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Best way to tie down a kayak?

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What's the best way to tie down a kayak in the bed of a truck with the tailgate open? If anyone has pics or video that would be great!

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I back my Hobie Compass into the bed, and use a short cam lock strap to connect the rear handle to the tie down in the bed, near the cab.  I run another longer cam lock strap around the hull, and attach to the tie down near the tailgate.  Different kayaks with be a little different.  You basically want to prevent any side to side movement, and keep it from sliding off the back.

 

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Ratchet straps through the handles of the yak or rope with a slip knot. Holds tight till you pull the tag end to release the knot

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Ratchet straps a no-no with kayaks.  People have a tendency to over tighten them, and warp/crack the hull.  Since working at a kayak shop, I've seen a lot of it.

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1 hour ago, J Francho said:

I back my Hobie Compass into the bed, and use a short cam lock strap to connect the rear handle to the tie down in the bed, near the cab.  I run another longer cam lock strap around the hull, and attach to the tie down near the tailgate.  Different kayaks with be a little different.  You basically want to prevent any side to side movement, and keep it from sliding off the back.

 

Thanks! Do you wrap it around the handle near the cab or just slide it though?

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I slide it through lines on the T-handle on the Compass.  For my other two boats, they are riveted handles, so, just around the handle.

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I used to tie my kayaks down pretty ridiculously, but I've found that in a truck bed, at least, you don't need a whole lot.  I leave the tailgate down, and use a ratchet strap on the front handle which is attached to the truck bed D-rings at the front.  I have a box, so these are under the box.  As @J Francho mentioned, ratchet straps tend to get over tightened (I see creases in canoes and kayaks pretty frequently too, particularly in the sun), but I never bought a cam strap with hooks, and the continuous loop type would be a pain here.  IMO, the continuous loop types are best for kayaks and canoes because you don't want them too tight, and they won't come off from being too loose like the hook type.  So I have a continuous loop cam strap in the rear of the truck bed going through the carrying handles, if everything lines up.  Add a flag, and you're ready to go.  This is the only picture I have, and I don't bother with the rope on the stern anymore.

20180508_213953.jpg

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21 hours ago, J Francho said:

Ratchet straps a no-no with kayaks.  People have a tendency to over tighten them, and warp/crack the hull.  Since working at a kayak shop, I've seen a lot of it.

I usually run a ratchet strap through the handles on my Eagle Talon as described but don't tighten much, kinda just snug it up. Not that I'm overly concerned with this kayak, but when I get something nicer, should I avoid this method altogether? Or is it ok as long as it's just snug

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I like NRS straps.  They don't slip like the slick nylon ones you find in sporting goods stores.

 

https://www.nrs.com/category/4342/straps/

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21 hours ago, J Francho said:

I slide it through lines on the T-handle on the Compass.  For my other two boats, they are riveted handles, so, just around the handle.

Keep an eye on those T-handle cords.  I attached a bow strap to my forward T-handle and after just a couple trips, I noticed significant fraying in the handle cord.  I swapped the front and back T's since I use the front a lot more...and I no longer use a bow strap.  (Since I switched to a Hullivator, the yak doesn't move...at all...very secure.)

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I haven't seen any wear from mine.  It's not cinched down real tight, just insurance against backward movement from the boat.  I'm loading stern first, so there's a lot of weight in the bed itself.

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4 hours ago, Krux5506 said:

I usually run a ratchet strap through the handles on my Eagle Talon as described but don't tighten much, kinda just snug it up. Not that I'm overly concerned with this kayak, but when I get something nicer, should I avoid this method altogether? Or is it ok as long as it's just snug

If you can resist over-tightening them, ratchet straps are far far superior to cam straps. Cams are much more likely to loosen if they get any slack in then then ratchets are.  

 

Source: 24 years of securing scenery, AV gear, and fine art in trucks. 

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12 minutes ago, fishwizzard said:

Cams are much more likely to loosen if they get any slack in then then ratchets are.

Buy the right ones (I linked to them) and they do not come loose.  Been transporting kayaks on vehicles for a dozen years using them.  This is a non issue if you use the right ones.

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18 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Buy the right ones (I linked to them) and they do not come loose.  Been transporting kayaks on vehicles for a dozen years using them.  This is a non issue if you use the right ones.

We will have to agree to disagree then. The only issue with ratcheting straps is a lack of self-control in the user.  I would rather risk having people dent a yak with a ratchet then risk not tighten a cam enough and have said yak come off during transport. 

 

 

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Hated paying through the nose for Thule cam straps.   But I have to admit that after 2-5 trips per week...eight months a year...for almost 4 years....and those Thule straps are still in perfect shape -- a bit faded perhaps, but I just checked them last weekend and there's zero sign of fabric fatigue or buckle failure.  I am positive that any straps at half the price would have been replaced by now. 

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On ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 12:02 PM, J Francho said:

Ratchet straps a no-no with kayaks.

Advice to live by when securing kayaks. Use cam lock.

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On 8/26/2019 at 1:02 PM, J Francho said:

Ratchet straps a no-no with kayaks.  People have a tendency to over tighten them, and warp/crack the hull.  Since working at a kayak shop, I've seen a lot of it.

Would you give that same advice for securing it to a trailer?

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On 8/26/2019 at 11:40 AM, J Francho said:

I back my Hobie Compass into the bed, and use a short cam lock strap to connect the rear handle to the tie down in the bed, near the cab.  I run another longer cam lock strap around the hull, and attach to the tie down near the tailgate.  Different kayaks with be a little different.  You basically want to prevent any side to side movement, and keep it from sliding off the back.

 

Another question. Do you tie the rear handle to one tie down in a corner near the cab or run the strap through both tie downs in the corners?

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Me too, regarding cam straps over ratchet straps.

 

For one thing, when not in use, cam straps roll up into a tiny puck-shaped disc. So, they take up less space. I leave 5 or 6 of them in my truck at all times. Gosh, they are so handy for securing so many things.

 

I also found that ratchets wiggled a bit loose, in my experience, and I have never have had this problem with cam straps. I know this likely varies depending on brands of each device one uses.

 

For my little Native Propel 10, I just nose it up and in to the back of my truck and secure it from tie downs in the bed of the truck that are located near the tailgate on each side. I run the strap over the top of the seat folded down, tug it securely. And as a security measure I run one through the kayak's front handle up near the cab securing from side to side.

 

I'd always recommend a second strap just as a security measure and two securing points makes the kayak less capable of pivoting.

 

For anyone car-topping, I'd be much more thorough and deliberate owing to the amount of wind resistance pushing against the kayak.

 

Brad

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16 hours ago, fishwizzard said:

We will have to agree to disagree then. The only issue with ratcheting straps is a lack of self-control in the user.  I would rather risk having people dent a yak with a ratchet then risk not tighten a cam enough and have said yak come off during transport.

A cam lock cannot come loose.  The harder you pull on it, the tighter the connection becomes, on a properly designed buckle.  There's nothing to disagree about.  Literally thousands of trips, 20 kayaks at a time, up the creek, for a float downstream for customers, for 20 years, every day when the weather is good.  You'd think, if there was an issue, someone would have have seen it, never mind all the rest of us that use them.  Funny thing is, I've had ratcheting straps fail.  They suffer from over complication, and get sticky.  You think it's locked into a tooth, until it isn't.  No such issue with cam locks.

12 hours ago, LadiMopar said:

Would you give that same advice for securing it to a trailer?

We trailer 20 at a time behind an old school bus for customers that want a downstream float.  All are tied down with NRS cam locks. No one that worked in the kayak industry would ever recommend ratcheting straps.  No one.

5 hours ago, Crankin4Bass said:

Another question. Do you tie the rear handle to one tie down in a corner near the cab or run the strap through both tie downs in the corners?

Just the one by the cab.  If there's something to wrap around, like the seat rail in my Commander, I'll use that for the gate side, otherwise, I go around the hull.

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47 minutes ago, J Francho said:

A cam lock cannot come loose.  The harder you pull on it, the tighter the connection becomes, on a properly designed buckle.  There's nothing to disagree about.  Literally thousands of trips, 20 kayaks at a time, up the creek, for a float downstream for customers, for 20 years, every day when the weather is good.  You'd think, if there was an issue, someone would have have seen it, never mind all the rest of us that use them.  Funny thing is, I've had ratcheting straps fail.  They suffer from over complication, and get sticky.  You think it's locked into a tooth, until it isn't.  No such issue with cam locks.

I mean we’re just going to have to get into a battle of doing anecdotes, because I have experience over course of my career dozens and dozens of camlocks that have loosened up during transport and allowed loads to shift. 

 

 I am mystified that there seem to be people out there who can be trusted to put enough tension on a camlock to prevent it from slacking but somehow turn into Lennie Small as soon their fingers touch a ratchet strap. 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, fishwizzard said:

I am mystified that there seem to be people out there who can be trusted to put enough tension on a camlock to prevent it from slacking but somehow turn into Lennie Small as soon their fingers touch a ratchet strap.

The laws of uncommon sense are at play here, man.  You also have to realize that we have a responsibility to give advice beyond just what will work.  For every post there are ten other members that are looking.  For every member logged in, there ten more that are lurkers.  Advice, like securing a kayak to a pickup truck has to be bulletproof.  If I say something flippant, like use a bungee (believe it or not, I have used them in a pinch for a kayak) it could be irresponsible advice, and damage our reputation.

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4 minutes ago, J Francho said:

The laws of uncommon sense are at play here, man.  You also have to realize that we have a responsibility to give advice beyond just what will work.  For every post there are ten other members that are looking.  For every member logged in, there ten more that are lurkers.  Advice, like securing a kayak to a pickup truck has to be bulletproof.  If I say something flippant, like use a bungee (believe it or not, I have used them in a pinch for a kayak) it could be irresponsible advice, and damage our reputation.

But that's my entire point!  The possible repercussions of over-tightening a ratchet are far far less damaging then under-tightening a cam.  A caming strap is limited by the strength of the person tightening it while a ratching strap gives mechanical advantage, which allows a far wider range of users to sufficiently tighten them. 

 

Ratching straps are inherently safer then a camming one. If a cam strap is allowed to slack the only thing holding the load is the small springs that keep the knurled bar pressed into the strap. A ratchet strap that is set too loose still has both spring pressure and all the friction from the strap being wrapped over it's self several times to keep it from slipping. 

 

 

 

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Myself and most of the kayaking community will have to agree to disagree with you here. 

A slack cam lock will not suddenly fail.  Once pressure is put on, from the kayak sliding during cornering, it will only become tighter.  That's how a cam lock works.  You creating a problem where there is none.  You're experience with them is not the norm, and I suspect they were NOT straps designed for securing a kayak to a vehicle.  The NRS straps I linked to are.  They simply do not fail as you claim.  There are literally millions of them in use.  If failure was a problem, it would be more than just you claiming they are inferior.  Sorry, man.  I'm done debating a moot point.  You want to secure a kayak to your vehicle?  Get a kayak strap made for that, not something for securing heavier, more rigid cargo.

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