best tie down straps for boats

5 Best Ratchet Tie Down Straps 2018

Securing your load with a ratchet tie down strap is essential for safely travelling with your boat, kayak or other watercraft. The majority of straps are made using heavy duty polyester that are soft but securely anchor your load without causing damage.

The best ratchet tie down strap for your boat is the Fulton 2060366, which is a retractable ratchet that uses zinc housing and hardware for extra durability.

Boat ratchet tie down straps are designed to secure the boat onto the trailer so that it doesn’t come loose. Ordinary ratchet straps can do the job but are much harder to do so and can damage the boats finish with heavy duty hooks and housing.

Best Boat Ratchet Tie Downs

Tie Down StrapsTypeBreak Strength
Fulton 2060366Transom2,500 LBS
Reese PowersportsTransom2,500 LBS
BoatBuckle Pro SeriesTransom1,200 LBS
Keeper 04629Standard10,000 LBS
AUDEW StrapsStandard2,400 LBS

Choosing the correct tie down strap for your boat and trailer setup, you need to check the break strength rating. Its important that you choose a ratchet tie down strap where the break strength exceed the weight of the lightest towing load.

For example, if the boat you are towing down the highway weighs 3,500 LBS and the trailer is 1,500 LBS, you will want to ensure the tie down strap has a break strength of over 1,500 LBS (the weight of the trailer as its lighter).

Many tie down straps for boats come with features that protects the boats finish, which many ordinary alternatives will not have. Below is a list of the best ratchet tie down straps for boats that will securely strap the boat to the trailer.

Fulton 2060366 Transom Ratchet Tie Down


The Fulton Zinc Transom Retractable Ratchet Tie Downs come as a pair that are 2 inch wide and 43 inch long, which is perfect for the majority of boats. It is a transom ratchet strap that easily bolts on and has all the hardware included.

Everything about this transom tie down is high quality, from the zinc housing and hardware to the vinyl coated S hooks that protect the boats finish. The retractable ratchets have a 8,330 LBS load capacity and 2,500 LBS break strength, which is surplus for the majority of boats.

The Fulton 2060366 are the best transom tie downs for boats without a doubt. They are produced by Fulton that specialize in boating equipment such as heavy duty winches and are known for build quality. These retractable ratchet tie downs are perfect for securing your boat on your trailer with no issues.

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Reese Powersports 2060300 Transom Tie Down


The cheaper transom tie down straps compared to the Fulton alternative are the Reese Powersports. They are the same length with 43 inches and 2 inches in width but have a smaller load capacity at 833 LBS and break strength of 2,500 LBS.

The ratchets are retractable to take up less room when stored and they easily bolt onto the trailer with the included nuts and bolts. All steel hooks are coated so that when your boat is anchored to the trailer, the boats finish is not damaged.

When attempting to get your boat from the water to the trailer safely and efficiently, you do not want to be messing with rubbish straps. These Reese Motorsport are the best tandem tie down straps for the money with great value for the money.

If you require the additional break strength and your budget allows, the Fulton alternative would be the better buy.

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BoatBuckle Pro Series Kwik-Lok


For those on a budget looking for a transom tie down for their boat, the BoatBuckle Pro Series offer a range of sizes for every boat. Each buckle has a breaking strength of 1,200 LBS and working load of 400 LBS, which is suitable for most small boats.

The top hooks are vinyl coated and trailer hooks are zinc coated to reduce damage to the boat as well as resist cracking and peeling of the hooks.

Overall, the BoatBuckle Pro Series Kwik-Lok Transom Tie-Down Straps are the cheapest transom tie downs and offer great strength for most small boats. The low cost and budget pricing makes these a very popular choice for many.

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Keeper 04629 Ratchet Tie-Down


Ratcheting your boat down is not only achieved at the transom of the boat but all round the boat for all round tightening. Many people will have an outdoor boat cover on the boat and attach the tie down straps from side to side. The Keeper 04629 are heavy duty ratchet tie downs with J hooks that are 25 feet long and 2 inches wide.

The strength is the desirable feature of the Keeper tie down straps, with a working load limit of 3,333 LBS and break strength of 10,000 LBS. The HI-TEST webbing technology with 3 layers is what provides these straps with the demonic strength.

Overall, the Keeper 04629 is the best heavy duty ratchet tie down straps for boats that require additional strength. They cost slightly more than the alternatives above but the 3 layers of webbing and J hooks are not cheap materials.

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Audew Ratchet Tie Down Straps


Audew have a great reputation for high quality budget tools and these tie down straps are exactly that. They are 20 foot long and 1 inch wide and provide an excellent method of tying down a boat from side to side on the trailer.

The Audew tie down straps have a load capacity of 800 LBS and breaking point rating of 2,400 LBS, which is surplus for the majority of boats, kayaks and other watercraft objects.

These are the best ratchet tie down straps for the money and with a set of these and tandem tie downs, your boat will be firmly anchored to the trailer.

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Boat Tie Down Straps Buying Guide

Securing your boat down onto the trailer is essential for safety whilst travelling down the highway. The last thing you want to do is for the boat to fall of the trailer and cause a large amount of damage to your boat and wallet.

Using boat ratchet tie down straps is the best method of securing your boat to the trailer. The transom of your boat should use tie down straps and so should the side of your boats, which can be achieved with standard straps.

Standard v Transom Ratchet Straps

The transom of  your boat should be strapped down no matter what. Unless you are using a trailer for kayaking where the kayak doesn’t have a transom (as such), all boats should be tied down at the transom. Depending upon the weight of the boat and trailer will decide on the ratchet tie down straps you buy.

The standard tie down straps are further securing the boat to the trailer as well as the cover that may be on the boat. Having too many straps securing your boat is not a bad thing, you can never be too safe.

Even if you don’t have a boat but have beginner kayaks, strapping them securely will still need tie down straps such as the Audew and Keeper examples mentioned above.

Tie Down Strap Strength and Length

You will notice that there are two ratings provided by the manufacturer and they are the break strength and working load strength. These are important ratings to keep track of and its worthwhile doing your research prior to purchasing.

As mentioned earlier in this article, you will want a strap where the break strength is greater than the lightest towing load. For example, the lightest towing load for your standard boat trailer would be the trailer. If the trailer weighs 1,500 LBS, the tie down strap should exceed this weight. Having surplus break strength is not a bad thing and its always good to be safe than sorry.

You will also want to check the length of the strap compared the the length it will be securing. For example, between the transom and the trailer or from each side of the boat.

Boat Protection

Many boat owners that try to do things “on the cheap” tend to go for an ordinary strap used for moving objects in cardboard boxes as an example. Most of these straps do not focus on protection and this can cause damage to the boat, kayak or other watercraft that you are securing to the trailer.

Always check to see whether the ratchet strap, hooks and other hard metal has been coated in vinyl or zinc. Not only does this protect the boat but it also stops the paint cracking on the hooks and ratchets in order to maintains its appearance.

Conclusion

Whether you are towing a trailer with a boat or kayak, it should be tie down with a ratchet strap so that it doesn’t fall off on the highway. Boats should have a transom tie down at a minimum but a mixture of the transom and standard tie down will ensure maximum safety.

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One thought on “5 Best Ratchet Tie Down Straps 2018

  1. I ama after advice for my Yacht Club where many owners of trailer boats leave their vessels on the hard stand and secured by tie downs and lines. Many of the lines in use are in my opinion not adequate ti the task of securing often quite large vessels in strong or storm force winds.
    On behalf of the Club I would be grateful for any relevant and impartial advice you could send me so I might advise our Club Members of safe adequate products on the market.
    My thanks
    Chris Ayres
    Member of Marina Board

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