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canoe on roof tied down

The Tie-Down Process & Common Mistakes

One fundamental issue people who start to get into Canoeing and looking at how to carry it is, “How do I tie it down?” This may seem so simple, but if you do not use the proper technique, your canoe could go flying off your car when driving down the road and causing serious damage to your vehicle, or other vehicles on the road. So let’s break it down:
  • The best way to start is by setting your straps up before you load your canoe. First, loop one strap around your front bar, and one around your rear bar. Take both ends of the strap and lay them down the hood and trunk of your vehicle. Keep the straps to one side of the bars so when you load your canoe they won't be stuck in the middle.
  • Load your canoe upside down on top of your crossbars. If you are using gunwales brackets, be sure to adjust them accordingly after you have centered the canoe properly. Take the ends of your straps and walk them up and over your canoe so that they are now laying on the side of your vehicle.
  • Next loop the non-buckle end of the strap underneath the bar of your roof rack. It’s best practice to always try to loop the strap on the inside of the tower or rail so that the strap can not slide off the edge. Slip the strap through the backside of the cam buckle and start to tighten down the strap. Before fully tightening the straps, adjust the cam buckle so that it is roughly positioned in the middle of the canoe. Then fully cinch down.
  • Bow and stern tie downs are always needed as well for added safety, especially if you are traveling at high speeds. Typically there are some kind of hooks underneath the front and rear bumpers to tie a line to. If not, we offer hood and trunk loops to tie off to.
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