Bow Eye for Canoe?

I was considering installing a bow, stern and two abeam metal double shank eyes on my Old Town Penobscot, which has a 3 layer poly hull. I would like to thread the eyes with braided nylon line. Has anyone done this? Or is this unadviseable? Your comments?

Tug Eyes
Tug eyes might be a better solution.

Another vote
for Tug Eyes.


Cheapskate way…
Dis be de way ah’ gone went an’ done it fer under $1.50 per boat.

Fat Elmo

whatever “eye” system
you finally end up with, I wouldn’t use nylon rope. Polypro is will not stretch like nylon, will last longer, and floats ( nylon no).


Positioning matters depending on use
If you want to use the eyes just for grab loops or to attach a simple painter, you would position the eyes higher up on the nose of the canoe.

However, if you want to use the eyes to line the canoe through current, you would position them just above the loaded waterline – though there is some technical debate on this.

I agree with the advice to use floating poly rope for painters. (Or car topping. Don’t use nylon because it can stretch up to 20% when wet.) However, if all you are doing is making short grab loops, nylon is softer on the hand and easier to knot, the non-flotation isn’t an issue, and the slight stretch may be advantageous for carry comfort and towing.

nylon tubular webbing
More comfortable still for carry loops is 1 inch diameter nylon tubular webbing.

After drilling an appropriate sized hole through both sides of the stem, a short length of PVC pipe can be put through. This is easily shaped to match the hull contour for a flush-fit and can be bonded in place with an appropriate epoxy. The nylon webbing or rope loop is easily passed through.

Never tried it

– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 6:54 AM EST –

With regards to installing this, As asked by the OP.
With those shafts through the ends it seems like you would get more splitting than holding power.
I'm not sure I understand where you would put two "abeam". Hopefully not where they'd interfere with paddling? How would you use those?

Personaly I'd just drill a hole, side to side about two inches back from either end. About halfway between the loaded waterline and the shear and sized to just pass your line.


It works just fine
Many whitewater Royalex boats simply have holes drilled in both sides of the hull near the stem through which a loop of rope or webbing is passed. If however, one wishes to prevent water entering the boat through these holes, the PVC pipe prevents it. This might be especially desirable if the loop is going to be passed through a floatation tank.

The Tug Eye system uses a piece of flexible plastic tubing to accomplish the same thing. Using PVC pipe is just a lot cheaper, and avoids the external rubber grommet that is used with the Tug Eyes. The ends of the PVC pipe can be painted to match the color of the canoe, if desired.

Nice job, FE. I especially like the
terminology used to describe cutting the vinyl tubing. Have you Cordon Bleu training?

bow eye for kayak
Has anyone tried Tug eyes for the bow of a composite kayak with little end pour? My Kaskazi kayaks have carrying straps on top at the ends but no bow or stern toggles to grab in the surf so I am looking to mount them