Deck Lines

Can we talk about deck lines? I have an Eddyline Nighthawk 16. It has deck lines fore and aft plus bungee cord chart park and paddle park.

The poor boat is getting some hard use because I ain’t much of a kayaker. I flop it over about everytime I take it out. I have been trying to learn to roll so that takes it toll as well.

The Seadog deck fitting that hold the deck lines have been breaking. I put my analytical brain to work and figured if I ran the deck lines inboard of the bolt instead of outboard the deck lines would be much stronger and not break off the little plastic “fingers” of the fittings.

I have been trying to rethink the deck lines and bungees on the deck. As it stands there is a 3/16" deck line on the bow that runs to the front of the bungee chart park. There is a 1/4" bungee chart park in front of the cockpit. Behind the cockpit is a paddle park. Behind that is another deckline triangle to the stern. About 9" in front of the stern is another bungee for the paddle handle.

Can I run 550 cord intead of braided nylon for deck line? The 550 cord is only 1/8" but is probably stronger than the 3/16" braided nylon.

I noticed that the new Seadog fitting I recieved from Eddyline were of a slightly different design. This fitting is black plastic/nylon, has a single hole that takes a 8-32 screw, is about 1 1/2" diameter and has four fingers.

Lean me.

The deck layout is a personal thing. Play around with different routes until you find one you like.

I wouldn’t use 1/8 lifeline because it will dig into your hands if you ever really use it, and might be harder to grab if you’re in a bind.

Might be worth it to check with Eddyline
My sister has an older Eddyline (I think 2001) and one or two of the fittings broke. Eddyline sent her a new set for the whole boat. I’m not sure if it was just age or exposure, but the boat had been infrequently used when she got it a couple of years ago. It’s possible that they also had a bad run of these parts in certain years.


My 10 year old and heavily used and abused CD Caribou still has all the original deck hardware on it. And the only reason I replaced the original decklines was to put reflective ones on, because I like to paddle at night. And I capsize and roll a lot, mostly intentionally.

If your hardware only lasts a year or two, something’s wrong.

Eddyline or dealer should replace
Eddyline or an Eddyline dealer should replace those fittings. I have a 2002 Nighthawk 16 and the same thing happened. My dealer had a bag of those newer fittings and gave me a handful to replace existing. I put all new perimeter deckline, and actually went with a little larger, rather than smaller deck line. It is much easier to hold and work with when doing rescues, loading, etc.



– Last Updated: Oct-05-08 3:10 PM EST –

I would suggest an 1/8" deck line is a great way to cut cold numb fingers in worst case scenarios. Whatever type of line you might consider polyester/polypro as nylon will shink/stretch with every drying cycle.

I wish I could find a high quality black single braid poly pro line because it flattens out when you grab it. High quality strong lines tend to stay round while some of the cheaper single braids flatten out in your hand,,which I prefer if I have to grab a relatively small line with effort.

The Marlow/Marstron poly-pro single braid is great. It's not like the cheap poly pro, more like the rescue rope but bigger weave. I saw them on production P&H boats for awhile. Unfortunately it's only in colors and not black.

regarding the sea-dog fittings. Are they screwed onto a flush deck or a rescessed spot in the deck? Either way I prefer the use of looped 1" polypro webbing that's been used on s&g kayaks. It's simple and bombproof as the screw/deck holding it on. Get a 4 1/2" length of 1" webbing, fold it over onto itself so the screw can go through three layers of it on one side with the 3/4" loop providing enough room for three 3/16" lines. Or you can put the screw through the middle of the folded webbing and have two sides to run lines/webbing through. Use a ss screw going through #12 ss finish washer and ss washer that can fit under the finish washer to help spread the load. Some finish washers have sharp edges and some have a flared out edge that won't cut into the webbing. I've used both and they'll last longer than the sea dogs as the breaking strengh of the webbing is greater than one of those four plastic fingers. Also the ability of the attachment to move around spreads the load some.

the one in the photo above is brass with bronze wood screw. For your application use ss machine screw, finish washer, washer, and whatever washer can fit underneath with nylock nut on top of that. It's what I used on a couple glass boats when they got re-rigged.
Aesthetically folded webbing loops may not be to your taste but I'd rather use them than most of the deck specific hardware used on production kayaks.

re. reflective 4mm nylon line. It looks good new but after time the reflectivity declines markedly compared to the standard 4"square 3M patches from the marine hardware store. Two years down the line a reflective patch will still be very bright compared to a small line encrusted with salt and dirt. From 100yds away the old reflective line will shine faintly, the 4" reflective patch will shine back like a headlight.

ok,,just checked they look recessed. Not sure if the recessed fitting is necessary to spread the load at the screw. In other words would a looped webbing attachment put more stress where the screw comes out. Maybe the webbing could be folded again at the deck and the hole in the webbing flared out more if that's the case.

I like the . . .
. . . idea of the webbing loops. I’m going to have to experiment with that a little.

is yours set up like the production one?

– Last Updated: Oct-05-08 3:57 PM EST –

You might try three seperate loops of deck bungie at each foredeck fitting instead of,,or in addition to the criss-cross business. Personally I find close parallel bungies with an adjustable fishermans knot more useful than the criss-cross business.

With two bungies about 1" apart,one of which has the fishermans knot, you can hold multiple things down in one place, the other bungie can act as a cushion for paddle plades or other items pressed onto the deck.

The section with the double fishermans knot can be opened up and adjusted to whatever you want to hold in place,,like a water bottle that won't pop out when knocked,,or a paddle shaft than won't slide out to the side.

If the webbing attachment is loose enough you can shift the double fishermans knot to one side or other of the peak on your fordeck. Or line up the other parallel bungie for long items to be held inside the sliding knot on two loops.

The Night hawk has the criss cross bungies kind of far can experiment with your existing rigging and see what works.

at step #3 go around one more time
stop at #5 and leave an open section.

it looks messier with all those 1/2" thick knots on the deck but it's a LOT more useful. And if you have to grab something,,two 3/16"-1/4" bungies going a short distance will be a lot nicer to grab than a long single bungie stretching in your hand.

If you have two parallel foredeck bungies with that adjustable section you can put nearly anything in that open section and it won't get knocked out. Imagine a waterbottle or pump that never got knocked loose in rescues.
On most of the s&g kayaks I made there were three parallel loops about 7" apart.

One of the most common uses for deck bungies is temporarily stuffing your paddle blade under them. The limitation with the crisscross business is that it pretty much limits you to one bungie in a direction that allows the paddle to swing away from the kayak. Using parallel loops of bungie the paddle sticks closer to the boat when you jam the blade under them.

I only have a single “X” on the . . .
. . . foredeck. Aft deck is the same. I want to rig it for maximum utility, looks are not important. I am planning a long trip so it is likely to get used hard. Need something I can get to on the foredeck to hold stuff I need access to without getting out of the boat like lunch/water/camera.

I learned a variant of that knot in Ranger school, very good knot.

This will be a solo trip so I need to be able to get back in the boat without assistance. The bungees are doubled on the sides on the aft deck. I am assuming that this is to hold the paddle more securely while using the paddle and paddle float during re-entry?

yeah, the doubled bungie behind

– Last Updated: Oct-05-08 9:53 PM EST –

but honestly I would just hold the paddle behind the coaming without any bungie assistance if possible when doing a pf self-resuce. The faster you get back into the kayak and the paddle in your hands the better. The more securely the paddle is held behind your back the harder it is to remove. Although it does free up hands for pumping. It's kind of a no win situation, anything that holds the paddle securely will be hard to remove. If a wave was about to dump me I'd much rather have the paddle in my hands with the ability to roll up with the foat on it instead of secured on the back deck ready to sizzor away.

Try out the two parallel bungies compared to cris-cross. You can also attach small loops of light 3/32"-1/8" line at those four armed deck rigging fixtures. That's what I did for a friends CD extreme as he likes attaching deck bags and sponsons for his back up rescue gear while paddlign solo in 35degree water. Before he attached his bag to the deck lines and it was kind of sloppy.

The NH16 is a dynamite boat. For a light packer or medium sized paddler it would make a great expedition boat as it's damn slippery/efficient in the water. I'd much rather have a small boat like that for average all day cruising efforts especially when the tank runs low on energy.

Another thought …
… is to give-up on trying to re-enter from above.

Instead, use a re-enter and roll from under/side of the boat and use a paddle float initially till you learn it better. Or use partially inflated paddle float or an extra PFD to help you roll with your hands holding it if your roll fails.

This way your deck lines will not see any use -;). That’s once you fix them, since they are a safety feature…

Better yet, get a buddy to practice bow rescue or the like so that you do not have to come out of the kayak too often or at all.

Lastly, the paddle you use matters. I still have isues rolling with a non-wing paddles, but with the wing paddle it is so easy it feels I’m cheating. After I did my first couple of rolls with it, I very quickly learned how to do “combat” rolls leaning forward - without missing a beat and without losing all of my forward momentum. Or lay-back for a more leisurly exit…