What's the best place to attach front and rear tie down ropes when carrying a kayak on the roof of a 2015 Exclaim? Both front and rear bumpers are made from plastic that would not hold a metal hook in place, and I can't find a place to tie the rope. I thought about attaching the tow hook and attaching there, but the attach points are not centered on the car. "In the old days" we could simply attach the metal hook to the chrome bumper (showing my age!)
Lift the hood. Two bolts hold the fender onto the wheel wells.
Get 2 lengths of nylon or similar strapping. Mine are about an inch wide.
Burn two holes in each, such that they create a loop just big enough to extend above the hood / fender where they meet. Burning (melting) them makes them stay together without fraying.
Set the screws into them again, and torque them not over tightly.
These loops can be set "below decks" when not in use.
In my situation, I have two lines which are always on the boat (kayak). They are each long enough to reach these loops. They are anchored to the bow grab loop. These are, when I paddle, tied using a prussik on each to the deck lines. Or, sometimes, I just daisy chain them to be shorter. This way, they're out of the way while I'm paddling, and always there when I need to fit the boat to the roof.
As stated, my boat is 18 feet by 21".
I don't tie the stern unless there's gonna be a big (BIG) wind. I use prussik knots (barrel roll) to enable me to slide them loose or tight. This enables me to adjust them enroute, or if I have another boat up.
The stern tie-down is a bit of a problem. I sometimes secure a line from each side of the stern to the rack. It looks kind of like a "V". This further reduces the big boat's potential to turn. You could put a line into the rear door / hatch. Prussik knots, where applicable.
My rack is a Thule square bar. The boat hardly comes off the car, hence it is a little oxidized, which is fine with me, because it's less desirable.
Not tying a kayak bow and stern, especially a long boat like mine, is risky. In more than 40 years of carrying kayaks, I've had it all go wrong, but no one has been injured.
Hope this helps.
If you need more advice, or hav suggestions, let us know.
Success ! I only had to go a short distance with the kayak to the repair shop (10 mins at city speed). I used an inexpensive car-top carrier from Attwood Marine (best price found on Walmart.com).
I tied the front lines through the grille and the rear onto the interior back hatch latch (was able to close with no issue). When I picked up the guy at the shop tied much better knots than I did to the hood latch (again no issue closing and more secure than the grille) and same for the rear hatch latch. This was a very secure (and inexpensive) solution.
Thule makes a device that consists of a loop of nylon strapping with a "crossbar" of firm but flexible plastic "tubing" at one end of the loop. You insert the plastic crossbar inside the perimeter of your hood or rear hatch door, and close the door. The crossbar is then "trapped" in the interior, and the loop comes out past the weatherstrip, without needing to fasten anything permanently. You buy 4 of these to handle both front and rear tiedowns.