how to install boat buckles
How to Install Boat Buckles on your Trailer

A handy way to strap down your boat or Jet ski is to use the BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Tie-down to your trailer. Boat tie-downs are very important to make sure the back-end of your boat or jet ski, stays in one place. In most states, it’s a legal requirement to have proper ratchet straps for your boat trailer.

BoatBuckle is made by IMMI which is short for Indiana Mills and Manufacturing, Inc. They make a whole heap of industrial safety equipment. Ranging from child restraints up to Military safety gear. So you know these boat tie-downs will be designed and rated the best.

We show you how to install the ever-popular BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Tie-down and how to use them. It is simple and easy. It’s one of the best investments you can make for your trailer and watercraft. Just be aware that if you have a rear trailer fuel can holder it could get in the way.


This project can be done in a few hours. I installed the boat buckles on my Sea-doo trailer. The following items will be required.

  • Arc Welder and welding rods – Recommend Geoplus Mig 130
  • 25 mm wide x 5 mm thick flat bar
  • Spanners or wrench

BoatBuckle Straps G2 Stainless Steel Retractable Transom Tie-Down 

The BoatBuckle G2 Stainless Steel Retractable Transom Tie-Down is the ultimate tie-down system in convenience, reliability, style, and innovation in trailer boat rigging.

This tie-down system is like a seat belt for your boat. Stainless steel construction is perfect for saltwater environments. Each tie-down has a break strength of 1,500 pounds with 500 pounds of safe working load.

boatbuckle seadoo yamaha boat trailer

The boat buckle can be bolted to most mounting angles. The self-retracting straps are made from 2-inch seat-belt-quality polyester web and can be pulled out to 43 inches, 109 cm in the metric system.

The Buckle tie-down strap will automatically retract when released just like a seat belt. When used as a ratchet it will hold the boat tight to the trailer. It features an easy built-in ratchet with SUR-Grip rubber-grip handle with a rubber release lever that can be used with just one hand. This way you can use your other hand for stability, on those super slippery boat ramps.

 Vinyl rubber-like coating on the hooks protects your boat’s gel-coat finish. The one-bolt installation makes the Boat Buckle permanent part of your trailer so it won’t get lost or stolen like other inferior conventional tie-downs.

Types of Boat Buckles:

There are 2 main types of Boat Buckle G2 Retractable Transom Tie-Down:

Depending on your boat’s water use you may prefer the cheaper powder coated or the stainless steel version

    • BoatBuckle G2 Standard Black markings
    • BoatBuckle G2 Stainless Steel is made for Australia and America in our harsh Saltwater conditions.

Most important is that you get the stainless steel version boat buckle strap, G2 Silver. Especially if you use it in salt-water, as they will get wet as you are loading and launching your watercraft. These transom tie-downs are the best on the market hands down.

If you don’t get Stainless Steel Marine to ratchet tie-down straps, they will rust out in no time. Damage to your boat’s gel coat could also happen as the transom strap rubs. 

Best Boat Buckles Install Procedure: DIY

As my boat buckles install are going onto a smaller jet ski  Sea-doo trailer (Dunbier) I had to make up a bracket for the bolt buckle to attach to. This may not be the case for your trailer.

Boat Buckles Install BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Tie down
Modified bracket to mount Boat Buckle

There is now a Universal mounting bracket which is very similar to the DIY bracket I made shown above. It is cheap so it can be another option for those of you not wanting to tackle the DIY bracket.

I made the bracket out of 25 mm x 5 mm flat bar, bent into a right angle. You can now buy the bracket for this Boat buckle but I needed something that looked the part and was solid plus I like to make things to save money.

Next was to drill a 12 mm hole to attach the bracket to the trailer. We marked where the Boat Buckle strap will attach to the trailer, and drilled this hole as well. The BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Tie-down Kit comes with 2 Buckles and some mounting hardware eg: Bolts.

Follow up your drilled holes with cold galvanized paint, and mount the boat buckles. For added strength, I welded and bolted my bracket to the trailer. You may not need to do this step depending on your set-up, but I found the bracket would loosen over time especially on bumpy roads.

Boat Buckle Tie Down Strap Video

Check out this video by Daniel Scheer which show Boat buckles being installed in only a few minutes.


Care of your BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Tie-down Strap:

To Maintain your BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Tie-down just rinse them out with fresh water after each use and once a month the just unlatch them and pull out the strap all the way. Then lube the spring up with Inox Lanox MX4 Heavy-duty anti-corrosion spray. While you have the Lanox out spray it all over your boat engine as well it’s the best.

lanox inox marine anti corrosion

I really need to quickly talk about the Lanox Lanolin spray. It’s the only lubricant that I will ever use on my vehicles. It has no petroleum products that will destroy plastic or rubber so it’s super safe for any o-rings. Adds that natural lubricant grease that comes from sheep’s wool. 

Using your Boat Buckle Instructions Tie down strap

  • To release your Boat Buckle strap press in the grey lever and pull out the strap.
  • Attach the strap to your boat or jet ski tie-up point.
  • Start ratcheting the black lever till there is no slack in the boat buckle webbing.
  • To release again press the grey leaver and unclip. The ratchet will auto-retract like a seat belt.

BoatBuckle F14221 G2 Retractable Gunwale Tie-Down

There is a newer boat bow gunwale product now on the market, called the boat buckle bow tie down. Or the official name BoatBuckle G2 Gunwale tie-down. Quite a mouthful. The G2 Gunwale Bow Specs are:

  • Retractable gunwale bow tie-down system for all boats
  • Each buckle has 2,500-pound breaking strength and 833 pounds safe working load
  • Boat Bow Buckle automatically retracts to hold the boat snug to the trailer
  • Permanent one-bolt installation; 2-inch seat belt quality retractable polyester web
  • Self-ratcheting; simple, one-hand operation


Keeping the front end of your boat as well as the back-end transom of your boat or Sea-doo strapped to the trailer is how you will protect your pride and joy safe forever. These gunwale straps are the best on the market in my opinion.

Boat Buckle Review Mini G3 Retractable Transom Tie-Down

These little G3 Boatbuckle straps are the mini version of the ever-popular BoatBuckle G2. They have the same specs apart from only having a 1-inch webbing which means that the Mini Boatbuckle G3 has a 1,400-pound breaking strength and 466 pounds safe working load. The web strap length is 72 inches long.

All the other features are the same as 1 hand ratcheting, soft hook, retractable, and rubber ratchet.

The G3 is slightly smaller than the G2 boat buckle so it is designed for smaller boats.

Click for more information from Amazon

1 Year BoatBuckle G2 Review Stainless strap Australia

After 1 year of using the BoatBuckle G2 Retractable Tie-down strap, I can honestly say I should have brought this strap 5 years ago. I use it on a Sea-doo Gti 130 jet ski, and a 14Ft Quintrex runabout. It works really well, fast and secure.

I often take the opportunity to instruct other boat owners at the boat ramp on launching and recovery and they are amazed at how quickly I can unstrap, re-strap, and get going.

Don’t forget to secure your trailer with a lock, I have heard too many stories of boats and jet skis being stolen lately. 

An embarrassing story

Once I got sidetracked at the boat ramp talking to another fisherman, and I only retracted one boat buckle strap. The other strap was released but not retracted. I reversed the jet ski and after 1m, I was stopped dead. took me a few minutes to work out I was still attached to the tie-down strap. No damage was done so it’s a testimony to the strength of these little boat transom straps.

Lucky no one was filming this fail.

I have no rust and it gets used in the saltwater heaps.  Lanox spray lube is a helper here. The webbing is not even frayed. So looks like it’s holding up very well.

I’m glad that now Amazon will ship the boat buckle to Australia. I’m sure they get a lot of business from Aussie boat owners.

I always give the boat buckle a plug. Better to have that boat ramp free. Too many boat owners struggle with their straps at the ramp, Now there is no reason.

Boat Buckle tie-down straps are the best money can buy for your pleasure craft. These transom straps will outlast the life of your boat if you take care of them. Check out all the positive reviews on Amazon. Yes, there are two in the pack.

Congratulations on your Boat Buckle Install. Let me know how your installation went, and if you had any issues.

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  1. Best tie down ever, just make sure to still hose the traps down after every submersion in salt water even they are stainless the traps can still corrode


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