Transporting a piece of equipment as large as a canoe is always a challenging affair. But if figuring out the logistics weren’t enough trouble to deal with, many have reported experiencing “Strap Hum,” which is a loud humming sound created by the straps holding down a vessel on top of a vehicle when they start vibrating in the wind. By following a few simple tips, you’ll be able to stop your canoe straps from vibrating in no time.
Here’s how to stop your canoe straps from vibrating:
- Twist the straps.
- Use filling material to eliminate the vacant space.
- Use a round rope.
- Invest in high-quality straps.
- Choose the right strap length.
As far as canoe-related issues go, this is one of the easiest ones to fix. Therefore, keep reading to learn more about how to quickly and effortlessly execute these tips.
1. Twist the Straps To Stop Vibrations
If you’re in a pinch, the first solution I’d recommend if you’re experiencing “strap hum” would be to twist the straps once or twice. The main reason why the phenomenon happens in most cases is the fact that the ties are often too long in a circumstance where they should be as taut and secure as possible.
Even though we’ve now become accustomed to our vehicles’ speed and overall power, in reality, our cars are much faster than we give them credit for.
This level of speed combined with strong winds and other environmental factors, such as altitude and humidity levels, can cause loose canoe straps to start twitching and moving around increasingly fast until they start full-on vibrating.
Additionally, by twisting the constraints, you’ll be able to disrupt the normal airflow that was causing the issue to happen. This is because the wind will start going around the material without inducing any form of vibration.
Depending on your straps’ length, you can often stand to twist them once or twice until they become completely taut. You might have to experiment a few times until you get the length right. But be careful to consider your ties’ strength when doing so as not to overexert them.
The solution to “strap hum” is really as easy as I made it out to be, as overall, this is all you’ll need to do. No special tools or advanced technical skills are required. You can choose to repeat this quick, easy solution every time you take your canoe on a trip, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
When twisting a canoe strap moving at high speeds, the material will be put under a high level of pressure and strain. Therefore, as you can imagine, this set-up would inevitably lead to their gradual deterioration, as the straps would start to weaken and wear out prematurely.
For this reason, even though this might be the quickest and one of the most effective solutions, I wouldn’t recommend it as a long-term approach.
2. Use Filling Material To Eliminate the Vacant Space
If you don’t feel comfortable having your canoe straps twisted, tied, and taut when driving at 60 mph (96.6 kph), there’s another approach you can take to eliminate the vacant space responsible for the vibration.
I’ve used the term “filling material” here very liberally, as almost any soft, malleable material would work in this scenario. Some use towels or even socks around the straps to fill out the empty space and take some of the pressure off them.
Additionally, you can always use foam rollers or anything similar you have lying around if you don’t want to risk losing your favorite towel or pair of socks mid-travel. This happens to be the biggest risk and downside when it comes to using this approach to fix “strap hum.”
The “filling materials” you use can be excellent when it comes to absorbing excess shock and vibration, but they’re rarely secure enough to withstand exceptionally high speeds.
However, if possible, you can always use duct tape to secure the material you’re using around the canoe’s strap. This isn’t always a 100% effective solution, but as long as you’ve got the time and the necessary components, I’d say it’s worth a try.
3. Use a Round Rope To Secure Your Canoe To The Car
Using a round rope is one of the most efficient ways of securing a canoe on top of your vehicle, and the fact that doing so significantly lowers the chances of “strap hum” is just an added bonus.
Unlike your typical straps, round ropes are strong, durable, and designed to be tied more than once.
For this reason, they would allow you to safely transport your vessel using the first “twist” approach long-term, as your constraints would be far less likely to get damaged or break mid-travel.
4. Invest in High-Quality Rooftop Straps
Safely and comfortably transporting your canoe is a process that begins from the moment you choose your constraints.
Even though round ropes are often an excellent alternative when it comes to securing your canoe, those who need to do so frequently might have an easier time investing in high-quality straps specifically designed for this purpose.
I’d highly recommend trying out FishYuan Quick Loops (available on Amazon). They’re one of the most affordable, versatile, and secure options on today’s market. They’re easy to set up, and, as you can see, thousands of Amazon buyers rave about their quality and convenience.
5. Choose the Right Strap Length
While choosing a high-quality strap is crucial when it comes to safely and efficiently transporting a canoe, “strap hum” will always happen as long as you don’t choose a length that’s the right fit for your vessel and vehicle.
For example, while a single kayak would require 9.8’ (3 m) straps to be securely held down, open canoes might need up to 16.4’ (5 m) of material. Choosing the right strap length might be challenging, as erring on the safe side and getting longer straps can make your trip even more difficult and uncomfortable.
Therefore, taking the time now to experiment and find the strap length that works best within the context of your circumstances might help you save additional time and effort in the long run.
Stopping your canoe straps from vibrating is usually a quick and easy process that doesn’t require any hard-to-find tools or advanced technical skills. By choosing the right material and knowing how to safely manipulate it, “strap hum” will quickly become a thing of the past.
Finding the right canoe strap is a process that might take some time and effort, but it’s a process that will inevitably make your trips stress and noise-free.