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      Bow tie-down straps     

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RunningFox
member (22)member
 
09/21/2019 01:56PM
Pictured below are a pair of tie-down straps for securing the bow of a canoe during car transport (as purchased from Fleet Farm for $18). My canoes have been transported for years without having the bow or stern tied down. Never had any problems until May 19, 2019.

Coming south over the Duluth / Superior bridge, the wind speed approached 70 mph. My brand new Northstar Solo (in black-gold) started dancing wildly on the roof rack and then came out of the channel designed to keep it running down the car’s centerline. With nowhere to pull over and not wanting to die, all I could do was slow down and pray the canoe wouldn’t break apart and fly off into lake Superior. Fortunately, the damage was confined to a couple of nasty, deep scratches in the aluminum gunnels and thwarts.

Needless-to-say, I’m a gonna religiously tie down from now on.
 
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x2jmorris
distinguished member(896)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/21/2019 03:22PM
I thought it was law that they had to be tied down
 
fraxinus
distinguished member(632)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/21/2019 04:23PM
That looks like a nice design on the straps. I assume that they just slip under the hood and don't need to be anchored any other way? I've used the similar type strap that has a grommet punched into the one end that allows it to be to be used with an existing bolt under the hood. I have a Honda CRV that doesn't have any convenient existing bolts.

Thanks for the heads up.
 
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1075)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/21/2019 04:41PM
I could not even imagine driving down the road without the ends secured. I just can't. (It only takes one time)

I made these out of heavy 2" webbing. The bolted end has a brass grommet to add security to the bolt. They tuck away nicely and remain with the vehicle and DON'T!! slide around.



 
RunningFox
member (22)member
 
09/21/2019 05:18PM

Fraxinus, you’re right - no tools required! I’ve included a photo of the item in its original package.
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(877)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/21/2019 11:03PM
I'm a firm believer in bow tie downs, not so much for the stern. My feeling is if I'm in a situation where the boat is coming off in a forward direction, I have bigger problems to worry about than the boat coming off. Two hull straps and two bow straps offer a very stable set up. I have the same type of under hood straps as RunningFox.
 
pswith5
distinguished member(3231)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2019 07:16AM
Hmmmm I bought a pair of those but forgot I had them. Wonder where I put them?
 
Tomcat
distinguished member (299)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2019 11:47AM
 
09/22/2019 12:28PM
I have some of those. Your best bet is to put them on the sides of the hood, not in the front. Their purpose is to prevent side to side movement which you experience, not to hold down the canoe. Also don't "crank " the bow straps down, should be just snug. I have a 12 foot span between bars on my truck cab and capper, so no need for bow straps for me.
 
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1075)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2019 12:32PM
I showed the Blue Jeep up above. I got a new Jeep a few weeks ago and those straps from the old one were too short. I made these this morning and installed them in less than 30 minutes. Anyone with a sewing machine can do it. I installed brass grommets for hole reinforcement. Just tuck them away when not in use.

There are a lot of things in this life that, although they CAN be done, are just foolish. To drive down the road without your canoe ends secured is one of them.





 
fraxinus
distinguished member(632)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2019 12:58PM
I stand corrected, TC. Now that I think about it, the issue was that the straps that I had, much like the ones KarlB is talking about, were too short to be useful in that situation.

Thanks.
 
justpaddlin
distinguished member (214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2019 01:38PM
My favorite bow tie down solution is to use scraps of Kevlar "pulling tape". The challenge is to find scraps since it generally comes in one mile rolls. It's strong. It's thin so easily fits between sheet metal gaps. You don't need to bolt it down, you just find something strong under the hood to tie a loop around.

Pics show the Yakima version of easy underhood anchors plus a length of pulling tape plus the tie-downs on my 4-Runner. I had a pair of pulling tape anchors on my Subaru for 10 years and I could leave them out all the time because the wind must have gone right over them since they'd just hang limp even at highway speeds.
 
kbobb
member (7)member
 
09/22/2019 03:17PM
I have a '16 Accord sedan. I bolted in loops and used the Yakima version of these temporary loops on the sides of the hood but the hood metal is so thin and flimsy it actually bent when pulling upward on the straps. I now use the metal loop under the front of the car but can only tie down from the direct middle, not the sides. I guess having the car built from cheap beer-can grade metal is the trade off for gettin 45 mpg hwy.
 
justpaddlin
distinguished member (214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2019 06:39PM
kbobb: "I have a '16 Accord sedan. I bolted in loops and used the Yakima version of these temporary loops on the sides of the hood but the hood metal is so thin and flimsy it actually bent when pulling upward on the straps. I now use the metal loop under the front of the car but can only tie down from the direct middle, not the sides. I guess having the car built from cheap beer-can grade metal is the trade off for gettin 45 mpg hwy."

Kudos to you for sharing your (unfortunate) experience.

I did three things to avoid that on a 2017 CRV. First I got the Yakima anchors which seemed to have some "give" so would hopefully spread out the pressure...other brands could be better. Second I mounted them towards the rear of the hood near the hinges where it should be stronger. Third I got pissed off and took my 4-Runner back.

If you're near SW Michigan you can stop by and we'll fix you up with some pulling tape loops.
 
kbobb
member (7)member
 
09/22/2019 06:51PM
justpaddlin: "If you're near SW Michigan you can stop by and we'll fix you up with some pulling tape loops. "
Thanks for the offer - if I get up that way, I will let you know. I don't mean to give the impression that the hood was permanently bent - the hood did bend upward about 1/2", but no irreversible creases. I thought that if I was on the highway and really needed these bow tie-downs to work, the hood would get creases so I did not even use them. I will look back closer to the hinges. Also in a couple months I will get my old Highlander back.
 
bwcadan
distinguished member(1325)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2019 06:58PM
50 MPH headwind going 70 MPH for 120 total wind factor. No problem. NO movement for the canoe using 2 over the canoe straps, the under hood tie down system for the front, and a back strap. The wind from a frontal system did not last all that long, but I did not feel any need to slow down and no risk for me or others on the road.
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(877)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2019 09:22PM
Blatz: "I have some of those. Your best bet is to put them on the sides of the hood, not in the front. Their purpose is to prevent side to side movement which you experience, not to hold down the canoe..."

Placed on the sides of the hood they interfered too much with my line of vision. Placed on the front of the hood, well to either side they were less of an annoyance and still provide the side to side stability as well as keeping the boat secure.
 
TechnoScout
distinguished member (160)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2019 07:37AM
I had never heard of such a thing until my trip a couple of weeks ago. For the first time, the outfitter said I had to transport the canoe I rented to the entry point (that is another story). They mounted the canoe on the car using their home-made version--a rope with an overhand knot!

At home, I transport my canoe buy running two ropes over the front of the hood down to the undercarriage where I have attachment points. I like the hood idea better.
 
TominMpls
distinguished member(528)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2019 11:12AM
I live in the city so drive small cars. The closer together the two main hull straps are, the more important the bow and stern straps. Before I owned my own canoe, an outfitter placed those temporary strap loops under the hood of my VW wagon, and even just driving up the Echo Trail it produced enough tension that the hood of my car was bent slightly upward from then on at both sides - not enough that most people would notice, but I noticed and it irritated me.

It also meant that when I got my own (carbon-kevlar) Northstar 18 to haul on my new VW Golf, I knew I wanted to bolt those loops in. When the canoe is many, many feet longer than the car hauling it, those bow and stern straps do some work. Absolutely no movement whatsoever with the bolt-in loops.

Supposedly *every* car has bolts with captive nuts on the sides of the hoods, though I certainly expect there are exceptions. In the Golf, it was super easy.

 
OCDave
distinguished member (424)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2019 11:26AM
TominMpls: " "
TominMpls, it looks like your canoe has greater carrying capacity than the car you use to carry it. Contemplating a vehicle down size myself so, glad to see that it is working for you.
 
justpaddlin
distinguished member (214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2019 12:48PM
Some vehicles are fussier than others but where there's a will there's a way.
 
TominMpls
distinguished member(528)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2019 03:14PM
Ha! You guys don't fully appreciate that I carry the canoe on my *big* car, which is my wife's daily driver. *MY* daily driver is a Fiat 500. I've contemplated strapping the Northstar to the roof of that, but even just driving on city streets to a local lake would make me nervous...
 
gravelroad
distinguished member (260)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2019 03:20PM
Glad that you made it through unscathed and did not cause an accident.

I have preached this gospel for many years. I was taught to tie down a canoe front and back long before I had a driver's license. I worked in a paddlesports department later and refused to assist any customer in loading a boat who balked at having both ends tied down. Before leaving them standing there, I would relate the story of the kayak that came off a car on an interstate highway bridge a scant ten miles from where it was purchased. That usually, but not always, convinced them of the need.

BTW, one of the reasons you tie the ends to the vehicle is for that occasion when this happens:

Kayak Missing From Stretch of Highway Found

ROAD TRIP, RACK FAILURE, 75 MILES @40MPH....
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1238)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/23/2019 04:11PM
A few years back I recall a member posting here about losing a kevlar canoe somewhere in WI during the night. I think the poster was asleep in the passenger seat and his son was driving. When they pulled over in Duluth or Superior for a break they discovered that the canoe was gone! That's a heck of a rough start to a canoe trip. After reading that I take extra precautions to make sure I'm not posting a similar story.
 
RunningFox
member (22)member
 
09/23/2019 08:54PM
Needless to say, I’m a gonna religiously tie down from now on.
 
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1075)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2019 07:27AM
Northwoodsman: "A few years back I recall a member posting here about losing a kevlar canoe somewhere in WI during the night. I think the poster was asleep in the passenger seat and his son was driving. When they pulled over in Duluth or Superior for a break they discovered that the canoe was gone! That's a heck of a rough start to a canoe trip. After reading that I take extra precautions to make sure I'm not posting a similar story."

I remember that as well. And it was a virgin, brand new black carbon fiber canoe. And they had no idea where along the trip it disappeared.
 
Selfsuffi
distinguished member (277)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2019 12:49PM
justpaddlin: "Some vehicles are fussier than others but where there's a will there's a way.
"


LMAO!!! Now that's funny.
 
jillpine
distinguished member (278)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2019 05:52PM
I got a golf wagon this spring. Man I love it!! Can't wait til the snow flies. It's a six speed and so smooooth. Not to mention no more stepstool needed to load the Jeep Grand Cherokee. I tie down bow and stern using undercarriage. Maybe I should use two in bow instead. I think I'll go do that. I just loaded it.

 
jillpine
distinguished member (278)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2019 06:02PM
So two in bow and none in stern? I get the "not tightening too hard" but it still seems like some upward pressure on the hull straps doing it this way.
 
justpaddlin
distinguished member (214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2019 07:13PM
jillpine: "So two in bow and none in stern? I get the "not tightening too hard" but it still seems like some upward pressure on the hull straps doing it this way. "
The bow lines take the big aerodynamic loads and are much more important than stern lines but it's usually super easy to add one stern line or strap.

VW will not offer the Golf wagon body style in the US in 2020 so nice time to snag one if you are in the US. I had a Subaru Outback for many years and the easy boat loading is nice plus if you're lucky and have a garage you may be able to fit the car in with a boat on it.
 
jillpine
distinguished member (278)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/25/2019 07:50PM
justpaddlin: "jillpine: "So two in bow and none in stern? I get the "not tightening too hard" but it still seems like some upward pressure on the hull straps doing it this way. "
The bow lines take the big aerodynamic loads and are much more important than stern lines but it's usually super easy to add one stern line or strap.

VW will not offer the Golf wagon body style in the US in 2020 so nice time to snag one if you are in the US. I had a Subaru Outback for many years and the easy boat loading is nice plus if you're lucky and have a garage you may be able to fit the car in with a boat on it."

No more all tracks? Hard to believe. I just love driving it. I was told they were very popular in Canada, but maybe just didn't catch on here. I considered the Outback, but went for lifetime warranty deal with the VW. I liked the Outback clearance better for sure.

In any event, so much shorter than the Jeep, and I can sleep in it. And it's a stick. And it now has two straps in the bow. Thanks!
 
TominMpls
distinguished member(528)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/26/2019 09:47AM
jillpine: "No more all tracks? Hard to believe. I just love driving it. I was told they were very popular in Canada but maybe just didn't catch on here. I considered the outback but went for lifetime warranty deal with the VW. But I liked the outback clearance better for sure. In any event, so much shorter than the jeep. And I can sleep in it. And it's a stick. And it now has two straps in the bow. Thanks! "

We're pretty dedicated to VW because they seem to be the only automaker that's pretty dedicated to the third pedal. Before our current Golf (a five-speed) we had a six-speed Sportwagen TDI (which is essentially the same body as the All Track) and really loved it. When VW basically offered us so much money to buy it back as part of the diesel settlement that we couldn't possibly keep it, we went with the Golf instead of the Alltrack because my wife has a much easier time parallel parking the Golf, and living in the city that's a constant, but I did really like the wagon body style.

I found the bolt-in strap loops much better than the underbody method I'd used initially with our Sportwagen because the straps aren't putting pressure on various painted surfaces that way, and VW provides really nice bolt-in options under the hood.

Regardless, enjoy your Alltrack!
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
09/27/2019 10:09AM

My wife and I bought the new VW Atlas last December. It's a larger SUV and we love the room. Great for towing and it took four of us with gear and two canoes on top to Atikokan and back this summer very comfortably.


Behind the White Otter Inn in Atikokan.

In both photos, you'll note the bows are secured to under-hood tie-down loops.
 
jhb8426
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09/28/2019 01:28AM
jillpine: "So two in bow and none in stern? "

That's been my practice for quite some time. As I noted earlier, if there's a situation where the boat is coming off to the front, I've got a much bigger situation than just the boat coming off.
 
09/28/2019 08:01AM
Two bow straps will also slow down the progress of a Deer coming through your windshield. It cracking the windshield and the Deer ended up on the hood. Bent the metal S hook on the strap. Happened to me in 1990
 
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