Strapping down boats properly is something you should never slack on doing properly. Securing your boats well is one of the first skills to learn when learning to fish from a boat light enough to strap down on your roof. Even if you’re trailering your boats, you can use these tips to make sure your boats never have a chance to get away from you.
Take the extra step after putting your boat on your roof or trailer to make sure it is straight. (If you’re superstitious, make sure the bow is pointing forward. You can never be too careful). The straighter the boat is, the more it will cut through the wind and the less it will get pushed around. Start at the driver side and thread the straps underneath your roof racks. Throw the straps over the kayak and walked around to the passenger side.
With the cam ends located on the passenger side, if you noticed your boat waving around on the road, you adjust your straps without worrying about getting hit by a car at the same time. It also means you’re more likely to get out and fix the straps because you’ll be safer, rather than just letting the boat continue to get looser since you don’t want to get out.
Before tightening your cam straps, make sure they’re flat on your boat so they can be tightened properly. Adding one or two twists just above the cam, but below the boat’s gunwale, will prevent the straps from buzzing and vibrating in the wind. That not only keeps the straps tighter, but it’s also annoying on long drives to the water. Secure the tag end to the rope with half hitches.
Keep On Truckin’
The most common “good enough” mistake people make is not securing the bow and stern of their boat. Even if it’s a short drive, it doesn’t take a long for wind to knock a boat off-center and start wrecking your beautiful strapping work from earlier. The bow and stern line not only preventing the boat from being launched forward if you stop short or backwards when you do burnouts, but it also prevents side-to-side movement. It’s that side to side movement that will eventually cause the hull straps to loosen the most.
The best way to secure your boat’s bow and stern is with high strength paracord and a trucker’s hitch. The truckers hitch is designed to secure heavy loads quickly and also has the great ability to release the knot quickly, perfect for when you show up late to the launch. To tie the truckers hitch, make a loop in the line. Make another loop alongside it and feed the second loop through the first. Tighten and you should have a secure loop.
Thread the paracord around your boat’s stern. Look for tie-down points other than the bungees or toggle handles, if possible; points that could take more weight. Thread that end through the loop you created earlier and pull to tighten. Secure the tag end to the rope with half hitches.