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Thread: Tie Downs Before Leaving Whittier

  1. #1
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    Default Tie Downs Before Leaving Whittier

    Pulled out of the water today at 1:07pm today. Headed straight towards the tunnel with the thought of just getting through it then putting on the tie down straps in the pull out at Portage Lake.

    While me and a couple other boats were all putting on our straps at the pull out, a guy in what looked like a fire department pickup truck pulled in and said that the folks on the Whittier side will begin stopping people from going through the tunnel if they don't have all the appropriate straps in place.

    Just thought I'd put the word out there that this will become an issue this year.

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I wonder what the appropriate straps are? I mean, I have seen boats strapped down a hundred different ways. What one guy thinks is the appropriate way might be the most retarded thing to the next guy. I run 3 tie down straps, 1 in the back and 2 halfway up, and I feel it is a little overkill. To be honest, I have towed a boat from Anchorage to Soldotna with no straps, I simply forgot, and my boat made it home unharmed.
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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Great, Whittier is probably stocking up on straps to sell for 4x what there worth.

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    JR2,

    I too have a 2825, do you do anything in the stern to "tie" the boat to the trailer? My boat does not seem to bounce around, it is rather heavy. Just curious, because I can't wait for them to tell me to tie it down. I did get lectured the other day while waiting in line to go Bear Valley to Whittier that I was not to take my oversize sign off the stern of my boat until I got to the otherside. When I first got my boat I asked the Whittier Police if I had to have my oversize signs on going from the parking lot to the ramp and they said "no." So I never thought it was a big deal to be taking the signs off while waiting in line for the tunnel to try and speed things up at the ramp.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I don't tie mine down other than the safety chain by the winch. I have a couple of straps I will bring along just in case. Never seen my boat move at all on the trailer.

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    I don't have an ocean boat but do strap my river boat. I suggest we all strap our boats down regardless of how they ride on the trailer during normal towing. How do you think it would act during evasive driving? What if you left the roadway to avoid an accident? What if the winch and safety chain mount broke? You wouldn't take off without safety chains on your trailer would you? It certainly isn't going to hurt to have em strapped and it may save a life by preventing your boat from becoming an unguided projectile on the highway!

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    LuJon,

    When I purchased my boat the dealer said it was unnecessary to tie it down in the stern. There is not a strap strong enough to hold the boat to the trailer if it is flopping around. Or I would need a strap that could hold more than four tons. That much force would bend the trailer and then the strap would be loose anyway. I have not seen any other 2825's tied down either. I always like to check out the other boats of similar size and rarely see anyone who has stern tied/strapped their boat down. I understand on a lighter boat strapping it down.

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    Polardds,
    I agree with LuJon, what would it hurt to strap down the stearn?
    Yes, they do make straps strong enough to hold your boat to the trailer, ask any trucker where they get straps at.
    A boat trailer is designed to use the boat hull as a "spine" for rigidity and strength. Without it securely fastened to the boat you might be introducing stress and bringing out the weakness of the trailer at the least desirable moment when you need it most, like evasive maneuvers as LuJon mentioned.
    Just a thought.
    BK

  9. #9

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    As someone once told me, the purpose of the straps is not to hold the boat to the trailer, but to hold the trailer to the boat. So I believe that the straps would not need to be rated for the weight of the boat, but instead be rated for the weight of the trailer.

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    My boat weighs in at over 13K. I towed it from Florida to the PNW with no straps. I think I would ask the person at the tunnel, what regulation dictates i MUST strap down my boat. Especially at over 13K.

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  11. #11

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    I'm on the fence with this one. I have a 2825 and currently do not strap the stern down. Nor did the previous owner. I have started to add another heavy duty strap on the bow to back up the electric winch and safety chain. I thought about adding straps to the stern but haven't seen anyone else with 2825 or GC or any other 28 ft and up boats add them. However I would add them if it was the law and not just someone option.

    And I would hope that it's not my 2825 that someone is watching because I'm watching yours which i guess could possibly mean that I'm watching mine and I would be right back where I started.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    My boat is a lot heavy than a 28 foot kingfisher and seems to get heavier each trip to Whittier. I run a heavy duty strap over the bow and another heavy duty strap over the stern not because I have to, but because I can. Heck, I put the bow strap on as soon as the boat settles on the trailer upon retrieval. It only takes a couple of minutes to put a couple of straps on, so why not?
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  13. #13

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    Ok, first of all I was short changed 6"! 28' 6". After doing some more thinking About this and seeing the connection points on the ack of my trailer I'm going to start strapping the back of my boat down. I think it is the right thing to do!

    I also realized that some of boats I was watching were only going from the ramp to the parking area to be dropped off.

  14. #14
    Member Mort's Avatar
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    A few years back, I was towing back from Valdez along the Glenn, we hit one of the many areas (then) that had bad heaving, and busted a strap that had been worn by wear. Under those conditions, I don't know what might have become of my trailer/boat combo were there no straps, but it likely would have been bad. I understand that's dramatically different than the slow tow to Bear Valley, but I'm a big believer in strapping down my boat. Like the man (The Man! - Spoiled One) said, why not?

  15. #15

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    Why would you not protect $150,000.00 investment over $30.00 worth of straps?

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    For those saying they don't have a place to put the rear straps, the way to do it is to have someone like Arctic Rope and Wire in Anchorage sew a loop into one end of the strap that can go over your cleat. The other end can have one of many ends on it that will hook around the i beam on your trailer at the rear. If there are any rub points, they can sew on extra layers of rub protection on the straps, and make it to the correct length for you boat. I don't recall what they charged, but it was not too much.

    Strapping your boat on is not something that makes the daily tow better, but something that will come into play in am emergency. Kind of like seat belts for your boat.
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    I agree with the "why not?" train of thought. I can not hurt and can only help. That' why I was putting my straps on as soon as I got to the other side.

    However, what rubs me wrong with this is that if I'm going to be stopped and prohibited from going into the tunnel, my attitude will be, "show me the law". Where exactly do the tunnel people get the authority to enforce this so called requirement?

    If there is a documented requirement, fine. I will happily shut my mouth and get the straps on before going through the tunnel. If this is just somebody trying to flex their power, I have a problem with that.

  18. #18
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Who's tunnel is it? Can't the State regulate as they see need be? There is some liability associated with having a boat sitting in the middle of the tunnel......

    why not just put your strap on? I pulled out yesterday at 4:57pm....still got the straps on and made the tunnel at 5. If I had been a little smarter I would have started in to port sooner so that I didn't have to rush......

  19. #19
    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    I took my straps off going into the tunnel really just to prestaged the boat so when i got through i could put the boat in, park the truck and be out of there. THe person who told me in line that i had the strap my boat down before entering was the fire department i believe. Nice guy and not really a big deal to strap it back down just added 3 minutes on the other side to take them off and store them.....
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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    I always use tie-downs but like many others often wait to put them on until I'm in line for the tunnel on the Whittier side, or on the Portage side if I'm cutting it close. I wondered about their legal authority when this thread started, so I looked it up.

    The tunnel regulations can be found on the DOT's tunnel page:
    http://www.dot.state.ak.us/creg/whit...gs07092004.pdf

    and on page 8, 17 AAC 38.035

    (a) A motor vehicle may not use or enter the tunnel if
    (1) the motor vehicle poses an unreasonable hazard to the tunnel or to the tunnel's users due to a condition of the motor vehicle, or of the motor vehicle's driver, occupants, or contents;
    (2) the size, weight, or any other characteristic of the motor vehicle, including any trailer, or of any load on the motor vehicle or trailer, could reduce the safety of passage through the tunnel;
    (3) the load on the motor vehicle, including any trailer,
    (A) is improperly secured;
    (B) poses a danger to the traveling public; or
    (C) is incompatible with the safe operation of the tunnel


    "Improperly secured", seems to give them broad discrection as to what is appropriate.

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