Deck bungee redo

Make a fast sketch.

Below is shot one rubber fails long before sheathing on good bungee. It gets thin when you stretch it.

Now I use old bungee to tie tarps on kayaks.

Don’t make bungee’s to tight if you do a paddle float recuse you won’t be able to get the blade underneath bungee without great difficulty. Remember you’ll be in the water trying to lift it up possibly in waves. You can leave bungee long if unsure of proper tension and try it in shallow water practice. Then tighten or loosen it as required.

You can buy bungee in 25’ lengths for 12 bucks shipped get marine bungee. I prefer made in USA.

You can also thread new bungee in as you remove old one. Taking a picture is good also.


I get my marine grade bungee from Sailrite, who has a lot of useful hardware and rigging accessories including static cordage in various gauges for kayak perimeter lines.

They have 4 sizes of bungee from 20 to 55 cents per foot and you can get exactly as much as you need. I get the white, which is Dacron rather than nylon sheath and therefore more UV durable.

I like slipping toggles onto the deck line sections under which you usually slide a spare paddle – even if pulled tight that enables you to slip the blade under more readily. Large plastic beads or perforated slices of deer or elk horn, even water resistant wood blocks (like on my SOF below), create an entry space between deck and cord and can help control lateral shifting of items stuffed under.


If you dont double back on the sides parallel to the boat, you can use the second hole for a deck line (good safety addition).

And I would add one more crossing parallel to the yellow line close to the cockpit.

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I usually take a few photos of the deck lines and bungees before I take them off. Phones are handy for that! I also find using Kelly clamps/hemostats very useful for getting deck lines tight enough. I have a pic somewhere, will try to dredge it up. I replaced the deck lines and bungees on my Valley Gemini a couple of years ago; went with royal blue instead of the usual black which looks great on the red boat.

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To tight on lines you can’t grab them if close to deck.

Doubling back on bungee is for paddle float rescue.

Doubling back straight across would probably make it harder to slide in as I’d be sitting on the bungee.

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I find most bungee cord on kayaks to be pretty useless, as they don’t really hold anything securely. Cords with sliders, as in the photo below, are vastly superior in that regard. There’s one strand of bungee (with the corks on it) that I use for lightweight items I just want to stow temporarily and another for the far end of the paddle, and that’s it.

As for deck lines, they need to be tight in order to provide good control of the boat during assisted rescues, but they also need to be elevated so you can grab them easily, even with gloves on. For that, I use 3/4" wood beads that you can buy cheap at a craft store.


Exact way it came from Current Designs. Bow
design lifts deck line above the deck. To tight on deck lines your fingers don’t fit. I never put anything on the back deck. I like it clear for access. Spare paddle which I only take in the winter is on the front deck.

Lifting the lines is good with tubes or poly balls or wood if you like them.

Using deck lines instead of bungees leaves no adjustments if you wanted to stick something under them.

That’s not true; pushing the sliders together creates slack in the lines.

When you make the sliders, the difference between the spacing of the slider holes and the spacing of the deck fittings determines the amount of slack you can create. IIRC, the sliders in the picture were some of the first one’s I made and there’s not that much of a spacing difference. I’ve since gone to closer spacing on the slider holes and that creates plenty of slack for anything I want to put under them.

The advantage over bungees is that when I push the sliders apart to tighten the deck lines, whatever is under them doesn’t move, no matter how hard I get pummeled by waves. By comparison, bungees are a joke.

I fully rig the aft deck too, but I very rarely store anything on it. When it comes to paddle float rescues, cords and sliders are dramatically better than bungees.

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Nice but I don’t see much very thick going under the lines like a dry bag? Dry bag under the bungees I put isn’t coming out very easy.

What keeps sliders from moving and line loosening? Any reason you skipped reflective deck line and solas tape on the deck? Thanks.

Can’t compare as I’ve never used sliders, however -
I’ve used olive cleats with bungy. You can tighten them as much as you want. In severe conditions, I mostly used to secure spare paddle.
I learned about them on my 1st Australia trip, '93. I see they are available here (the US) now. (google ‘olive cleat’)

Cool I see how they work here

Nautos Shockcord Olive Cleat – Self Locking (Set of 6)

Nautos Shockcord Olive Cleat – Self Locking (Set of 6)

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Why would I put a dry bag on my foredeck? I can’t say I’ve ever felt the need to do so, except perhaps something really small and thin. Typically, all I carry on the foredeck is my spare paddle, a chart or chart case, and my contact tow. Sometimes I’ll carry a hood if I’m planning on playing in cold water.

Anything held by bungees alone and not clipped to something is subject to coming loose. I’ve seen all kinds of things washed off decks and have helped to clean up a lot of on-water “yard sales”.

They’re a fairly snug fit on the deck lines, so once they’re tight, there’s plenty of friction. The wood also swells a bit when it gets wet and you’ve got end grain pressing into the cords. I’ve never had them loosen, though I imagine that if you made them from a slick material and/or made the holes too big, they could slip.

I really don’t see the need, as I don’t paddle much at night. Actually, I think I’ve only done it once or twice. The red deck is plenty visible during daylight, as is my PFD and drysuit/drytop/whatever.

I used to do outfitting clinics for our club and I’ve always bought deck line and bungee by the 250’ spool. The reflective stuff wasn’t available that way the last time I made a cordage buy and it was pricey in small packages. If people wanted it, they just brought their own to the clinic and I’d help them install it.

The moving paddle blades are important for visibility, which I why I have white tips on my all of my GPs, except the one in the picture (I use it primarily in rock gardens and sea caves, where visibility is not a concern). Back when I used a Euro paddle I typically put a combination of Fluorescent orange tape and prismatic tape (which reflects brightly in sunlight) on the blades.

If you pull bungee tight enough, it’s not really bungee anymore, is it? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The issue is with typical foredeck bungees, as shown earlier in this thread. They’re meant to be elastic. You can’t really tighten them on the fly, so whatever tension you have is all you get.

Olive cleats have been around since before I started paddling in 1999. I don’t have them on any of my boats, but I know people that use them for things like deck-mounted tow rigs.

It’s not if you go out at night, rescue could be looking for your hull at night.

You need not stretch a bungee 100% when you use it.

I can loosen bungee by sliding the line.

Small dry bag with my jacket if it gets cold and wet goes on the back deck. I can clip bag also with a Scotty Clip.

yeah, I’m sure weren’t ‘discovered’ in '93 (when I first encountered them).
But, at the time, I did a pretty good search around here (US) and couldn’t find anything.
(and it’s possible they were here, but by some other name that I didn’t search for)

Here’s a thread from '08 (some discussion of them)
(I was raisinsasm prior to the revamp of user names on
Expedition tips and tricks - #48 by raisinsasm
and subsequent replies regarding

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If you want more friction when using barrel fisherman’s knot to adjust make a triple or even a quad barrel knot.