Come tie one on with Red Rock!
Here's how we tie a canoe to a roof rack. This is THE way you'll want to do it as well. While creativity in canoe tying is fun, it's much less fun if your canoe blows off your roof on the interstate at 75 mph!
Pictured below is a canoe on a Thule Rook Rack System. If you don't have a Thule System, don't worry - this method will work with all roof racks. This particular rack is equipped with Thule Canoe Carriers which are little plastic blocks that you slide to the gunwale of your canoe, evenly on both sides. For the round-bar Yakima systems, their canoe blocks will look a bit different but do exactly the same thing. If you don't have the canoe carrier blocks, you can tie your canoe on just fine without them. Just throw it up on the load bars an follow the pictures below. Without the blocks means that you may get some sideways movement when those big fat trucks go flying by on the freeway. Not a huge problem, but the canoe carrier things DO make your canoe more secure.
STRAPS - There is only one kind of strap to use, period. Stay away from buying those hook-type straps, ratchet straps, and any other kind of strap that does not look like the one you see me using in the photos below. YUP - I'm hearing him right now as I type - the guy in the back who's declaring how he's rigged up a thing-a-ma-jig using hooks, and ratchet straps, and eyebolts and it's worked fine for the last 5 trips to the Boundary Waters. Fine, if he's happy with a bunch of hokey 2 X 4's U-bolted to the factory rack on his roof, please tell him to continue. For the rest of us, we'll be using two (2) canoe straps with a buckle on one end, no hooks, no ratchets. Ratchets are always one click too tight OR loose and while it's unlikely that they'll damage a Souris River Canoe, they can put a dent into your gunwales especially if you own one of those canoes with the rounded-top, hollow aluminum gunwales.
ONE MORE THING ON CANOE STRAPS - You NEED them!!! At least one over the top of the canoe (when using foam blocks), but I prefer two even with foam block sets whenever possible. I met a guy this summer at our store who had a Wenonah tied to his mini-van just by two little ropes on the bow and stern, only. On top of his van he had a hokey 2x4 assembly with what appeared to be some foam and electrician's tape that made a bump next to the gunwales of his canoe which served as a crude set of canoe carrier blocks. He had NO straps over the top of the canoe but relied on those pieces of foam and about 500 feet of black tape wound on each 2x4 to keep the canoe centered. It was beauteous! Order Canoe Straps Here - Color may vary - doesn't matter.
Upon noticing that he had no straps over the top of the canoe, I gently pointed out that he might consider strapping the canoe down with the most important part of tying down any canoe - two canoe straps over the top of the canoe. He quickly got his nose in a snit and proclaimed that after 10 road trips (he's now an expert in his own mind) to the BWCA, he's never had any problems and sees no reason to change. I pointed out that should that itty-bitty 3/16" nylon rope at the front of his car break, he'd be trolling his canoe behind his car down the freeway after it went airborne. Worse yet, his canoe might even kill somebody else as it wraps over the windshield of a mom with her 2 kids in the car following behind him. He didn't like when I pointed that out and; typical of a MacGuyver-wannabe, left with his nose in a bigger snit. I think he was feeling that I was trying to get rich by selling him two, $5.95 canoe straps. Whoa BOY! We eat tonight, Annette! I sold two canoe straps! $11.90 plus tax! What will we do with all our new-found wealth that came from my high-pressure canoe strap sales pitch???
Folks, for your own safety and the safety of others, DON'T BE CHEAP when it comes to buying the right straps, whether you buy them from us or somewhere else! One spring-activated-lever-cam-buckle on the end of the strap is the type of strap you want. That's all I have for now.
|This is the canoe strap you need. Notice how under the buckle there is a black nylon pad that protects your canoe. In this pic, I've run the end through the buckle and am pulling it tight.||This photo shows the other side of the same strap as in Photo 1. The strap MUST go over the top of the canoe, UNDER the load bar (and under the Canoe Carrier Block), and back up over the canoe.|
The strap must go over the top of the canoe only and must lay parallel to itself without being crossed on top of the canoe. If you criss-cross the strap on top of the canoe, you won't be able to tighten it properly.
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