Deck Rigging Spacers

I’ve been spending the last few weeks retrofitting

two of my kayaks and I want to add spacers on the deck line at the front so I can stow a GP under the lines. I hoped to find round or oval rubber in black,a hole through would be nice but I can drill if I have too and I can’t find

them anywhere.On Brian Nystom’s photo website he has installed white balls on the deck of the red Anas Acuta. Does anyone know where to get these balls,are they badminton or a similiar sport?

Brian,are you lurking out there?

Very helpful website,thank you.


another option - knots
Sorry I don’t have a photo to illustrate this - my camera didn’t survive its last swim. I used either 1/4" or 3/8" line the same color as my deck rigging and did knots around the deck line. Actually what I did was whipping, but with line instead of whipping thread. It holds the line far enough off of the deck that it is easy to grab.

Craft store options…
I have also used Brian’s website…what an incredible resource he shares with us all!

I found some 1" wooden balls (pre-drilled) at a local craft shop…and have placed them (similar to Brian) on the rigging throughout the boat…to hold my GP in place…and also placed strategically around the perimeter lines to assist me in holding onto the lines…especially when wearing Nordic Blues…


I used wooden balls from michaels
crafts but had to dril them to a little bit biger size.

Black Balls…
I use the balls that come with carport awnings. The ones that are on the bungee tie straps.

Home depot may have replacement ties… or West Marine as they are used on sail ties… GH

options . .
Consider carving something out of a rot-resistant wood like Alaskan Yellow Cedar. I made a couple of these for my boats and have been very pleased with their performance over the years. Mine is just a parallelogram such that the back end lifts the shock cord over the paddle. If the carving gets flipped the (new) back end is still oriented to lift the shock cord over the paddle.

Alternatively, consider short loops of shock cord along the length of your perimeter lines. I leave mind about 8’ long and 1.5" proud of the line. When I push the GP into the loop at an angle (relative to the boat’s length) the paddle goes in easily. Once you straighten out the paddle (in line with the boat) the shock cord has to stretch sideways around the paddle tightening the grip. This has the advantage of not scratching the deck every-time you stow your paddle.

A local coach threads his shock cord through clear and flexible plastic tubing leaving the shock cord somewhat proud of the deck. Of course this gets back to the scratching problem, cure-able with clear tape I guess.

Lastly, I’ve seen people thread their shock cord through plastic pipe (sideways) but this would require a large (and potentially unattractive) object on your foredeck, I see some euro paddlers use this, sized for the ferrule of a slit paddle. Probably would be to ugly for a traditional paddler because of the diameter of the pipe required to use this with a GP.

cheers and good luck!


Macramay(sp) beads from Hobby Lobby. They come in an assortment of colors and sizes…and they’re cheap!

pls post a link
could you pls post a link to Brians photo webpage? I am currentlyoutfitting my decked sail canoe and could use some ideas.

Try Sail Ties…
I used sail ties from a local Marine Store (e.g., West Marine). I have a Current Design (CD), and wanted to use something similar to what CD uses on their rudder control system, which relies on two hard plastic balls (sail ties) that have knots on both sides to limit movement of the tie while adjusting the rudder. Sail ties are made of a hard plastic (won’t dent, rot, and mine have not discolored after four years of use). They are about 1 to 1-1/4 inches in diameter and have a hole through the center. On one end, you’ll find a recess to house the knot–so if you knot them on both sides, only one knot will be visible for standard deck lines. For larger bungee lines, the knot may protrude abit, but that was acceptable in my case.

In my case, I only doubled knotted the deck lines that would be used to hold the boat while in the water, as well as the lines I use to hold the spare paddle in the stern. I didn’t knot the ones on the top of the deck in front of the cockpit–that way, if need be, I can move them out of the way for activities like map reading.

Any marine store should have them in packages of 2 to 5, and you should be able to purchase them in a number of colors, including blue, black, red, yellow, and green.

I couldn’t find sail ties without the line on the online West Marine website, but their sail tie link will give you a picture of the ball attached to a sail tie and idea of what I’m referring to:

If you need the product name, send me an email and I’ll dig out my spares.

Hope this helps.


plumbing washers
I use plumbing washers. I find them at Home depot back with O-rings and such. 8 of 'em are $1.95.

they have a 1/4" hole in the center, so it’s tight on a Wildy perimeter line and doesn’t move easily (good thing!) they’re 3/8" diameter and sorta beveled on the edge. black. hardly know they’re there and they work perfectly.


What I use are…
…3/4" wood balls for perimeter lines and 1" wood balls for paddle bungees. They’re made by Lara’s Crafts ( and are available at craft stores such as Michael’s or A.C.Moore. They’re they’re dirt cheap, especially in the large bags. A whopping $2.99 gets you 27 3/4" (19mm) balls or 18 1" (25mm) balls. The smaller balls need to be drilled out for deck line or bungee, but the larger ones work without drilling, at least with the deck rigging materials I use.

The traditional Greenlandic fitting for paddle straps is a crescent carved from bone or wood. They work really well and I plan to try them myself when I have the time to make a few.

Thank you
Thanks for the many excellent suggestions,I have a few more ideas now.I’m not concerned about scratching the deck as I’m going to install tread tape in the wear areas,the local marine shop didn’t appear to hace sail ties but it warrants another trip back.



do you get that clear tape? The nice stuff they are using on car bumpers etc.

The clear tape would be found
at an autobody supply store. I’m going to use the black tread tape however I also have used reflective tape in the wear areas too.

Do you have a picture?
Hi Bnystrom, can you refer us to a web picture of the traditional Greenland straps? Thanks in advance. Dave

I’ve probably seen it 100 times…
…but I don’t have any pictures of the crescent shaped deck fittings. If you search the Qajaq USA site (, you’re bound to see it in some of the pics.

Basically, you take a piece of 1/2" - 3/4" stock and cut out a crescent shaped piece ~3" long and ~1/2" - 3/4" wide in the center. Drill a hole in the middle and install it on your deck bungee(s) with the convex side facing the deck. The ends will stick up, providing an easy to hit guide for the paddle to slide under. I’ve tried them on other people’s boats recently and they work even better than the balls do.

That’s where I get mine
The 4" wide textured black Prostripe tape was available only in 50’ rolls, but 12’ x 6" TrimBrite strips are available in smooth clear and textured black. Here’s a link to one online source for the latter:

Thanks Very Much!