Ratchet Tie Down Kayak

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Ratchet tie down kayak

The easiest way to tie down your kayak to your car is with cam straps. You won’t need to know any special knots;

  1. Make sure your kayak is centered fore and aft between the crossbars on your car and running parallel with the car.

  2. Take a cam strap and position the buckle so it is resting on the side of the kayak a few inches above and to the side of one of the crossbars. Toss the other end of the strap over your kayak.

  3. Walk around to the other side of your vehicle, grab the end of the strap and loop it underneath the crossbar then toss it back over your boat. Make sure the strap is to the inside of where the crossbar attaches to the vehicle. This will prevent the strap from slipping off the end of the crossbar.

  4. Walk around to the first side again and loop the end of the strap underneath the crossbar then up into the cam buckle and cinch it down. Again, make sure the strap is to the inside of where the crossbar attaches to the vehicle.

  5. Repeat with the other strap on the other crossbar.

  6. Tighten both straps until snug but not overtight. Too much tension can deform plastic hulls and crack fiberglass.

  7. Tie off the loose ends of the straps just below the cam buckles, then tie any remaining slack to the crossbars. This backs up the cam buckles and prevents the slack from flapping around while you’re driving.

  8. Grab hold of either end of the kayak and shake it from side to side to make sure it is secure. 448

Tie-down straps let you secure cargo to your vehicle's roof rack. 

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Using straps designed specifically for tying down kayaks on cars will make tying down your kayak easier and safer. Straps with cam buckles will let you tighten your kayak to your roof rack without over tightening it and potentially damaging it.

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