Before paddling your canoe or kayak, you need to take a safe and secure trip from your garage to the edge of the water. You should check if the straps are loose after driving for 10 minutes and constantly during your journey.

Positioning your vessel on the vehicle

Canoes should be placed with their open side facing down to avoid distortion while avoiding the accumulation of rainwater. Kayaks are best transported using kayak racks with curved cradles which protect and secure them properly. You can also move kayaks on curved foam blocks where the cockpit faces upwards. Whitewater kayaks are best transported using rooftop carriers or kayak racks with the cockpit down, up, or sideways, depending on the rack system. Havkajakk

Tying down your kayak/canoe

You should tie your vessel to the top of your vehicle if you do not have saddles or cradles with inbuilt straps. This will require foam blocks, two V-straps with hooks on each boat, and two hull straps. It would help if you used static straps or ropes to avoid stretching and ratchet straps to prevent damaging or crashing your vessel. Hengekøye

The first step is securing the hull straps by ensuring the straps go through the rack towers to avoid slipping off. In sea kayaks, the straps should not be run over the cockpit kayaks to prevent slipping and damage to the cockpit’s rim. Your roof rack crossbars should be lined up with your kayak bulkheads to support it if your vehicle is large enough.

The next step is securing the back and front V-straps. Make sure the boat is attached to your car by grabbing the stern and bow in turn. Move them sideways, gently and firmly, and upwards and downwards, ensuring no slippage or wiggling of the boat.

Red flag

Loads extending past the back of a vehicle, in some states, require a marker or red flag. Using a flag visible from the driver’s seat when the car moves at a low speed will guide you to back up your car without tapping buildings or objects with your vessel.