tie down straps too

Posted by LeeG on Jan 24, 2005

I had one break on me while tying a kayak down on the roof of the car. You're right about giving things a tug and UV degradation,,I think polypropelene is more prone to it but it doesn't stretch and is better for a tie down application. I had a a fastek buckle on the aft deck of a Ch18 that had a semi-flush hatch break twice in one week during rescue practice with two different guys that were 275-325lbs where they used the hatch strap as a grab point while scrambling onto the aft deck. Of course you're not supposed to use hatch straps like that,,but people don't often understand the why's and wherefores when they're doing something for the first time,,or more importantly when panicked. The webbing has a breaking strength above 1000lbs I think,,the fastek buckle must be somewhere around 300lbs. The other time the buckle broke was when someone tried to lift the kayak by the buckle. It was a fairly flat aft deck with nearly flush (no spacer between deck and recess) hatches and four webbing straps across a large hatch. So if a strap is tightened down on a flat aft deck with a fastek buckle it presents a LOT of leverage if it's lifted by the strap since it takes a lot of tension to provide adequate down force. Like being able to bend two poles inward by hanging a wet towell on a line strung between or in this case when a big guy inadvertantly graps a strap the force on the buckle can be more than just the amount of the pull. Which might be a bother if you are rescueing him and he's reaching ACROSS his aft deck to YOUR foredeck,,and you see him use your front hatch strap as a grab point. Try it sometime for comedy,,complicate rescue practice by opening your rescuers hatches as you do it. You could be absolutely sure your skills are up to rescues because you've done dozens and then one day you get a plastic kayak with a blown front bulhead,,or the tether on the low cost rubber front hatch is right up in view for your victim to grab. It's amazing how fast the bow of a 70lb plastic kayak can sink once the hatch is pulled off. About 3 seconds in a Dagger Atlantis in flat water.

In Response to: Fastek Buckles & webbing by Stephen Chase on Jan 24, 2005