bow strap = broken ski

8 years 7 months ago #9882 by mickeyA
:angry: WARNING: do not use Yakima bow straps! I recently bought a set of Yakima roof rack cradles for my beautiful new carbon Huki S1-X. The bow strap (included with Yakima's roof rack cradles) is actually two straps that join at a cam cleat. The strap end that goes through the cam cleat becomes a useless tag-end once cleated and is way too long. The loose tag end is likely to eventually come loose while traveling (flapping wildly in the wind). When the tag end comes loose, gravity will drop the loose strap end to the road and forward momentum of your car will put the strap's tag end under your tire. Look out when this happens! The entire bow strap will pull down so violently on the bow of your boat that the boat will immediately break in half and slam onto the hood of your car. After this just happened to me, I talked to Jude at Huki and he said it is quite common and he suggests (and he's right!) NEVER USE A BOW STRAP when transporting your surf ski. I hope my total loss will help avoid this happening to someone else.

Epic V12, V10Sport, Fenn Tarpon S, Swordfish S, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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8 years 7 months ago #9884 by Rightarmbad
Or you could just survey your setup looking for obvious dangers like that and correcting them before you head off.......

Nothing wrong with using bow straps, just use them properly.
You could have easily sorted out the leftovers before heading off or even cut them to a good length knowing that that is all the length you need.

Pilot error, plain and simple.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 7 months ago #9885 by mickeyA
Replied by mickeyA on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
I think I'll trust Jude at Huki on this one--never use a bow strap. I am guessing he has more experience than either of us carrying ski's. Thanks for the reply, though. Have a great day.

Epic V12, V10Sport, Fenn Tarpon S, Swordfish S, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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8 years 7 months ago #9888 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
:whistle: Gotta agree with armband , some "pilot error" here (sorry). Use of a bow and or stern lines to secure skis and kayaks to cars is comman practice and to a degree setup specific. If you have goood spread on your bars and or good cradles then maybe you don't use them. I have a VW golf and not a lot of spread between bars , carry my ski bottom up resting on the rails (a strong point on the ski with the "rail" providing structural strength) and use a bowline attatched to a sized loop directly above the front bumper. 2-point tie down serrves to prevent yaw when transporting (in my mind the main concern). If you have enough extra line that when poorly tied off winds up under the tire then you need to rethink your setup. Claiming that bowlines are not needed cuz Jude sez so ????????

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8 years 7 months ago #9901 by patrickswitz
Replied by patrickswitz on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
Sorry Mickey you had to suffer the enormous betrayal of a product that supposedly protected your baby, which actually rendered it in twain and probably dinged up your paint job on the car as well...

True that if you have a sweet rig with big spread on your racks, no need for extra bow/ stern lines. Out here in Hawaii, the absolute pinnacle of stylish boat transport is a shiny black Tacoma with custom aluminum racks, in which case no need to bother with fussy bow lines.

My personal rig is a 1996 Ford Contour with period Yakima aftermarket racks with 20-inch spread. If you need to get Grandma to Church in a hurry on Sunday morning, call me. I'm fuckin' on it. We can throw her hat box and casseroles on the roof no prob. If, however, you need to get skis or canoes from one end of the island to the other against the tradewinds, you'll need bow and stern lines rigged to the bumpers with a secure trucker's hitch. I've heard multiple tales of woe from local guys involving loose straps wrapping axles and destroying craft; everything from OC1's to OC6.

In general, I don't like tricky buckles, cams, or other foppery. Just nylon cord and knots. I'm sure Jude is a Jedi Master of ski transport, I'm just guessing his advice was tailored to your specific circumstance and not meant for general consumption.

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8 years 7 months ago #9907 by Hiro
Replied by Hiro on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
So... you drove with several feet of strap flaping and you didn't think you could tie this extralength or just cut it ?
And you blame Yakima for selling straps ?

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8 years 7 months ago #9908 by mckengmsurfski
Mickey, are you located in the USA? If so, there are a couple places I would be looking for rack solutions for your surfski.
My first choice would be a set of Goodboy Racks. These are custom made 8 ft V racks that will fit your yakima crossbars. They are absolutely awesome and the best investment you'll make towards enjoyment of surfski paddling b/c they take all the fuss out of surfski transport. Check them out on the for sale section of www.keystonekayaks.com

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8 years 7 months ago #9922 by Mike C.
Replied by Mike C. on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
Sorry to hear about your boat - what a bummer!

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8 years 7 months ago #9923 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
These racks do look good and tempting. However, I'm not sold on the concept of a "V" support - unless the foam is shaped to fit the boat it seems these things create significant stress points. I've seen the results of such a V-shaped support on a ski - two soft spots where the bow sits on the V.

Perhaps if one only has a single kind of boat they can shape the foam for a nice large contact area. But I carry 3 different boats, ranging from a wide seakayak playboat (P&H Delphin currently), through a skin on frame, through a surf-ski. The first two would not even fit on the V...

My own rack has a similar extension but uses Yakima Mako saddles, that flex and conform to the shape of the boat a lot better, and they can accomodate a wide variety of hull shapes well enough. My spread is "only" about 5 feet but I think that's enough for tha 20' V10 Sport. On really long trips I do use bow and stern tie-downs (simple rope, better than straps in that rope does not vibrate from wind). Most of the time I don't use tie downs as my rack bars are 40+ inches apart and the bases are bolted to the roof rather than clipped to the sides of the car.

However, I would never be comfortable *not* using both front and rear tie-downs if my bar spread was less than 40" at the minimum, even with a 8 foot long spread on the extension - I've carried boats on my current extended rack but mounted on a 25" spread and there is significant wobble without bow/stern straps (but as I said, that wobble is completely gone on a 40" bar spread, where I feel good enough to not use straps most of the time).

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8 years 7 months ago #9926 by [email protected]
Mickey - sorry to hear about that. Steep learning curve there and sure that wont happen to you again.

I have never used bow straps when transporting a ski (that included traveling from PE to Knysna at 130kph with a strong cross wind). Whats the golden rule for using bow and stern straps?

As far as cradles go you cant beat Thule's. The V bars dont make sense.

Cheers

S.S.

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8 years 7 months ago #9930 by mckengmsurfski
I would argue that V bars for surfski transport, if designed correctly, are the best option out there and make perfect sense.
I have used a couple of different types and I can tell you from personal experience that all V bars are not created equal.
A couple of points on the Goodboy V bars that I have used for the past 2 1/2 years:
I only use them for surfski transport (I don't own anything else, but I have friends who transport OC-1s and K1s on them and love them for that as well), and I would guess that a sea kayak would indeed be too wide for them.
In 2 1/2 years of transporting lightweight performance surfskis (V12 Ultra, Nelo Ski, Synergy Hybrid, etc...) on these particular bars I've never seen any damage to a ski. This includes 10-12 hour interstate trips driving in the 70-75mph range. I think this is b/c the V portion is wider than most others and the paddling is a full inch thick mini-cell foam (I have tried other V bars and found them in my opinion to be inferior in this respect due to much thinner foam and narrower V portions). You can see the foam give and conform to the boat, not the other way around, when you load the ski. I've also never had a ski slip or appear insecure with these bars.
It takes 15 seconds to load/unload and secure a ski. You don't need bow lines or cam straps to secure the ski thanks to the design of the bars. I do loosely fit cam straps around the center on long interstate trips as a back up but I don't use them to secure the boat to the rack.
I do agree that the base rack system for any bars is key in how they will perform. I have found that most factory racks regardless of length of spread require re-enforcement regardless of the bars used.
My experience with everyone I know on the East Coast of the US who's tried the Goodboy V bars for surfski transport is that they love them.

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8 years 7 months ago #9932 by Tom_D
Replied by Tom_D on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
I just got the goodboy rack and used it this week to get to a race. About a 3 hour drive each way, 70 mph. I used a strap around the middle of the boat and rack bar but Goodboy says it is ok just to use the bungees. Do you use a strap?

Thanks
Tom

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8 years 7 months ago #9933 by mckengmsurfski
I just use the bungees unless I'm traveling a long distance at high speeds/interstate travel. For the longer/high speed trips I place 2 cam-type straps over the cockpit and around the main rack but I don't cinch them down tight. They are just there as a back up to keep the ski from flying off were a bungee to fail on the interstate(which has never happened to me but I suppose is possible).

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8 years 7 months ago #9941 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
Is the spread adjustable or is it 8 ft fixed on these? Also, how do they attach to the bars? With a U-bolt or using Yakima hardware (bolt and nut and bracket)?

I thought from looking at the picture on the site that the minicell might indeed offer a good conforming cushion. Good to know this is the case. Skis are light plus they don't need to be tightened too much to the bar to be secure, so that should be enough. The other V-bar racks I've seen are a different brand (I think KayakPro) and they indeed required additional padding (the people who had them had installed some pool noodles on theirs).

Thanks!

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8 years 7 months ago #9945 by mckengmsurfski
The spread is fixed but I suppose if you wanted a shorter length it would be easy enough to do, though the way it is made I don't know that I'd want to make them adjustable b/c I would think it would weaken the bar.
The attachment is 2 metal plates (one on top of the rack, one under the bar) and then 2 bolts on each end to tighten them down. Its pretty basic looking but works great on Yakima and Thule racks, as well as some factory racks with bit of modification.

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8 years 7 months ago #9946 by arminius
Replied by arminius on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
I saw a great solution during a recent trip to South Africa called Lockrack. This has arms that hold the ski from the sides and top so there is no pressure on the seams. My V12 used to bounce all over the place using the Thule cradle but now it sits very well even with a strong side wind it doesn't move.

Another perfect day in paradise. A bit of sun, a bit of rain and it's not even lunch time.

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2 years 8 months ago #30715 by Gaspar
Replied by Gaspar on topic Re: bow strap = broken ski
Guys, be careful with the lockrack system. It broke my surfski under the action of lateral wind.

Did you have similar experiences?

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