How to Tie Down a Kayak in a Pickup Bed

tie down a kayak

Kayaking can be a beautiful way to get out and enjoy the wonder of mother nature while getting in a nice little workout all at the same time.  Whether you spend every day out, or only make it to the water once or twice a year, you simply must know how to properly transport and tie down a kayak. The following steps will help you achieve your goal of safe and secure boat transfer.

Some notes before starting. If you can, use a rubber mat on the floor of the truck bed in order to prevent slippage. Don’t use bungee cords to tie down a kayak as they can stretch, causing the hooks to come undone. Thereby leaving you to deal with all the stress and frustration of recovering a boat from the road. Your kayak is worth the price of a proper set of cam buckle tie-down straps. If you must use black rubber tie-downs, simply replace the standard hook ends with a load rated carabiner to ensure your fastening stays right where you want it.

Three simple steps to tie down a kayak

Step 1: Get your Kayak in the truck

First, lower your tailgate. If necessary, clean out your truck bed. Specifically, clean it of any debris or unsecured cargo that may damage your kayak. Then, slide your boat into your truck bed and close the tailgate. Putting the tailgate up raises any overhang up in the air at a steep angle, above the hood of any cars behind you. If you do get sufficient overhang, be sure to tie a flag to the end of your boat to help alert fellow drivers to the potential hazard.

Step 2: Position the boat in the truck bed

In order to achieve the proper positioning, angle the stern of the boat into the front left corner of the truck bed. Align the bow to the tailgate at the opposite corner.

Step 3: Secure your fastening straps

First run a cam buckle strap across the top of your kayak, parallel to the tailgate. Attach the cam buckle to your truck’s anchor points and pull to tighten. Next, run a second tie-down from the tow loop back to your bed anchor.  Tighten down the strap to pull the boat forward into the rear bed wall. This method works great for kayaks under 11’. Anything longer than that should utilize a rack system to lift the kayak and secure it over the vehicle’s cab.

If your vehicle will be out of sight for an extended period, be sure to use a locking cable run. The cable should run through the tow loop, seat, or grab handles to secure your rig and prevent theft.  Follow these easy steps to ensure your yak makes it safely to and from your favorite body of water.

 

See these other helpful articles from Bullring on tying down all sorts of cargo in your truck bed
How to secure long lumber in a pickup truck
How to secure a ladder in a pickup
3 ways to ensure your truck cargo stays safe and secure

How to build a kayak rack for truck?

Some notes before starting. If you can, use a rubber mat on the floor of the truck bed in order to prevent slippage. Don’t use bungee cords to tie down a kayak as they can stretch, causing the hooks to come undone. Thereby leaving you to deal with all the stress and frustration of recovering a boat from the road.

How to tie down a kayak in a truck bed?

First run a cam buckle strap across the top of your kayak, parallel to the tailgate. Attach the cam buckle to your truck’s anchor points and pull to tighten. Next, run a second tie-down from the tow loop back to your bed anchor. Tighten down the strap to pull the boat forward into the rear bed wall. This method works great for kayaks under 11’. Anything longer than that should utilize a rack system to lift the kayak and secure it over the vehicle’s cab.

How to transport a kayak in a truck?

First, lower your tailgate. If necessary, clean out your truck bed. Specifically, clean it of any debris or unsecured cargo that may damage your kayak. Then, slide your boat into your truck bed and close the tailgate. Putting the tailgate up raises any overhang up in the air at a steep angle, above the hood of any cars behind you. If you do get sufficient overhang, be sure to tie a flag to the end of your boat to help alert fellow drivers to the potential hazard.

How to transport two kayaks in a truck?

In order to achieve the proper positioning, angle the stern of the boat into the front left corner of the truck bed. Align the bow to the tailgate at the opposite corner.

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