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What lash point do you use to tie down the bow and stern of your canoe? I own a variant and have a thule rack w/ tie down assembly and was thinking of fastening a thwart directly to a rack rail in addition to the tie downs. I know it's still winter but need to figure this out. I'd hate to lose a canoe at 75+MPH.
 

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On the front passenger side you can pull out the lower grill there is a tow hook behind there. On the rear passenger side there is also a loop but it is exposed.
 

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I have the thule rack on our wagon and use 2 ratchet straps across the bottom of the canoe only. It's a 16' fiberglass canoe which I have taken over 200 miles at speeds up to 80mph with no problems (on the highway). Beware of chafe points if you are going to lash down to the front hook. But experiment with the ratchet straps, make sure they are good and tight, and take it out for a spin to get comfortable with it.
 

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I used to carry canoes and sailboards on my plain old Yakima rack. Very low-tech, we would put foam on the crossbars and run rope from the ends of the canoe/sail to the exposed bumpers on my Super Beetle. Of course, aero bumper make it harder[/ramble over]... bumpity.
 

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I took my canoe out today (was 60+ degrees here in Dallas) on the top of my '99 Variant with Yakima rack and gunwale brackets.

Around town, I just tie rope from one side rail, across the top of the canoe, to the other side rail, and cinch it tight: one rope each front and rear of the side rails. This is very stable.

For extra security on the highway, I do bow and stern lines to the points DrPepper mentioned above. To avoid rubbing the paint as tazmo mentioned, I bought a pool "noodle" and cut two 18" lengths off of it. I then slit the pool noodle lengthwise. Place the rope in the slit of the noodle and orient the noodle such that it holds the rope off the bumpers. The rope will eventuallydeepen the slit and will have to be replaced. Next time I'll make a V instead of a slit and put duct tape into the V to try to distribute the force.
 

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I spend a fair amount of time canoeing and traveling with the canoe. For longer trips I will tie the bow down like Dr. Pepper mentioned, I dont bother with the stern. I use thule straps (or NRS) under the crossbar and over the canoe. I'll throw an extra strap on the front crossbar for longer trips too. For local traveling its just the two straps. I know people who have lost canoes, its usually really windy when the go and the racks and all come off the car.
 

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What I would do, on my Golf, haven't gone canoeing since I bought the Passat, is loop some short straps around the wholes in the sheet metal inside the engine bay, then I would run the straps out the side of my hood. The straps would have loops at either end. Now you have 2 points where you can tie the bow down. For the Stern i would just use the tow hook.
 

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I'm driving a new Passat wagon because my Audi A4 Avant was rear-ended by a Ford F 250 as I sat at a traffic light --- the F250 at about 30 mph. It was on my way home from work, but it could just as easily been going across town to the Severn River for a put-in. Had an 18' CLC sea kayak --- a very-pointy North Bay --- on the roof: factory rails, "Audi" crossbars made by Thule, and Malone "J" bars. with bow and stern tiedowns. The weak link in the tiedowns was the five mil kermantle line looped through the bow and stern hardpoints.

The impact of the truck coming through the back of the Audi was incredible. Fortunately, I didn't see it coming. It put me in the hospital and precipitated a bunch of other medical problems, and it destroyed the Audi --- wrinkling the roof and belly up past the sunroof. The kayak, however, stayed in place and survived with slight cosmetic damage. The stern tiedown loop broke, but only after taking a horrendous hit. The bow stayed in place. Had I been carrying the kayak on foam pads --- or even the Malone cradles --- without tiedowns, the kayak is likely to have obeyed the laws of inertia while the Audi and I were launched forward (into a Ford van). That would have put the very sharp stern of the North Bay in a direct trajectory for the head of the pickup driver. He would have had no chance, and his young son, sitting next to him, would have seen his father die.

This isn't a kayak forum or a safety forum --- I know --- and I'm new to the list. But this has become an issue that I can't ignore when I see it discussed. Canoes and kayaks can easily become missiles of destruction if they're not adequately secured to our wonderful Passats. And, again, this didn't have to be on an Interstate highway. It could as easily have been in town at another traffic light, with Bubba in his big Ford just not really paying enough attention on a nice Friday afternoon ---

Joq
 

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You'll be fine with the cross bars and ratchets at each. It's really a matter of where you put every thing. You don't need a bow or stern line if you put the cross bars as far forward and aft as possible. Using a broad base makes it incredibly stable.

Here's a pic using no cross bars, but the foam blockings. The canoe didn't even twitch at 80 mph. Notice the span between the blocks.

 
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