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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Searched far and wide for a good solution, think we've found it.

We have a 13.5 foot sit on top tandem, about 34" wide and weighs 68 lbs.

First, we got the factory crossbars from the dealer, about $170. They're a little flimsy, but do the job.

Use the usual straps across and under the crossbars to strap it down to the rack. I like the cam type because they are easier to tighten and they hold.

Front and rear tie-downs are the problem because there aren't any exterior attachment points. There's one towing hook in the back, and there are screw-in towing hooks on the front but they are expensive and you have to remove plastic panels to mount them.

So anyway, I found this tie-down strap kit for $28 at Salamander Paddle Gear:

It has four cam/loop straps for your front and rear attachment points and four straps with hooks to hook to the boat I ran some paracord loops through the carry handle holes to hook up to.

For the front attachment points, I got the Thule 530 Quick Loop Strap set:

These just lay on the front of the frame under the hood and you close the hood to secure them. You loop together the cam/loop strap and run the hook straps to the boat. There are several of these around, Salamander Paddle has a set that is similar and less expensive.

For the rear attachment points, our RAV4 (2016 Hybrid Ltd.) has two metal tie-down points in at the back of the rear cargo area on either side. (For cargo or something?) You can loop some straps to these, lay them out the back over the bumper, and close the rear hatch to secure them. I got these, but there are lots of variations available:

Then you can loop the cam/loop strap to that and run the hook straps to the stern of the boat.

This works great and seems very secure. The main thing is to strap the boat down securely with double looped straps across the boat and under the crossbars because this is what holds the boat on. The bow and stern tie-downs are just to keep it from becoming a projectile or getting airborne if the rack separates or something else goes wrong.

The only other issue is that the crossbars are a little slippery and the boat can shift around a little. I cut some 1" pipe insulation to make pads where the boat sits on the crossbars and that helps. It's still a little slippery, so I'll probably find some kind of rubber pipe/pads to use for that.
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