How To Tie Down Your Kayak Bow Without Rolling in the Dirt!
By Mike Toma-QWS Kayak Instructor
Cool, functional gear does not always need to be expensive. Every so often we at Quiet World are fortunate to stumble upon a “must have” gear item all kayakers should purchase. PAJE Top Tie qualifies as a “must have”. What is a Top Tie? Well, let me tell you. The PAJE Top Tie is an alternative solution for attaching bow tie downs to your vehicle. You no longer need to crawl under your vehicle or use oversized tow hooks for securely tying down your boat’s bow. Also, for those of you driving late model vehicles that don’t offer suitable areas for tie downs, your paint finish has been rescued.
The PAJE Top Tie is a simple nylon webbed strap that has been looped and inserted with a grommet where the strap ends are joined together. The Top Tie then can be attached to a fender bolt under the hood of your vehicle. When it comes time to travel with your boat, open your hood, pull the loops out, close your hood and proceed with loading. When not in use the Top Ties can be safely stored under the hood and out of sight. It is that simple. To install the Top Ties all you need do is open your hood. Look along the left and right sides where the fender joins the hood frame and you’ll see at least two- and perhaps as many as four bolts that hold the fender panels to the frame. Choose one of the bolts and back it out with a wrench, install the Top Ties and you are done! Extra care should be taken to insure that when you are not carrying your kayak and wish to tuck the web loop inside, that the loop isn’t sitting on a hot hose or near a belt but that’s doubtful. And when you go to secure the bow to the Top Tie, don’t crank it down for all your worth! Just make the connection snug with a slight amount of play in the line or rope. When driving along, if you see the line go TAUT pull over ASAP. It means that something on the roof rack system is not holding your boat still and you’ll want to check it out.
Traveling distances with kayaks attached to the roof of the vehicle can wreak havoc on your vehicle, as well as your nerves. While I am a proud owner of various Thule products, and have never had a system fail, the piece of mind I receive from tying down my bow and stern is priceless.
So why not eliminate stress and worry about your safety, as well as that of your fellow travelers, by installing a set to your vehicle? PAJE Top Ties can be found online by clicking here and at some of your favorite paddling specialty boat stores.
Mike Toma Kayak Instructor, QWS