Deck holes vs. pad eyes question

I noticed that a lot of the new rec poly kayaks just use holes drilled through the decks to secure the deck bungee cords, but I have not seen that method on the higher end composite boats. I am guessing it is strictly economics.

In the past when I have added them I used the small pad eyes that bolt through the deck.

I am geeting a new composite kayak shortly and will be doing the deck outfitting myself.

I am leaning toward the hole in the deck method since I think it is much cleaner looking, and only requires one hole per line vs the two smaller holes for the pad eyes.

The question I have is there any reason (such as structurally) not to just use holes with a knot tied behing them?

thanks in advance,


Works for me Jack.
Of course the bungie cord or line needs to fit the holes snuggly.



I would use a dab of silicon under
each hole.



I would think it depends.
I have recs (wrecks?) and just use the hole method. My deck is rarely wet, let alone under water. I would think that on a seakayak that is constantly taking waves, or in a situation where you’re rolling often, the holes method could cause some leaks and make for a little wetter yaking. The water wouldn’t be pouring through in any volume, mind you, but no matter how tight your holes are around the bungee, that bungee slims up quite a bit when stretched out, ie holding something on the deck. You’re going to get a few leaks if the deck is subjected to water, I would think.

Just my uninformed 2¢ . . . .

I use both methods
and they both work fine. When I use a screw through the deck I make the hole a little bit smaller than the screw so that the screw taps it’s way through the material and this seals well. When I put an end of the deckline through the deck with a knot underneath I use goop on the inside and outside and cover the outside line about an inch up the line to prevent wicking. I’ll also use a stainless fender washer on the inside for extra strength.

Low Profile Fittings

Another option would be to source out some low profile deck fittings that attach with epoxy. Huki offers these for sale and they’re very clean looking, and plenty strong when properly affixed. The padeyes raise up quite a bit, so be careful when outfitting forward bungees for example, to avoid snagging your paddle on the catch. I was leery of this outfitting my EFT, and just miss the padeye each time. If I had to do it again, I’d do the epoxy ones.

Talked to Doug yesterday; he’s working on lots of boats…smile.

Tricks for Bungee
Mariner kayaks uses the “cord through one hole” method on their composite kayaks. The holes are significantly smaller than the bungee. The trick is stretching the cord (to narrow it) as you pull it thru the hole. They also use a technique to help you start in each hole. You roll back about 1/2 in of the outer cover and then snip off the rubber cords. Roll the cover back up and heat fuse it. This gives you a small “handle” you can put through the hole and then pull on it to narrow the main part of the bungee before it is passed through the hole.

You stretch a small section and pull it through, regrip and restrecth the next section and pull that through. Takes a little longer but gives a good seal even after you strecth cord around an item on the deck.

Another thing that helps is to use bungee loops to hold bulkier items instead of putting the item under a cord flat on the deck. I tie in a couple of loops onto the cross deck bungee lines to hold my water bottle and the GPS. That leaves the cross deck bungee tight enough to hold my map case flat on the deck. If you use a couple of barrel knots to make the loop you have an adjustable size loop.

Good luck


one reason
Mariner has been doing it since day on the foredeck bungies along with bumpy pad eyes on the aft deck. My $.02 is that flush fittings for bungies isn’t as useful as a fitting that raises the bungie a bit. If you have a sharp paddle blade it can cut the inside edge of the bungie where it comes out of the deck . Putting a double fishermans knot in the middle of the bungie makes it easy to slide blades under the bungie in the middle section of the bungie.

It’s not attractive for some but I like the method used on most s&g kayaks, a 3/16" hole with #10 ss screw holding a folded piece of 1" webbing folded over with finishing washer with washer and locknut underneath. It protects the bungie and puts a small hole in the deck.

All this is splitting hairs.

Lee just described what I was about
to say … Take a 4" piece of webbing, just nip the cut ends with a flame to seal, fold each end inward to overlap each other 1/2" across the center, heat a 10p nail and melt it through the center, pull out and pinch webbing together … now use a # 8 X 32 machine screw with locknut and the larger # 10 washers … Viola’

A semi flush fitting that down not catch on stuff and has two ‘holes’ in it.

Agreed on drilling hole undersize too, screw will self tap and seal sort of … extra wet out, plys, silicone unnecessary unless it is for a tow line or something.

Thanks -Smile, smile !
I was going to ask him, but was afraid that I would get chewed out for munging up a clean deck with bungees.

I’ll take a look at those fittings.



Thanks all
there are some good ideas here.

I appreciate all the help.