I've written up a brief article on how to install tie down loops on a car that does not have a convenient way of tying the ends of the canoe down. It is here
I've also cut the text and thumb nails below, but if you go to the link above you will be able to then follow links to larger pictures. (I removed the links here, as I prefer the larger bandwidth pictures to be linked in from my page... This site is very popular and can over drive traffic on to mine...no really it's true)
Trail Cafe: Trip report - Adding canoe tie down points
Title: Adding canoe tie down points
Trip type: article
Summary: A trick I used, for getting easy to access tie down points on my car, used when hauling a canoe or kayak.
Author: M. Tanton
The Trip Report:
Well I bought a new car, which is good because now I will be able to get out more often. I bought a plain-Jane Pontiac G5, which I like well enough. However it is lacking a reasonable way to tie down the ends of a canoe/sea kayak to the car.
So this is the trick that I used, which I thought may help others. This is something I learned from my friend Ross.
What do is create a loop of webbing that is bolted to the car at the edge of the hood and trunk. Sounds easy enough and it is.
First find some webbing, I sacrificed a strap and buckle system I had laying around. I cut four lengths 2 at around 6" and 2 around 8". The different lengths as the bolts I'm attaching them to the car with with are at different distances from to the edge of the car.
After cutting the lengths use a lighter to melt the edges so they do not fray. Next I cut a 1/4" hole in each end of each strap. For cutting I used a utility knife (or box-cutter for our American friends). I cut small squares and pulled some of the loose fibers out. I did not try to pull all the fibers out, a quick hit with the lighter melts the frayed center bits, and prevents further fraying. While it is still hot run a pencil or some thing similar through to make a reasonable hole. (I used an arrow with a field point...) Then another quick hit with the lighter to clean it up a bit and it is a good enough result for me.
Completed Straps ready to install on the car.
close up of end
After you make the straps comes the installation. This again is simple remove one of the body bolts just in side the hood, and run both ends of the strap through the bolt and reinstall the bolt. Do make sure the bolt is affixed to a strong point of the car and not some bit of plastic. You'll see in the picture that it looks like I'm on a plastic bit, but under that is steel.
So you end up with a easy to use loop for tying your canoe down. No need to crawl under the car in the dirt to find a tie down point. Not a big deal on some cars, but more so on others like mine. The loops tuck nicely under the hood when not in use, so it does not make your car look like it is growing some kind of ears.
The loop is in the deployed position.
I've used this technique before on my old cavalier, but in that case it only worked on the hood. So your mileage may vary. I do wonder about wicking water down the bolt hole. Also after a few seasons I found they should be replaced as they do wear down a bit. Hope you find some use in it.
Please take care to not Hurt yourself (cut, burn, or otherwise). Having said that I survived the building process, and I imagine you will too. Also be aware that If you use this trick, I am not responsible for any damage you may do to your car as a result. Depending on your car it may break your paint seal, may cause wear in rubbing the paint on the side of the hood or other damage. I wish I'd looked at the Caviler prior to giving it away, to see if this did occur.
Also the loop may even snap and fail to hold the canoe. Use at your own risk, and ensure you canoe is tied over the center. It makes me sad that I have to say thinks like this... sigh.
Content Copyright M. Tanton 2010, posted to www.songofthepaddle by the original author. Permission is granted to www.songoftehpaddle to use and modify this content in anyway they see fit.
P.S. I debated on deleting the copyright thing, but chose not to... hope that does not come across as poor to our community, it's not meant to be arrogant or anything like that on my part. The reports on my site are generated via a script, and the copyright notice is generated automatically assigning the copyright to the name provided as the author... so I did not want a contradiction between my site and this one.