued effectiveness. They are not frayed although a few crimps have begun to develop. What do you think?
 
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11/17/2017 05:36PM
I don't know how to tell, but straps are relatively cheap . . . at least compared to a canoe ;)
old_salt
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11/17/2017 05:51PM
Hook one end to the frame of your vehicle. Wrap the other end around a tree and hook up. Start ratcheting. If the vehicle is drawn closer to the tree, it’s all good. If the strap breaks, you have your answer.

Seriously, as long as your straps are not stored outside, they maintain integrity. I have some that are 20-25 years old that I still use.
bobbernumber3
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11/17/2017 06:18PM
Industrial nylon straps and slings have an inner wear indicator woven into the material. When the red (usually) thread starts to show, the strap must be replaced. I don't know if this is feature is used on light-duty straps typically purchased at retail stores.

ps. 5 straps is more than twice the number I use. Ever.
11/17/2017 06:38PM
5 straps? Interesting. I'd like to know if you also use typical tie downs for the bow and stern. If I could eliminate bow and stern ties in favor of more straps on the roof rack, I'm all ears.

As of now, I use two straps on top, and tie down the bow and stern to the hood and rear bumper. I use 2 nylon straps on top and they are bullet proof. No need to worry until 50 years or so, unless you store them outdoors in the sun and rain.
GraniteCliffs
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11/17/2017 08:47PM
I always figure the two straps on the roof rack will hold in a hurricane.
I use the bow and stern tie downs to help keep the canoe tight and straight.
But mostly I use the bow and stern tie downs simply because I like the piece of mind in the event the roof rack comes loose from my vehicle at least I have something to prevent the canoe from flying into the car behind me! Seriously, I am more relaxed when I have the tie downs nice and snug. I suppose that is why I also hook the canoe underneath the thwart to the roof rack.
ozarkpaddler
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11/18/2017 04:28AM
quote GraniteCliffs: "I always figure the two straps on the roof rack will hold in a hurricane.
I use the bow and stern tie downs to help keep the canoe tight and straight.
But mostly I use the bow and stern tie downs simply because I like the piece of mind in the event the roof rack comes loose from my vehicle at least I have something to prevent the canoe from flying into the car behind me! Seriously, I am more relaxed when I have the tie downs nice and snug. I suppose that is why I also hook the canoe underneath the thwart to the roof rack."


I do the same. Better to prevent an accident than CAUSE one!

I've got straps that old that show no wear and I use mine most of the year. If they're getting minimal use and there are no nicks and abrasions, they should be good?
AtwaterGA
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11/18/2017 05:59AM

We may win the prize for the most miles with a canoe on top of our vehicle. We have traveled from South Georgia to the Quetico at least 30 times at 3,400 miles round trip plus many Georgia and Florida trips. All trips amount to over 110,000 miles traveled with a canoe on top. My Straps are many years old and still strong. They are stored inside. I use three straps on top plus tied downs on front and back. The worst challenges they had was from strong wind in a thunderstorm when we were crossing a bridge in the Florida Keys and when someone stole our canoe from the top of our truck at a beach in Florida. Store the straps inside when not in use and they should last many years.

bwcasolo
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11/18/2017 06:29AM
my straps are stored inside as well, only used for the canoes, and should last my lifetime, can't remember where i got them.
Winemaker
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11/18/2017 06:58AM

I am unable to the knots well, much to the delight of other outdoor friends. So, 25 years ago I started using straps, mostly NRS 1.5" , two on top and a well knotted rope on the bow. When I buy a new strap I write the year on the end with a sharpie and use it as a "primary" for five years, then buy new ones and use the 5+ ones for many miscellaneous functions. It works for me...



Hmmmm..?..
OldFingers57
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11/18/2017 08:25AM
The big thing that is going to damage the straps are UV rays from the sun. So unless you leave your canoe strapped on your car 365 days a year and it sits out in the sun I wouldn't be too worried about them.
bwcadan
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11/18/2017 10:02AM
Looks like I am good. Inside storage and little actual use. Andy: 2 straps across the top looped around rack and tightened. Excess strap length for each is "folded" up and I use a tie wrap to keep each tight and tie wrap that to what ever is available depending on the strap. 1 strap looped around back canoe carrying handle and through eye where tailgate latches and tightened. This will keep canoe from shifting forward in the event of other straps failure or any braking stops needed. (This is where some crimping occurs,) 1 strap through eyes which I leave under hood in non-use times. Loop through both eyes which are near front glass window and fastened to hood raise arm. Continue loop around canoe carrying handle and tighten.

I, for greater integrity of no movement of canoe, cinch all straps with tie wraps with the tie wrap gun. You could tightened by hand and that would probably do ok. When when ready to remove the canoe, have an appropriate tool ( I use snips and or pliars) to cut or twist tie wraps off without damage to straps. At top of front where the strap angles down to the eyes, I use 2 longer tie wrap and draw the strap together within about an inch. In the event of car top rack failure, the canoe will not leave the car to fly off. This system works for me and the canoe travels from St. Louis to BW and quite literally moves almost none on the trip at any wind speed or direction as I travel at interstate speeds. That tightness was tested to winds estimated at 45 MPH or so as we passed through a cold front with cross winds some years ago.

I went to this system from ropes due to a problem using ropes which will be the subject of another post in time.
11/23/2017 10:03AM
Thanks Dan....Thinking seriously of replacing the bow and stern ropes with straps.
yellowcanoe
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11/23/2017 03:09PM
If you have cam lock straps eventually the little cam starts to slip and that's the end of that strap ( unless you are handier than I am and can replace the spring in the cam)

We had another 15,000 miles of boat hauling in 2017 and I know we have straps from the mid 90's. 20,000 miles is about average in a year so I might have beat Atwater GA.

Thats cause we are old and retired and go west or north with canoes on the truck for about 90 days a year.
mastertangler
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11/24/2017 06:33AM
Am I the only guy who doesn't use bow and stern ropes? I use only 2 retractable straps which are far superior and easier to use than ordinary straps with no excess flipping around.

I have dispensed with bow and stern ropes. As long as I have some sort of foam material to compress upon I don't worry about my canoe sliding about. On my van I have a ladder rack to which I have secured pool noodles. Once the retractable ratchet strap is tightened the boat sinks into the foam and movement from side to side in nil, nada, not happening. And this with an 18' Kayak or a 15' solo. I drove with the Kayak from Florida to New York and several thousand miles throughout the summer resting comfortably on the rack and it never budged an inch. The foam also provides some margin for error against ratcheting one click to far and cracking your boat.

I despise bow lines particularly as they block my view of the beautiful north woods. But what about safety? Fair question and that is a non negotiable subject IMO. Fortunately my ladder rack is incorporated into the vehicle itself (commercial van) so I have little doubts about lack of integrity. In case of strap failure I add a cable / padlock to the bow as a redundant system and a rope to the stern, again both connected to the rack which I have confidence in.



bobbernumber3
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11/24/2017 07:38AM
quote mastertangler: "Am I the only guy who doesn't use bow and stern ropes? "
I am with you on this one. Two straps is it.
mastertangler
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11/24/2017 01:39PM
quote bobbernumber3: "quote mastertangler: "Am I the only guy who doesn't use bow and stern ropes? "
I am with you on this one. Two straps is it.
"


Hey waddya know........I knew we could find some common ground sooner or later ;-)

My only caveat is that I have complete confidence in my rack. When I had a suction cup rack on a truck I had bow and stern tie downs as well as straps.
OldFingers57
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11/24/2017 01:44PM
I use 4 straps, two across the top and one front and one on back.
bobbernumber3
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11/24/2017 03:15PM
quote mastertangler: "quote bobbernumber3: "quote mastertangler: "Am I the only guy who doesn't use bow and stern ropes? "
I am with you on this one. Two straps is it.
"

Hey waddya know........I knew we could find some common ground sooner or later ;-)
"

Finding common ground is good!
 
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