Getting your Boat to the Water - Part 5 of 8 - Using Foam Blocks with No Roof Rack

Getting your Boat to the Water - Part 5 of 8 - Using Foam Blocks with No Roof Rack

Posted by Laura Vanderhoek (WCK Staff) on 2017 Oct 14th

Foam BlocksDifferent varieties available for both canoes, kayaks and SUP’s. No roof rack required



-Easy to use

-Require no installation and no base roof rack although they can be used on a rack as well to provide cushioning and cradling (If using with a roof rack follow instructions on using kayak cradles above)

-Low profile clearance for entering a garage


-Boats are Harder to load

-Can cause damage to vehicle with prolonged use

How to use Foam Blocks for your Canoe or Kayak

1.Kayak- place foam blocks directly on roof – one at the front just behind the windshield and one at the back just before the windshield. Basically, as far apart as you can without being on the glass.

Canoe – attach foam blocks to the gunnel of your canoe estimating the spacing required for your roof. As far apart as possible is best.

2.Load the canoe or kayak so it is centered on the vehicle side to side. I prefer to make sure the bow is at the front of the car, more for ascetics then anything.

3.While holding the cam buckle end of the strap throw the loose end over the boat and car. You wouldn’t want to break a window by throwing the buckle end! I would recommend that the buckle ends up situated on the passenger side of the vehicle so that if you have to stop in traffic to adjust your straps you are not standing on the side of the vehicle with traffic.

4.Open all the doors on the vehicle. Reach through the inside of the vehicle and grab the loose end of the strap.

5.Take the end of the strap with the buckle and adjust its position so that it’s resting against the kayak.

6.Take the loose end of the strap without the buckle and thread the end through the cam buckle. Always make sure you will be pulling down on the strap and not up to tighten. We also recommend putting one twist in the strap between where it leaves the side of the canoe or kayak and enters the car. This small detail will prevent constant vibrations on the strap while driving.

7.While holding onto the strap pull down on the loose end to tighten. Use some body weight here to help but be careful not to overtighten the straps. They only need to be tight enough to hold the boat against the roof. Be cautious to make sure you are not denting your roof. A little denting is okay as it often bounces back once the tension on the strap is released.

8.Repeat the above steps for the other strap

9.Adjust straps as necessary making sure the protective pad is under the cam buckle to prevent rubbing on your canoe or kayak

10.Attach Bow and stern tie downs to the front and back grab handles of your canoe or kayak using a bowline or other secure knot – Some find this is easier before the boat is loaded on the car. This step is essential when using foam blocks!

11.Tie off the bow and stern lines to the front and back of your vehicle and use a truckers hitch to get them snug. Remember that these are only back-up safeties so they don’t need to be very tight. The cam straps in the center are doing the job of keeping the boat in place. Make sure there are no loose ends of rope that could end up under a wheel during transport as this can cause costly repairs to both your kayak and vehicle

12.Lastly test your tie down. Give the boat a good tug and if the load shifts go back to step 7.