coaming mounted tow lines

anyone out there use or have any opinions about these?

Do you mean looped around…
your coaming?

If so would think it could become looped around your chest/neck… in a bad situation…

Quick release!
I thought they had a quick-release for safety?


I have a North Water tow line.
It is secured around the cockpit coaming and has an easy to grag quick-release pull at the bow-facing edge of the cockpit. I secure the tow line bag to my rear deck bungies. I have not had a problem with the line coming off the coaming or getting tangled. I position the quick-release pull just to the right side of the grab loop of my sprayskirt. I practiced a few capsizes with wet exits right after I got the bag. Once upside-down, it was very easy to find and pull the quick-release knob and then grab the sprayskirt loop to pull the skirt off, and the extra time to do this was negligible. The two ends of the “freed” coaming line did not seem to get in my way.

I purchased this style of bag because I have a bit of back trouble periodically and the waist-belt style of towline was painful for me to use at times. 'Hope this helps! w.d.

yep, those ones as seen from NW
there may be other’s who make such a tow line, but i’ve only seen the Northwater ones.

anyone else use them or otherwise have any experience, or opinions about them?

Rear deck clutter
I’d think it’d have the same downside as a deck-mounted system – that it’s more likely to snag on anything on your rear deck(spare paddle, rudder, etc.)than waist-mounted system. But if a waist-mount doesn’t work for you, it might be a good choice. It’s has the advantage of being easy to transfer between boats and /or paddlers.

Wow, I don’t know about this one.

– Last Updated: Jun-08-07 6:59 AM EST –

While it may work OK.. I would have several concerns about using this type of tow system especially in the Phoo. Someone already mentioned clutter on the back deck, and another issue (for me anyway) is if it all turns bad and I need to punch out of my boat, needing to release the quick release of the tow line from the cockpit combing AND the grab loop and spray skirt from the cockpit combing is one too many releases for me. I know with a waist tow system I would also have two releases but it's not one on top of the other. Also I'm not sure the combing is the strongest part of the boat especially on a composite model. During a rescue practice many years ago I witnessed a combing that got ripped off of a glass boat while the rescuer was doing a stirrup rescue and he had the stirrup around the combing and not the paddle shaft laying between the two boats. IMO, this would be one of the last choices I would make for myself.

I have one
And I just ordered a waist system to replace it. There is no problem with entanglement or wet exit. But it is essentially a throw bag and once you use it you have to stuff the rope back inside it just like a throw bag. That is slow and cumbersome. With a waist system you just gather the rope together and slam it in. Easy and fast.

I wonder how easy it would be to find…
that quick release mechanism when it is wrapped around your adam’s apple and you are upside down?


Grab it with your teeth! :slight_smile:

Would the cockpit systems normally be set on the cockpit before launch or installed only when needed?

If installed when needed I can envision delays and increased hassle when being used in conditions where towing is usually needed and you would still have to stow it.

Using it
You first get into your boat and attach the spray skirt. Then put the loop over your head and around the cockpit rim, quick release in front, tightening tube to the rear. Attach the bag to a deck line on the back deck (clip on bottom of bag) and stow the bag under the bungees on the back. It is deployed by unclipping the bag and removing it from under the bungees and then attaching it to the boat to be towed.


I think I will stick with my PFD mounted Northwater that I don’t think about or even know it’s there until needed. My PFD has a quick release tow strap built in.

usually it remains on the boat

– Last Updated: Jun-09-07 1:18 AM EST –

one puts the skirt on and off, while the tow line remains around the coaming. i don't use one personally, but work for a company who supplies them to guides. i oversaw guides using them and training with them, and releasing them. this did not involve underwater upside down releasing. they seemed to be able to release with no problem, requiring the same degree of handling and plucking and throwing to the side as my waist mounted system. they seem to stay on the coaming just fine. i do have my questions but they aren't as, er, dogmatic in nature as some of the previous posters. if you have't witnessed said life threatening disasters, don't be so certain that they are likely to occur.

Dogmatic previous posters?
Not sure who you are referring to. But if I was one of the posters it was directed to let me clarify by saying that I was just giving MY opinion and MY thoughts on the subject. I may be all wrong about this piece of equipment but I don’t think I would use it for myself. And as far as witnessing life threating situations, let me say if you haven’t witnessed any don’t think you may not some day in the future. You should always be prepared. Sorry maybe I am being dogmatic again.

Had one…
and then went with a waist-belt type tow rig. It did work OK but was a bit clumsy to deplay as I did not leave it mounted to the coaming at all times. Just wasn’t comfortable having a loop of line around me all the time even with the release buckle. Waist tow just quicker and easier to deploy and retrieve. But, better the coaming mount than nothing… just be a bit careful with it.

The directions say something different
The directions clearly say to put it on after you put on your skirt. That makes sense if you want your skirt to be fully seated and water tight.