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Thread: Rooftop Rafts--how to you attach them?

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    Default Rooftop Rafts--how to you attach them?

    I just bought a 22' hardtop hewescraft. I would like to get a raft to put on the roof. I have the rails around the roof to attach it to. I'll be using it go to shore. What's the best way to attach it to the roof? Should I just use ratchet straps or rope? I have the rocket launchers on the rear of the roof, which will make it difficult to get it up and down.

    Just not sure of a quick and easy way to tie it up there???

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I use a pair of ratcheting tie down straps, easy to use and keeps it from going anywhere. Just make sure you hit the mechanisms with some corrosion x or other rust preventative.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    I also run a 22' Hewes hard top. Use the ratcheting straps to secure to your side rails. Id also recommend a couple of long ropes, one on the nose of your dingy and one to the back or side handle. That way one person can stand at the bow and one at the rear to lift the dingy up. Be careful to always keep one hand on a hand rail so you dont fall in. lift from the opposite side as your antenna so you dont accidentlly snap it off.
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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Mine fits nicely under the radar arch on my 22ft Seasport. I do run the bowline from the dingy down to cleat in the anchor well.
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  5. #5

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    NRS straps.

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    Then there's the question of do you plan on traveling down the highway with the dinghy strapped to the top? And what's the best way to do that. I've seen some scary things going down the highway.

  7. #7

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    One rachet strap and two bungys. When I bought my boat, the previous owner had one rope looping through in a few various places, kind of surrounding the edge of the dinghy, all he had to do was pull once on one end of the rope and the whole thing was detached! It was amazing, anyone know how to tie like that?

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    The knot is basically a series of looped half hitches. Used similiar a lot when I was packing horses.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    A few years ago I got some stainless steel rachet straps 1" wide with loop ends. They work great, and look as good as they day I got them. Also, I wanted hooks at the ends but all they had at the time was loops. It turns out loops are way better, since it does not mar the hand holds I go around. Here are the basic rachets, but I think these guys just sell them with hooks.

    http://www.bosunsupplies.com/product...?product=S0201
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    Like the others said......ratching straps, use two. Before you buy your inflatable figure out what size you will need, and buy one slightly smaller. Unless you rig up a davit and winch a 90 pound inflatable is a PITA to get on and off the roof.
    Tennessee

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    A few years ago I got some stainless steel rachet straps 1" wide with loop ends. They work great, and look as good as they day I got them. Also, I wanted hooks at the ends but all they had at the time was loops. It turns out loops are way better, since it does not mar the hand holds I go around. Here are the basic rachets, but I think these guys just sell them with hooks.

    http://www.bosunsupplies.com/product...?product=S0201
    Did you get those local or did you order them? I like them for both the reasons you mention. They don't mark up the rails and they don't rust. Very cool.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Hey Patrick,

    I got them on Ebay I think. I looked quickly and can't find the source for them, but they are worth some hunting.
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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Stop by the rafting boat shop on Tudor road, just before Arctic on the right headed west. They have the NRS straps you need, 4 years on mine still working great. In addition to the NRS straps(2) I tie a single line to the bow when trailering.
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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Here is another question, which way to do you have the raft, top up or bottom up on the roof. I am guessing bottom up to keep the water out of the raft, but what do you all do?
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've caried the raft both ways, so long as you keep the plug out, water will drain if it has the bottom down.

    I think bottom up is the best way as they tubes nestle better onto your pilothouse roof w/o the keep there, and I think for towing the aerodymics are better as when you mount it bottom down the air tries to lift the bow of the inflatable up whereas with the bottom up the air seems to push it down.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I use 2 ratchet straps that brake away easily. I have both ratchets on the same side for quick release. I also under my ratchets and any other place where it can rub raw, I place some of that foam that comes in a roll that was really made to place under something to prevent it from slipping. I mount it upsidedown with paddles tucked under and locked.

    I might suggest also, which I haven't done personally yet, but you might want to tie off the dingy to your boat. I had a buddy last year while towing, strapped on his boat and went to seward. When he got to seward, his dingy was gone. He never stopped on the way. Must have blown off. Tieing it off, might have got his attention while flapping away.

  17. #17

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    I always take out either the dinghy or two inflatable kayaks. Either way, then I'm towing the boat I always put them on the deck and strap them down. Not a big deal putting them on top when I'm ready, usually while waiting for the tunnel to open.

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    I put my raft under the radar arch and tie the bow line of the raft to the wrap around rail on my seasport. Then take an old short dock line and tie to the rail on either side. Prior the the line over the top, the raft has only come off twice that i know of. Once in a wicked blow in the harbor (good thing it was tied on) and it came off when trailering to the harbor for the first time last year, didn't notice until it had bent an antenna mount (oops). But havent had any problems since. When i lived in Valdez, i remember rafters not using ratchet straps for the fear of wearing through the hypolon. Seemed like a good idea to me.

  19. #19

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    I bet these guys could hook you up with a stainless ratchet and whatever kind of loop or hook you may want on the strap:

    http://www.shipperssupplies.com/RatchetTieDownStraps/

  20. #20

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    Thanks for all the ideas everyone. I'll probably just go with some kind of ratchet straps. Just need to find the ones best for the job.

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