View Poll Results: do you tie boats on with straps or rope?
straps 40 83.33%
rope 8 16.67%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-09-2006   #1
rhm's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
do you use rope or straps...

to tie your girlfriend down?

just kidding, which do you use to tie boats on your car? being from the east, everyone who i was boating with when i was learning tied boats on their cars with rope. therefore i learned to tie boats on with rope. now that i live in colorado, there have been several occasions when i have tossed a rope over the boats on top of my car to someone on the other side. when i walk around the person is standing there with a bewildered look on their face wondering what to do with it. do most boaters in co use straps to tie boats on? or is it just most of the people i have been boating with?

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Old 12-10-2006   #2
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
definitely straps

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 12-10-2006   #3
on your sister, ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 137
ropes are for people with sloped foreheads.

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Old 12-10-2006   #4
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
the world would be a much better place if there were just enough 6-foot straps to go around....
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 12-10-2006   #5
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 20
Straps are easy, but rope has more uses, can be used in different ways and is cheaper. Problem is, most people simply dont know knots. they might know a half hitch and if they were a raft guide they might know a trucker's hitch but beyond that you throw a rope to anyone and they say: "what do you want me to do with this?" Knots are some of the greatest inventions that have been passed down to us from sailors and pirates... That and rum.......And the clap probably.
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Old 12-10-2006   #6
erdvm1's Avatar
Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
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No Buckles on ropes
Granted dirty kayakers will some way or the other ruin your ride
Learn the ropes and you can tie a boat on anywhere anytime with anything....even if your cam strap breaks your not SOL.
Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 12-10-2006   #7
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Edge o' the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 195
Ropes. No buckles to ding your car finish. More versatile. No need to untwist. Cheap. If it's too long, trim it down - something you wouldn't want to do w/straps. Haven't really checked it out, but I think ropes are faster to tie down with.

And if you're carrying boats on top of your ride, AND you're tying your bow and stern, which you really SHOULD do, so if you're in a wreck your boat doesn't become a projectile and do unspeakable things, and some lawyer ends up having his way with you - they don't flutter in the wind as you drive (the straps, not the lawyer).

Learn a few knots - it's worth it.

Action "Old School" Jackson
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Old 12-11-2006   #8
rhm's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
it looks like the replies are half and half right now, but the votes are leaning toward straps. i prefer rope for some of the reasons mentioned. no buckles to break windows, scratch your paint, or dent your car, all of which i've seen happen. you only need a 10 foot rope to do what a 20 foot strap will do. rope stretches a little bit unlike straps and when your boats shift around while you are driving the rope won't totally loosen up like a strap will. i've been boating for about 15 years and have never lost boats off the top of my car that were tied on with rope. even through a little ditch cleaning episode. during that one my rack bent my rain gutter, but the boats all stayed on. however, i have had a couple of my boats hit the pavement when other friends have tied them on their cars with straps.
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Old 12-11-2006   #9
COUNT's Avatar
Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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I think it's just a matter of personal preference. I remember when everyone in Colorado still used rope to tie boats down. Everyone should know their knots from their SRT anyways. Straps are convenient and with just a little skill are not at all damaging to the car. I've never hit my car or window with the strap but unlike some of my buddies, I pay attention when I'm strapping boats down . I have never lost a boat (had a few lucky ones, though). I use ropes occasionally but prefer strappage. Ropes are more versatile and cheaper but also tend to stretch more and take longer to tie down when taking out in the snow .

For the record, I have trimmed straps down when they were too long (ones that I always use for the same purpose and knew I wouldn't miss the extra length).

I say, be good at doing both and choose what you want to do based on personal preference and what's available at the time.


"The owner of the car must always tie the boats on. He knows how he wants it done."-Corran Addison
"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 12-11-2006   #10
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3
If you're in the south: ROPES, anywhere else: STRAPS

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