View topic - Canoe on roof rack: Need front & rear tiedowns if . . .?

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PostPosted: August 17th, 2017, 6:15 pm 
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Odyssey wrote:

. . . I'd suggested slipping old bicycle inner tube sleeves over the webbing, but would be listen to me? Nooo. Not trying to play head games with you Jim, just saying be mindful of the nylon straps on the nice paint job. I don't know, maybe a soft chamois or sponge under that spot?

. . .

ps . Maybe I'm being fussy but I'd be more comfortable with hood straps and rope over my perfect white hood than sharp metal ratchet buckles. Accidentally drop a length of rope on my hood? No problem. But those buckles are another thing. Sorry for sounding like chicken little, but sometimes ugly things do fall from the sky.


You and OPen Side Up are on the right track I think. His idea of temporary taping sounds really good to me.

Also, I stopped at the tire store this afternoon and picked up an old inner tube, from which I cut two 4" x 6" pieces of rubber, which I will try if the taping proves to be not durable enough for even single trip use.

As for the ropes versus ratchets, I agree. I have a set of ropes with MUCH smaller and MUCH lighter mini-ratchets, which I learned to use yesterday, and will use to replace the web straps with their heavy ratchets. I don't feel good about using pure rope because I have trouble with knots and controlling their tension. But I will wrap the mini-ratchets on the ropes with enough electrical tape to prevent metal to metal contact if I should ever drop them Their design allows that. They came with the Thule "Canoe Portage" kit and are pretty slick once you understand how to use them properly. I also have a Thule "Waterslide" (coated mat) to protect the trunk lid while I load the canoe from the rear, and can use the waterslide to then protect the hood while I am installing the ropes with ratchets.

I am prepared for the likelihood that this new hobby will require developing and repetitively learning new processes, and am not going to rush and be impatient. Since I am retired, I have plenty of time to ease into the right processes and habits.

Jim G


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2017, 6:31 pm 
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I really like the sound of that sleeve protection. Canoe straps often have a rubber boot and/or sleeve to protect the canoe hull from the metal buckle. A similar approach seems sensible for other surfaces. I'm convinced every unique problem has a unique solution. With patience and inquisitiveness you'll solve it.
Congrats on your retirement and new love of paddling.


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2017, 6:35 pm 
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The real problem here is having too nice a car. After a couple of trips down marginal access roads I quit worrying about the paint job and count myself lucky if tires, oil pan and suspension come out intact.


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2017, 6:44 pm 
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Peter K. wrote:
The real problem here is having too nice a car. After a couple of trips down marginal access roads I quit worrying about the paint job and count myself lucky if tires, oil pan and suspension come out intact.


Oh, I know exactly what you mean. Been there and done that. I am now blessed with easy, fully paved access to within a couple hundred feet of the water at most, and in some cases, only about 75 feet or less from the PAVED parking to the water! With those kinds of put-in sites, I have gladly eliminated from consideration any put-in site that involves gravel roads, let alone "unimproved" roads. This is one of the blessings of living on Vancouver Island - lots of beaches with Hwy 19, the primary coastline highway, literally right beside them! Yes, I'll need to wash off the salt after each ocean coast outing, but no epic access heroics required! I just need to either make sure I go at high tide, OR get a cart so I can go anytime, and I have opted for the C Tug SandTrakz, so I can go anytime. No hills either - it's pretty flat access.

As far as lake access, Cameron Lake is 15 miles from me, and it is ALLpaved road until you park either at the gravel picnic parking area or the gravel highway shoulder, and either parking location gets you to the water within 75 feet with NO hills!

Jim G


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2017, 7:03 pm 
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Location: Now in Sudbury
Obviously your car is too nice to carry a canoe with. I will gladly trade you even-stevens for my Mazda 3, that way you won't have to worry about it. ;)


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2017, 7:09 pm 
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Ghost wrote:
Obviously your car is too nice to carry a canoe with. I will gladly trade you even-stevens for my Mazda 3, that way you won't have to worry about it. ;)


I wouldn't want to take advantage of you! Besides, Mazda has "Zoom, zoom" ! You definitely don't want to lose that!

Jim G


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2017, 7:28 pm 
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There is an important point that no one has highlighted, about the front and rear tiedowns:

Each of the 2 forward tiedown and each of the 2 rear tiedowns has to be a completely separate line. You cannot use one line to secure both the driver side and passenger side.

If you think about it you'll see why: If you use one line, and merely wrap the "middle" of it around the bow thwart, the bow or stern of the canoe can easily be deflected sideways by the wind without breaking the line - merely by "sliding"the line around the bow thwart. This would allow the wind to put significant torque on the roof rack and the canoe itself.

By using 2 separate lines at the front and 2 separate lines at the rear, you make it impossible for the wind to slide the lines. Each is a fixed length, and if both front lines are taut, there can be no sideways movement.

Jim G


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2017, 8:27 pm 
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Location: Toronto Beach(es)
Always 2 front and 2 rear ... except my 2 rear ropes loop around the mounting hardware of the stern thwart (not grab handle) and criss-cross rearwards and down to the opposite side of the trailer hitch. Prevents lateral movement as well as forward slippage under hard braking.

(That would mean more tape for you Jim.)


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 12:10 am 
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Two separate cords for the front, so that I can exert enough pull (ideally equally) to prevent the directional buffeting/twisting mentioned earlier. I give it a test hand wiggle to make sure there's no sideways play. I often use one single cord at the back because I tie down the canoe seat straight down to loops placed under the minivan rear hatch door. So this /\ at the front and this | | at the rear. All the torque seems to be at the front. The rear sits very still. I can't budge it at all. This eliminates the 3' of diagonal rope in my way as I walk around the vehicle. A yellow flag hanging from the stern reminds me not to bump my head. I also can almost access the rear hatch if I really need to, but being able to open it less than halfway isn't so helpful. I only wish factory roof racks were placed much further apart on some of these vehicles. Straps on my van spaced < 30" apart seem inadequate on a 16.6' canoe. I don't go anywhere without front and rear tie downs for that reason.

I solved the perfect paint job problem on my canoe and vehicle(s) long ago. Only the first scratch hurts. After that I stopped counting. There's a high incidence of stolen luxury SUVs and pickups here where we live. I told my wife the other day we should be happy, knowing we have nothing ever to worry about in that regard. Not sure if that made her happy.


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 6:44 am 
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Ha ha I am glad someone said it about not worrying about paint scratches :-)

Here I am with my boys beating around some back roads in NS using google satellite view to find a good fishing spot. We got a few scratches on it that day :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVMiEISx7_A


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 7:26 am 
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Odyssey wrote:

. . .I only wish factory roof racks were placed much further apart on some of these vehicles. Straps on my van spaced < 30" apart seem inadequate on a 16.6' canoe. I don't go anywhere without front and rear tie downs for that reason.
. . .



That 30 inch separation between front and rear crossbars of a roof rack seems to be somehow "ideal"as far as the roof rack manufacturers are concerned. They seem to want that as a "target"separation,even when they have the roof length to provide a longer separation. One of the manufacturers,Yakima, actually provides a crossbar minimum and maximum separation table.I have posted that below.The resolutioniskind of crappy when sized for acceptance by this forum,sohere is a direct link as well:

https://www.rackattack.com/product-inst ... ctions.pdf


The Yakima table seems to say that separation greater than 30"is only required when carrying multiple bicycles or cargo boxes,because those can generate larger wind forces. Notice in the table that canoes and kayaks require only 30 to 36" separation. I suspect that longer separations are "better"but not necessary. I notice that Mercedes,who tends to over-engineer everything, provides 30"separation even when there is sufficient roof length to allow more. My own car is an example.

Jim G


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 6:04 pm 
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These are easy to use.

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Old canoeists never die---they just smell that way.



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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 6:41 pm 
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wotrock wrote:
Attachment:
91QWMNQWHjL._SL1500_.jpg
These are easy to use.


Yes!! Those type are the type that I just ordered. I ordered the Thule version, so I will have one for each "corner" of the front and rear! They are VERY nice to use, and I finally found where I could buy them. They are easy to understand and adjust, and much lighter and more manageable than the heavier ratchet web strap tiedowns. And,no knot knowledge and reliable knot tying required!

However,I won't need to use S-hooks, as the Thule version comes with carabiners, which are more secure, in both use and in installation and removal of the tiedown ropes.

I also bought another pair of the Thule "Load Straps",in 9 foot length (they don't sell them in any shorter length), to tie the canoe to the rack LONGITUDINALLY to prevent forward or rearward sliding.I know I only need one since I can have a thwart right alongside one of the crossbars,but they are sold only in pairs.

I also bought some 3M painters' masking tape to protect the paint with a fresh piece of tape at each point of contact, each trip getting brand new tape. If necessary,I can apply multiple layers of the tape, if I see signs of significant abrasion of the tape after a trip.

Jim G


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 8:07 pm 
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2 key points are often overlooked re front and rear tie downs: (1) the rear tie point on the canoe should be ahead of the tie point on the vehicle (e.g. tie to a rear thwart) (2)Likewise, the front tie point on the canoe should be behind the tie point on the vehicle. If the rear is tied incorrectly, only friction will restrain the canoe in case of very hard braking. If the front is wrong the wind resistance will only be resisted by friction. Tied properly, tension in the ropes or straps restrain the canoe. In you pic on another page both errors seem to be made.

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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 8:59 pm 
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wotrock wrote:
2 key points are often overlooked re front and rear tie downs: (1) the rear tie point on the canoe should be ahead of the tie point on the vehicle (e.g. tie to a rear thwart) (2)Likewise, the front tie point on the canoe should be behind the tie point on the vehicle. If the rear is tied incorrectly, only friction will restrain the canoe in case of very hard braking. If the front is wrong the wind resistance will only be resisted by friction. Tied properly, tension in the ropes or straps restrain the canoe. In you pic on another page both errors seem to be made.


Yes, this was the first time that the car and canoe met, at the dealership. I had no idea beforehand how far forward or rearward the canoe would be at its balance point. It turned out that because of the car being shorter than the canoe, and the car's roof rack being waaaay back on the body, and the shape of the bodywork on the car, it was not possible to get properly set up with the gear I had at the time. I did the best I could and droive slowly and carefully home. Now I have figured out what I need to get things right without trashing the car's paint job, ordered what's missing, and will be able to set things up right.

Note that it is NOT important for the front tiedowns to lean rearward and the rear tielines to lean forward. What IS important is that they do not lean in the same direction! As long as we vertically have a quadrilateral in which either the top or the bottom is longer than the other, we are fine. In fact, if we secure the canoe longitudinally to the roof rack via a tiedown between a thwart and the rack, the need for the differential in upper and lower dimensions disappears, as the thwart to rack tiedown prevents either forward or rearward sliding of the canoe, and the front and rear tiedowns need only keep the canoe from twisting sideways.

My inferior implementation on that first trip technically had a bit of forward lean on the front lines and a bit of rearward lean on the rear lines, but nowhere near enough. But I did have a tieline between the rack and a thwart, and plenty of anti-twist geometry on the front lines. The rear was very weak on anti-twist because I didn't have a good place to secure the lines to the car. Now I do (outer lower corners of the trunk lid).

Jim G


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