Tying down a kayak

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Tying down a kayak

Postby scorpaenichthys » December 27th, 2017, 11:29 am

I found a wickedly good deal on a kayak in the LA area and I’m hoping to pick it up when I head down there this weekend. The kicker is I’m flying down from San Jose and driving my girlfriend’s car back up. Her car has roof racks that run the length of the roof, but no cross bars.

The boy scout in me wants to say it’s fine, square lash some 1” dowells across the racks with 550 cord (2 up front, 2 in back) and carry on as if they were normal cross bars (cam lock strap on each set of dowells plus a bow and a stern line), but since we’ll have a long and probably windy drive ahead of us, I want to be extra cautious. So my question for those of you who do a lot of kayak diving (or are generally more familiar with the forces involved) is does this sound like a recipe for disaster, or like a viable temporary fix? The only reason I don’t want to fork out for a set of factory cross bars if I can avoid it is because my car already has them, so we’d only be using them for this trip.
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Re: Tying down a kayak

Postby Magno » December 27th, 2017, 12:33 pm

1" dowling gives me pause. There's a lot of force generated at 60mph. Probably not enough to sheer hardwood dowel, but why risk it. I'd feel more comfortable with some 2x4, maybe even notch it a bit where it contacts the roof rails to prevent any possible lateral shifting. Or a stick of 1"or 1-1/4"emt cut in two. I also come off my bow and stern with two lines on each end to tie down left and right on the car. This gives you a bit more stability and helps prevent "weathervaning" better than just one tie down point. Good luck.
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Re: Tying down a kayak

Postby Trace » December 27th, 2017, 1:12 pm

EMT will work great but defiantly tie the front off.
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Re: Tying down a kayak

Postby scorpaenichthys » December 27th, 2017, 2:48 pm

Appreciate it. The only reason I was inclined to go with wood was because I thought the 550 cord might bite into it a little better. I’ll play around with some EMT and see if I can get it to work. Worst case I’ll see what I can do with some two by fours.
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Re: Tying down a kayak

Postby chris oak » December 28th, 2017, 3:23 pm

Maybe something like this? https://imgur.com/gallery/0w9Cd

I would tie off the front and the back of the kayak, that is my normal goto when I'm using mine to keep the wind from blowing it one way or another. I saw a kayak on the freeway one time at night with the dude parking his truck and running back to it. You don't want that to be you!
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Re: Tying down a kayak

Postby scorpaenichthys » December 28th, 2017, 4:28 pm

chris oak wrote:Maybe something like this? https://imgur.com/gallery/0w9Cd

I would tie off the front and the back of the kayak, that is my normal goto when I'm using mine to keep the wind from blowing it one way or another. I saw a kayak on the freeway one time at night with the dude parking his truck and running back to it. You don't want that to be you!



That's pretty ingenious, I never would have thought of that. I'll play around at the hardware store when I get down there and see what I can cobble together. Definitely will be running twin bow and stern lines for peace of mind, especially coming around San Luis Reservoir. The absolute last thing I'd want to do is lose the kayak and cause an accident.
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