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      Securing a Canoe to Top of Vehicle     
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TomP
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02/18/2020 08:41PM
I bought these straps to secure my SR 18.5 on top of a Honda Pilot with a luggage rack.

Straps

The canoe rests on top of foam blocks that I also bought from REI.

The problem I have is that when I hit about 40 mph, the air flowing across the straps creates such a noise that you can't even hear simple conversation in the vehicle. I attempted to adjust the straps many different ways and just couldn't make them function without a high level of noise.

So rather than the straps, I use simple quarter inch rope with a trucker's hitch. No noise at all.

What method do you use to secure your canoe? Anyone else try these straps?

 
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02/18/2020 08:59PM
Try putting a twist in those straps, Tom. It's an old outfitters' trick.
 
02/18/2020 09:00PM
The problem is that the straps, as used in your setup, have air flowing across both surfaces. If you were to secure your canoe to crossbars, the straps would not vibrate. You might try twisting the free portion of the straps, but I'm not sure that would help much.
 
LittoralZone
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02/18/2020 09:06PM
I used to use straps similar to those and as I recall they were somewhat noisy also. I now use slightly thicker ropes than you, with a trucker's hitch. I can leave the ropes attached to the cross bars at local lakes with little chance of them disappearing. I do still carry the straps in the vehicle incase I hit strong cross/quarter winds during the drive and I want to quickly secure the canoe a little better.
 
straighthairedcurly
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02/18/2020 09:14PM
boonie: "Try putting a twist in those straps, Tom. It's an old outfitters' trick. "

+1 Driven cross country with boats and putting twist(s) in the straps is key.
 
02/18/2020 09:31PM
straighthairedcurly: "boonie: "Try putting a twist in those straps, Tom. It's an old outfitters' trick. "
+1 Driven cross country with boats and putting twist(s) in the straps is key."

Yep
 
cyclones30
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02/18/2020 10:23PM
walllee: "straighthairedcurly: "boonie: "Try putting a twist in those straps, Tom. It's an old outfitters' trick. "
+1 Driven cross country with boats and putting twist(s) in the straps is key."

Yep"

+3 on twisting straps.

Last year, I used a rope and truckers hitch up front and a strap across the middle (and rope on hitch rack for rear carry handle).
 
jhb8426
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02/18/2020 11:11PM
boonie: "Try putting a twist in those straps, Tom. It's an old outfitters' trick. "

Yes, this should solve the problem. The technical (TMI) explanation is that the air flowing across the straps sheds a vortex. That is what generates the noise. Twisting the strap disrupts the vortex formation.

If you use straps as bow tie downs do this as well.
 
lindylair
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02/19/2020 08:20AM
Loaded a canoe on the car a few years ago with straps and the noise was unbearable. Within a mile we pulled over and redid it with twists in the straps. Noise gone.
 
gopher2307
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02/19/2020 08:34AM
Hauling a canoe on a car, is by far, the worst part of any boundary waters trip. Necessary evil.

Twist dem straps, boy.
 
02/19/2020 09:58AM
+eleventy on putting a simple 1/2 or full twist on the straps on both sides of the car, at any point where the strap lifts away from the hull to go around a rack bar. The vibrations caused by the singing straps can also "shoe shine" the hull where it comes into contact and mar the finish.

When I cartop on my wife's Sienna with a factory rack & crossbars that's 4 twisted sections per boat. 6 if it's an Alumacraft or anything else with a pronounced keel.

If you ever need to get crazy and build a rack extension out of squared edge lumber you're going to want to round them off to prevent a similar situation happening while driving around with the rack empty, like when shuttling for a river trip.
 
Soledad
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02/19/2020 10:50AM
Yes, twist the straps.
Also, I like to use pipe foam insulation on the bars or gunwales. It protects each and helps keep the canoe in place better than larger blocks.
 
HayRiverDrifter
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02/19/2020 01:49PM
Also, how are you running the straps? I go up and over the canoe, around the rack on the other side, then up and over the canoe again. If you go over the canoe, then under the canoe back to where you started, you have that long length of strap under the canoe that can flap.
 
Ole496
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02/19/2020 09:21PM
Twist the straps like the others have said.

I converted to climbing rope years ago and learned to tie a truckers hitch. I think the canoe can be held tighter using rope. It doesn't make noise and makes it look like you know what you're doing, like your one step above an amateur like me ;-) .

 
jhb8426
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02/20/2020 12:25AM
mirth: "
If you ever need to get crazy and build a rack extension out of squared edge lumber you're going to want to round them off..."


With any square edge cross bars, whether lumber or commercial (as in Thule), wrap the cross bar with 1/8 in rope across the length of the cross bar. Using 1.5 to 2 in. wraps to lower the noise. Same concept as twisting the straps. It kills off the vortex formation, thus alleviating the wind noise generated by the cross bars to a large degree.
 
02/20/2020 07:50AM
boonie: "Try putting a twist in those straps, Tom. It's an old outfitters' trick. "

I do exactly that with a bungee dealee bob. Problem solved immediately.
 
Cedarboy
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02/22/2020 07:27AM
boonie: "Try putting a twist in those straps, Tom. It's an old outfitters' trick. "

We use same type cam straps different brand.
Yes put a twist in them.
CB


Ps for those reading. Please never use ratchet straps. Nevere ever.
They were a huge money maker for Northwest canoe back in the day.
Every year Dennis would repair multiple canoes that had hull damage from folks. Crunching their hulls down too tight.
 
TomP
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02/22/2020 08:08AM
Thanks everyone! I've been part of this site since 1-10-09. I can't believe something so simple as twisting the straps will work. I must have missed this tip along the way somehow. Always learning something new! Glad I asked. I always knew that this was a twisted group of folks.
 
nooneuno
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02/22/2020 09:07AM
Another trick I learned on the side of the freeway onetime was to fold about a 3” piece of duct tape over the strap like a flag, worked like a charm.
 
02/24/2020 10:25AM
jhb8426: "With any square edge cross bars, whether lumber or commercial (as in Thule), wrap the cross bar with 1/8 in rope across the length of the cross bar. Using 1.5 to 2 in. wraps to lower the noise. Same concept as twisting the straps. It kills off the vortex formation, thus alleviating the wind noise generated by the cross bars to a large degree."

Thanks for that. I'll be topping two canoes for the Scouts' trip this summer & will try to remember this.
 
Rs130754
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02/24/2020 11:56AM
Depending on who is riding shotgun you may want to drown out the conversation, otherwise give the straps a twist.
 
VaderStrom
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02/24/2020 12:07PM
Great tips! I've also started using a Neoprene Cord Wrap intended for wrapping electronics cords to snug up the extra tails from straps instead of wrapping and adding knots. This cuts down on the need to twist on one side and makes the on and off quicker for me as I typically just drive from Hopkins to Lake of the Isles or Bryant Lake and am looking for efficiency.
 
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