Kayaks come in different sizes with each of the models have distinct weights. It can turn out to be heavy or lightweight depending on the properties of the boat. Nevertheless, there tends to be a problem when taking it along with you to the sea and back. Most times, kayakers find it difficult to strap down their boat or to secure it on their car.
It is important to note that transporting a kayak is not difficult but you need to load it onto your vehicle in a secured manner. If you have been having this issue lately or simply want to get the process of strapping down your kayak without hassles right, then you need to read the guide to understand the best way to strap down a kayak.
Get the Essentials for Strapping down a Kayak
Before loading your boat onto your vehicle, it is ideal to get a handful of essentials that would make the process seamless. Here are some of them:
Padding for the Roof Rack
The work of the padding is to prevent the roof rack from damaging your boat during the drive to and from the sea. The ideal models to use are the J-shaped or the V-shaped padding.
Kayak Straps with Cam Buckles
The cam buckles help typically come with two straps that are used to hold down the kayak.
The Bow and Stern Lines
These straps are designed to secure the stern and bow of your kayak to the car. They also help to prevent the boat from tossing about or getting off in the course of the ride.
Loading the Kayak with a Helper
When you are sure that the essentials that are needed to tie down the boat are ready, you can then proceed to load the kayak onto the car. The rule of the thumb is to choose a vehicle that is lengthier than the boat. That way, there would be a balance in their lengths.
Furthermore, it is important to load the boat with the aid of another person. With one person at each end of the boat, you and your helper can then carry the boat by the hands and place it on a parallel position to your car. Ensure that the bow of the kayak tilts towards the front of the vehicle.
The next step is to grab the kayak at each end of the hull and lift it using your legs to prop up the boat. Once the kayak is overhead, you and your partner can then place it directly above the rack before placing it down gently on the rack.
Loading the Kayak Alone
Although it is ideal to load the boat with help from another party, some kayakers prefer to put their muscles to work. If this is what you’re considering, then you may need to use a lift system to get the boat onto the vehicle before strapping it down.
You may also want to try other methods, such as placing a blanket or towel on top of your car’s rear before setting down the bow of your boat on the blanket or towel. You would then pick up the stern and push the boat forward until it rhymes with the length of the rack.
Strapping down Your Kayak
Once you are done with the loading of the boat onto your vehicle, you would then be looking for the best way to strap down a kayak. The aim of doing this is to keep it in place against falling off from the car in the course of transporting the boat to and from the sea.
These steps would guide you through the process:
- Ensure that the boat is centered between the crossbars of the car and that is in a parallel position with the car.
- Once that has been ascertained, you can then take a ca, strap and place the buckle in a way that it is resting on the side of the kayak and the side of the crossbars. You can then toss the end of the strap over the kayak.
- Move over to the other side of your vehicle, take the loose end of the tossed strap, and loop it underneath the crossbar. You can then pass this across the boat to the other end while ensuring that the strap is securely attached to the crossbar of the vehicle.
- The next step is to walk back to the other side of the vehicle and loop the end of the strap passed under the crossbar. Put this into the cam buckle and cinch it down. Repeat the same process with the strap at the other end of the crossbar.
- Proceed to tighten both ends of the straps but ensure that they are not overly tight because that could deform the crack fiberglass and hulls of the boat.
- Tie the loose ends of the straps below the cam buckles and tie the remaining to the crossbars for a firm hold.
- Your kayak is almost safe but you may need to shake or make feeble attempts to pull it off to see how strong it is.
Tying the Bow and Stern
With the kayak securely tied onto your car, you can then take the final step of tying the bow and stern. The essence of this is to solidify the security of the boat, especially when moving at top speed or driving in high winds.
- The first step is to hook the end of the ratchet’s line to a secure part of the kayak. A good place is the grab handle on the boat.
- Attach the other end of the ratchet to another secure spot in the vehicle. You may need to improvise by installing a hoop loop strap if your car doesn’t have a tow hook.
- Pull the line’s freed end to tighten the line but be careful not to overdo this.
- You can then tie the loose end of the end below the ratchet.
Strap down Your Kayak
Holding down your boat or keeping it in a secure position onto your vehicle is a task that must be accomplished to enhance the durability of the kayak while preventing it from falling off in the course of the ride.
We hope that you have gained insight into the importance of strapping down your kayak and you would love to implement the steps we detailed in the article. Feel free to express your views in the comment section.