Deck Lines Question

My 6 yr old just this recently started paddling a acadia scout. Ge’s been out in it twice.

The first time out he fell out a couple times and just put his hand on the boat and swam to shore with it.

I was thinking maybe is should have some kind of deck lines down the sides so if/when he falls out again, he has something to grab on to.

I don’t really know much about adding them.

Could someone point me in the right directions.

I think I’d like to also add some bungee ropes to my kayak and possibly to his to hold stuff like and extra paddle or pump, etc.

When rigging those kinds of lines, can you rivet the holders down or do they have to be bolts and nuts, I don’t know if I can reach far enough to bolt them from underneath.

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.



Don’t know about rivets.
But, I think I’ve heard that they don’t hold well enough.

There are something called well nuts that you don’t need access to the inside.

nuts and bolts or
rivits will work too but not as secure. for a kid’s boat prolly OK. you gotta get your arm and a wrench in for the nuts. try teaching your kid to climb in and hold it!

yes even KIDS boats need decklines! maybe even more-so!


A simple solution
Mariner Kayaks uses a double line (loop) run right down the middle of the kayak deck. For the forward deck you would only need to add one attachment point near the front of the cockpit and then make the loop from that point up to the bow toggle and back. You could do the same with the stern toggle and an attachment point on rear deck.

Although it might seem awkward it works quite well. Since the rope is only attached at 2 points it will stretch out to either side of the kayak if you grab it. It is also very easy to get you hand and even your arm under it. Sometimes tight deck lines can be very difficult to grab because there is not enough slack between attachment points.

You can go to and check out the outfitting section to see their rigging. Theirs is a little fancier than you need since they have a releasing knot system so the line can be your painter, and a means of rotating the loop so you can tie in a kite or sea anchor near the cockpit and then send it forward to a better “pull” point.


go for it
Adding deck rigging and perimiter lines is easy. The hardest part is laying out where you want them to run to look right.

Kits are available at many paddling suppliers.

I prefer stainless machine screws of the proper length with nylock nuts, but there are also rivets that hold in ‘soft’ material. The barrel is segmented and expands into a four legged ‘flange’ on the underside to prevent the rivet from pulling back through. The problem with them is that the legs don’t usually sit completely flat against the underside of the deck and if you carry gear there, it catches on the rivets sometimes.

Here’s another solution
SOT’s use these rivets and pad eyes and the seem to hold OK. I attach my knee straps to my SOT and roll with them.

Use Rivets
I bought and used these rivets on three boats and they hold up nicely:

I used them on nylon padeyes and put some reflective 1/4" line on my SOT. You don’t have to use shock cord for a perimeter line, but you might want to tie a knot that you can use to tighten/loosen it up. Deck lines can be a little loose.

For storing gear on deck, shock cord is great. I use the same rivets and padeyes with some 4mm shock cord. I also have this setup so I can loosen or tighten the lines (I use two double fishermen knots). I’ll try to get some pictures online to show this setup.


tutorial on using them in places you can’t reach…

Consider adding small plastic or hard rubber beads to the lines before you secure them…thread one or two on the lines before the lines are secured to the deck, it raises a line enough for small cold fingers to grab the lines which ordinarily are taunt against the hull and difficult to get a grip on.