-- Last Updated: Sep-28-12 8:46 PM EST --
... I don't know where to get them. When I was a kid, my dad always strapped boats to the top of a car with bungies, but not the kind anyone is likely to have seen before. His roof racks were home-built with sturdy anchor points welded to the support brackets and to the bar ends, and the bungie hooks would attach to one anchor point or the other. Except for being plain white, these bungies looked like the multi-strand, fabric-coated, bright-colored bungies you can buy in any hardware store (not the black solid rubber ones). Each was cut to three feet long from a much longer piece, with the ends formed into a bite which was tightly lashed with wire to make a loop. The remainder of the needed length was made up with rope. These cords were an inch thick, and it took about 90 pounds of force to stretch a three-foot length out to an additional 8 inches, which when the rope length was adjusted correctly, was the amount of stretch needed to engage the hook on the rack. I used them for several years after my dad stopped carrying boats on the roof of his cars so often, and for a really sturdy boat (like my aluminum Jon boat or my brother's Grumman canoe) they were fine. In all those years, no boat ever budged a bit in transport, and I can't say the same about the more "refined" racking and strapping methods I use now (unless I use my home-built gunwale blocks). Of course, my other boats "deserve" a tie-down method that's secure without so much tension, and since the bungies are now 50 years old, I don't even use them on the aluminum boats, though they still "feel" like they would work.