I want/need to replace the perimeter lines as well as the deck bungees on my boats as a pre-season prep. Where do you suggest I find the materials? What should I look for? I want to use something of the correct “grade” and strength.
Depends where you live
If you have good kayak shops around, they often carry lines on spools so you can get the quantity you want (by the foot). That way you get to see the stuff first. If you’re really lucky, they will have a choice of types.
Other than that, it’s back to mail order or Internet shopping. Before I had access to “live shops” with the goods, I decided simply to wait rather than buy remotely. Then when I got to a real shop, I bought it. LOL.
If you order instead of buying in person, measure the diameter of your existing line for comparison.
I bought some deck line and bungee in person from Atlantic Kayak Tours in Peekskill NY, it's good stuff. They offer it online, I think, but it's hard to tell how to order it. I guess you'd have to call them:
If you know exactly what you want, Duckworks has a lot:
West Marine has all this stuff too, probably, if there's one near you.
These guys have the best…
…selection of cord and bungee: http://www.qualitynylonrope.com/
You want their 3/16" polyester cord for your perimeter lines. Their textured bungee cord holds items better than the smooth, slippery stuff that most vendors sell.
It might also be time to upgrade
Some manufacturers tend to outfit their boats with bungee cord that is barely adequate and sometimes the same is true for perimeter lines. My suggestion is as long as you are renewing your lines, check to see if your boat could use an upgrade to stronger and probably a little bigger material.
Thanks for the tips. Here’s a follow-up question.
How do I cut this stuff cleanly so I don’t have lots of frays?
I’ve had some success finding bungee and perimeter cord by the foot at west marine. When I cut both, I heat up a carpet knife with a torch and it slices like butter and stops frays from happening.
Cutting without frays
For perimeter line or any kind of synthetic rope, I use a couple of methods. One is to wrap the area to be cut with tape, make the cut, then heat the cut ends to seal them together. The other is to use a small flame to do the cutting and end-sealing at the same time. With the flame method, careful manipulation of the rope, with some counter-directional twisting while pulling the pieces apart will usually leave a pretty clean end, and of course it’s already sealed so it won’t fray.
For bungies, I’d kink the location to be cut and use fine wire to cinch the kink together, then cut and heat-seal the free end. You could use string to cinch the kink together as well (use the same method as when “whipping” the end of a natural-fiber rope to prevent fraying).