A long boat on a short car

One of the problems with my car is that the gap between the roof rack bars is so short. I bought a v-rack so that I wouldn’t be supporting the boat at two points near the middle and having it flexing all over the place, but the fact that such a long object is supported by two bars very close together means that the v-rack itself bounces up and down, or more accurately pivots forward and back, and places a lot of stress on the bars of the rack. It makes a lot of noise as it flexes, and I’m continually worried that the rack is just going to tear out as I go over a bump.

So today I took some action. I bought a couple of Seattle Sports “Hood Loops”, which are little nylon loops with a grommet on the end that you can attach using one of the quarter panel bolts under the hood of your car. I also bought a couple of “Quick Loops” from the same company. They’re a similar idea except instead of bolting them to the car, you just close them in the rear hatch and a soft but strong piece of plastic tubing prevents the loops from coming back out. Those are more experimental – once I figure out exactly where I want them, I might replace them with something bolted or otherwise more permanently attached. I ran a rope from one Hood Loop over the v-rack and down to the other Hood Loop, and did the same in the back with the Quick Loops. I then put the boat on the rack and went for a short drive. The difference in stability is incredible. It’s so much more stable, and quieter. Also, when I take the rack off for the winter, I can flip the Hood Loops inside the hood out of the way, and take out the Quick Loops, and take the car to the car wash.