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Transporting your Hornbeck

While there are many ways to attach a boat to a vehicle, we recommend the simple, efficient way Hornbeck Boats has been loading boats on cars for years. This is a result of years of repairs we have made on customer's boats due to improper transportation. A Hornbeck Boat should not be treated like a fiberglass canoe or a plastic kayak.  While it is very durable on the water, damage can occur when certain forces are applied outside the boat's original design, off the water. 

Every New boat comes with: 

  • 12' NRS Buckle Bumper Straps

  • Yakima Hood Anchors

  • 12' Nylon Bow Line



Do i need to use a bow line?

We recommend you use a bow line every time you transport your boat. It serves as your insurance policy. The straps are keeping your boat attached to the car, but the bow line is preventing anything catastrophic from happening, such as bars or tie down straps failing. This line limits sideways movement of the bow in the windstorm that is created as a vehicle travels at speed. It also prevents the hull from slipping backwards or the boat coming off the roof, which could injure those behind you. It also works as a visual cue, if a taut line begins to sag and flap around, it is a sign that something is happening to the boat and should be addressed before anything worse happens. Always pull over to a safe location to check things out. 

Using Foam Blocks and Straps Through the car 
NOT recommended


Using J-racks, Hullavators, or cradles are NOT recommended

These are designed for kayaks. They all put specific points of pressure on the hull or don't allow for proper strapping. This leads to damage.


Hard Rack

Our boats are best carried upside down on a factory rack or aftermarket crossbars with no other accessories. This is the recommended method of transporting a Hornbeck Boat and when using a bowline prevents damage to your boat.

Straps, hood loops, and a bow line are included with the purchase of a boat.


If you are interested in purchasing a roof rack, give us a call (518-251-2764) We will need to look up the Make, Model, and Year of your vehicle to see what parts are necessary and if we have them in stock.

*DISCLAIMER: Contrary to what Peter says, you can pull too hard and damage the boat.
You are looking for just tight enough so that when the boat is shaken, it does not slide on the crossbar.

Soft Rack

A soft rack is the recommended alternative to a hard rack and different than a foam block setup. It consists of a reinforced foam base with lashing points, that is strapped to the car, and then the boat is strapped to the rack. The lashing points allow the straps to hug the sides of the boat preventing the risk of shifting and sliding present with using simple foam blocks and straps (see above). A soft rack is substantially cheaper than a hard rack and can be easily shifted from one car to another. The downsides of a soft rack are that it needs to be put on and taken off every time, it can only carry a single boat, and can wick water into the car during a rainstorm. Yakima's version called the EasyTop is available in our store.

Keep your boat safe

When staying overnight at a hotel or leaving it in a parking lot during work for an evening paddle, locking up your boat prevents potential theft. We have found the Suspenz TieYak work well when locking a Hornbeck Boat to a roof rack.

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