Introduction: How to Tie a Canoe to Your Vehicle for Safe Traveling

Canoeing is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature on a pond, lake, or river. It's been said that transporting your canoe to your favorite spot is the most dangerous part of your canoe trip. So many things can go wrong if your canoe isn't strapped down securely. To ensure the safety of yourself and those around you it's important to take the proper steps before you travel with a canoe on top of your vehicle.

There are many products in the marketplace that are designed to secure canoes to your vehicle including several from Thule Portage which can be pricey. The Thule Hood Loop Strap can be found on Amazon for a little under $20 for two straps.

In this instructable I'll show you how to make your own tie down loop straps (as many as you want) and then show you how to tie your canoe down using nylon rope. In all you'll spend less than $10 for quality and safe hood loops you can make yourself.

You'll need the following tools:

You'll also need the following materials:

Step 1: Make Tie Down Loop Straps

To make your own hood loop straps you will need to cut approximately 12 inches of Heavy Duty Poly Strapping. Then squeeze gorilla glue onto one end of the strap as seen in the photo. Clamp the two ends together and let this sit for 24 hours to ensure both ends are bonded together. Once everything is dried you can take a soldering to singe the edges together and burn a rivet hole in the end.

Step 2: Attach Straps to Vehicle

Open the hood of the vehicle you intend on using to transport your canoe or kayak. You'll want to find a bolt or screw that is fastened to the frame of the vehicle for a secure strapping point. Remove the bolt from the frame and put it through the strap rivet hole you made in the previous step. Then screw the bolt and loop combo back on the frame. The strap will protrude through the edge of the closed hood providing easy tie down for your canoe with rope. For added peace of mind I made a total of four loops on my own vehicle.

Step 3: Tie Down Canoe

To tie down your canoe to the hood loop straps you will need Nylon Rope which can be found almost anywhere including big box stores and Amazon. A little knot know how is important here so I would suggest watching a few videos if you are unsure. I first tie one end of the cord in a square knot around one of the loops. I then wrap the rope around the front of the canoe and back down towards the opposite loop. At this point I tie a truckers Hitch to pull the canoe down as tight as possible. I do this twice on the front of the vehicle for added security and once on the back. I like using the truckers hitch because it's easy to pull the canoe tight and easy to pull the knot loose when I need to. Using this method I have traveled on the freeway with my canoe strapped to the top of my vehicle with no movement at all. Finally, be safe, and have fun!

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