About the mooring hitch and towing

Hi! I already have about 50+ feet of rope in a toss bag. I don’t really want to have another bag of rope around, I also don’t love the idea of having a fanny pack full of rope on me.

Is it acceptable to tie my rope around the combing of my kayak with a quick release mooring hitch and use that to toe? I can’t see inherant bad ideas with it but one never knows.

This is for sea kayaking. Thanks.

The tow belt is no big deal after you paddle with it a couple times. Plus, it is easily transferable to another paddler to swap towing duties. The toss bag is way down my list of items to carry for open water sea kayaking. In rivers, it is as obligatory as a quick release tow line when in open water.

You could make it work safely.
It might be a lot of fussing in a situation where your hands are otherwise full. So why you’re using it matters. If it’s simply assistance through easy water, anything is fine. If you’re with a group in conditions where everyone, including yourself, feels somewhat challenged, and someone is overchallenged, it may be a lot of fuss.
To just keep your toss bag, I would probably opt for a piece of webbing and add a quick release buckle.
Or you could not wear your fanny pack, but have it, and quickly put it on when needed, and it would still seem much less fuss than securing a rope around the coaming in difficult conditions.
Let us know how your chosen method works in practice.

Hi Folks, thanks for this info. Some good sense here.

I am searching for the quick release buckle. I have side release buckles kicking around here that I can sew onto webbing however I want to get the side clasp type that is on the NRS fanny pack. I’ve search and searched but no idea what it’s called in the industry. Any thoughts?


It would seem to me that attaching a line around the combing could be a bit of a hassle, especially in rough conditions. The knot would tend to end up behind you and if the line slipped off of the combing it would end up with the line around your waist, again possibly with the knot behind you.

A throw bag is more geared to whitewater where it might be dangerous to approach the other boat or person, whereas a tow rig is more often used with sea kayaks. A tow rig does not require any work on the part of the person who is being towed. You just paddle up to their bow and clip on the line. It works with an empty boat or with an uncooperative paddler who is holding up the group.

A tow rig does not necessarily need to be worn all the time and is easy to stow on deck or in the cockpit. It’s easy to put on. I always carry one, but have it on only if I think there might be a possibility of needing it on a particular paddle. Most tow rigs are very compact.

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plastic cam buckle search should work

You can also get the webbing and buckle together at lengths and widths of your choice like this:

My experience with towing has been that nothing works out as well as a quick release belt with a towing ring. Also a tow line long enough so the tow will be a couple of swells, or waves behind. I think most of the time it is not a good idea to have the tow rope attached to the boat you are paddling.

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Sorry to above, I am not understanding how you put a tow rope around the coaming and still use a skirt. The latter of which is not optional for sea kayaking. If you did put it on after being skirted, and had a problem towing, you could have a problem pulling the skirt in an emergency capsize.

If the around the waist option is not liked, this can also be handled by mounting it on the rear deck by installing cleats back there. Given that one of the crucial aspects of a tow line is that the person towing it has to be able to release in an emergency, you need to assess whether you could do that release as fast as with a waist mounted belt.

The deck mounting also leaves the tow line a smidge lower, meaning that it is more likely to be whacking the stern of the boat or encounter something like a rudder as you paddle. Both can be somewhat disorienting, but then again no one should be towing without having practiced it anyway.

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Ha, guess what folks. I’m scraping the DIY approach, giving the rope to my wife cause she doesn’t really go in anything but calm waters and I’m buying a tow belt :). I was around enough people this weekend that had them, that they began to just make a lot of sense. Thanks for the advice!

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