We bought a new canoe last Friday night (not Saturday for some reason), and it was ridiculous. The night was cold and dark, with snow coming down as we headed out down the road on a Friday night rather than waiting until Saturday morning. We took my car as opposed to my cousin’s truck because we wanted to save on gas as we were going about 40 minutes away, and I didn’t want to put my roof rack on if we weren’t getting the boat, so I put it all in my trunk.
We got there, and the canoes were beautiful. It was my job to point out the flaws and junk to try and get the seller to let it go for less, but it was legitimately difficult. The guy selling them was pretty cool too, which only added to my trouble. But we got the canoe for a good price, and I got to work putting the roof rack on. In the dark. For the second time, ever. Didn’t take too long, but by then my hands were quite cold (wind had picked up and it was snowing). We ‘lashed’ the canoe on as best we could muster and after securing the front and back as a precaution we took off!
I knew something was wrong once I got on the highway and the canoe started to bounce around a lot. By the time I made it to the next interchange and got off the highway, the canoe barely stayed on the car. It was terrifying. I pulled into a carpool lot and examined the now-slack straps. For some reason we thought it was a good idea to make an X with two ratch straps connecting it to the roof rack, and that was a bad idea. There was no support on the left-to-right axis, and instead we needed two straight straps locking the canoe along the roof-rack. It took us about another 15 freezing minutes, but we managed to figure it all out and get back on the road with a now-concretely secured canoe.
We got the Doink (as it has been named) safely home, hoisted the canoe on our shoulders and found it delightfully balanced for portaging, and then celebrated with beer. Now we know the ins and outs of lashing, and we’ll never be as nervious again (I hope).