Impex boat handles vs. toggles

While some Impex boats have carry handles and are way more comfortable than toggles for transport, they might be a bit high for in water rescue use.

Does anyone with such carry handles also add end toggles and if so, do you drill through your boat ends, or attach toggles via bungees to the handle locations?

I Tied A Loop of 3/8" Rope
encased in vynyl tubing right to the carry handle. That carry handle is not practical for you or someone trying to hang onto the boat in a rescue. Any kind of wave action will torgue the boat and the handle will bite or twist into the holding hand. The looped rope has flexibility in moving around without twisting your hand.


I have a 2005 model of the Impex Assateague, it comes with the toggles in addition to the carrying handles. To be honest this is the one think that I dislike in the boat.

Impex states in the web site that they added the toggles due to the demand, which is really great, but in my opinion they could have done it all the way instead of kinda do it half ass.

The toggles should be in the very tips of the boat, fore and aft, to hold on to it while it rolls in waves, thus avoiding injuries to your hand.

Impex installed them on the top of the deck, hanging from metal riggings, attached to the boat with nuts and bolts. For 2/3 of the length of the toggle’s cord there is still contact with the deck. The simple and no-nonsense choice IMHO would be Impex attaching each toggle through a hole in the tip of the boat, just as they did with the new Outer Island, and just as in every VCP/P&H/NDK boat.

I never had to use the toggles, so I might be wrong, but they seem to be in a very awkward position, I am pretty sure that my hands would be pretty exposed to a beating by the boat’s tip in a out-of-the boat scenario in the surf zone.

I am not suggesting you to bore holes in your boat, probably attaching the toggles to the handles would solve the problem if the cords are long enough to clear you hands from the deck.

take it one further and do it right.
as i’ve mentioned on a number of previous toggle postings, i couldn’t agree more with the previous poster. Impex is half assing the toggle/handle issue on their boats and it’s ridiculous. they are perhaps the only NAmerican (Canadian really) kayak maker who makes boats in the British style and compete very favourably in terms of design/quality and performance with them. I have seen their current solution and it is crap.

my Ass. is a couple years old and had only those handles. while the handles are fine for strictly carrying the boat, they do nothing for the many other purposes that well thought out toggles perform: in water grabs/tows, shore drags, cartopping end lines, etc. end toggles do all this better, including carrying the boat. put one arm underneath to cradle hull and one hand on the toggle in case the wet boat slips.

SO… i took the dam handles off, poured epoxy into the ends of the kayak, drilled holes into the tips, and installed toggles. VOILA. then i got some gel coat and filled in the recess where the handles were. not only does the boat work better, and provide a greater degree of safety- it looks much better. i am no expert but followed some simple advice posted here and got great results in my gelcoating job. a beautiful boat just became gorgeous.

if you would like to see what your boat can look like done the right way, i would be happy to send you photos.

and while i don’t want to be a jerk or piss people off… hey IMPEX- do yourselves a favour and beat the Brits at their own game- just put on the dam toggles fer crissake!!


heat not the same as light
Just because you have strong opinions and strong languague does not make you necesarrily correct. I am not saying you are wrong. Just try not disprecting good people without inquiring first! Then form your opinions. Impex is one of the rare companies that is operated by enthusiasts and expert kayakera for God’s sake. Why not send an email to Danny, (a 5 star BCU paddler of 20+ years experience). See what he has to say.



– Last Updated: Jul-14-05 8:37 PM EST –

I don't think the strong language was necessary to make the points but I think his points stand regarding the utility of the handle vs toggles (at least with my experience of it).

So, ask Danny what? Why handles are better in rescues situations than toggles? Or why the company elected to use handles instead of toggles? And, if Danny says the handles are better for rescues, then do the rest of us who don't like the handles give it a rest?

Personally, I constantly make changes/modifications to boats I use. I have no qualms about cutting, drilling, adding, glassing, etc. In this case, it was a simple add-on with a piece of rope and tubing. Others who bought their boats new may expect more. I think the feedback is valuable to a company who wants to listen. Of course, there is no need to shout at them unless proved they are not willing to listen.


PS. For the record, I like Impex boats and would buy another of these before some overseas one.


– Last Updated: Jul-14-05 8:44 PM EST –


I agree with you.

To be honest, Impex is really a pleasure to deal with, my conversations with Danny always were very productive and this company is really into customer service. On top of it I absolutelly love my boat, I don't like the toggle solution, but aside from that it is a great kayak, well built, beautifuly finished and with a lot of quality into it.

Thanks, that is all I wanted you to consider. Your ideas were not in question in my mind.


Everybody loved Danhny and Impex
but those handles are sad to me, Would nto stop me fron buying those boats for a second though.

don’t know who Danny is and frankly
don’t care. the boats are made in New Liskard Ontario and i have asked the people there, where they are made, why they don’t use the toggles and they said it is because some people prefer the handles. so now they have both. and i still contend that from a practicality and safety perspective, they would be better off doing proper, end poured drilled through toggles. i’m not knocking the company or the boats as a whole. read my review of the boat, i love it. the quality is excellent as is the design and execution.

It has the belt and suspenders…
look to me. As far as functionality, I hate padeyes, I love a true surf toggle. I agree with JBV, people need to “get” the surf toggle.If you want a Samsonite buy one and paddle it! I have paddled a number of Impex boats and have found almost all of them excellent. The end grab wouldn’t be my sole determining factor, but my price paid would be determined by the time spent converting it to a proper layout. Just my 2 cents.

Rob G

Different Assateague Opinion
I also have a 2005 Impex Assateague, and My opinion is different from DRJB.

I really like the carry handles that Impex puts on the front and rear decks. They are comfortable to hold when carrying the boat. They are a solid, and comfortable way to carry the boat.

I also note that the Toggle handles are not held with Rope, but with a strong Bungie material. The reason for this ( I asked Danny) is if you are holding onto the toggle, while you are “swimming” in rough water, the bungie will “give” (stretch) as you and the boat “tumble” around. The bungie is to give, instead of your arm or wrist.

So I like the carry handles that Impex uses, as they are comfortable on the hand, and I think the bungie on the Toggles is great for anyone who kayaks in rough water. Personally, I don’t now, but if I do I like the idea.

Happy Paddling!

Handle Carry Portage…
some folks definitely like it. Others believe carrying the hull by the keel line, stern and bow, is safer for the boat. Handle screws have been know to pop out under the weight. Hull gets dinged or holed when dropped on a rock.

I would trust a bungee line toggle as I would a bungee deck lines. Which is say, I don’t.


Well, only sing in post one gave me the answer to my question. I was not looking to add to the toggle/handle debate, shouting at Impex, etc. Already pondering adding toggles, I was really looking for suggestions on the “how” to add toggles. (hoping to avoid drilling)

Twelve Posts, One good answer
Not too bad for :wink:

At least we stayed on topic… sort of…

To be Fair…
jbv gave you a more “permanent fix” for the toggle. His requires a lack of fear in putting holes in the kayak and a deep conviction that the handles just don’t cut it when it comes to rescues, especially in waves. I think his rant is borne of frustration that he shouldn’t have to do that with an otherwise fine boat. :slight_smile:



What’s the Big Deal here?

– Last Updated: Jul-15-05 9:12 PM EST –

I have an Assateague 2004 model with both toggles and grips. I don't use the toggles that much except when pulling the boat closer to shore when it is in the water and I am not. The handles are way more comfy to carry the boat. The other way I carry is by grasping under the bow and stern tips, but if the hull is slippery, that can sometimes be a issue. Since a lot of boats don't have these handles, I say good job Impex.

Although the toggles are tight on the deck, they do have an elastic cord and give a pretty good amount. I personally would rather have this set-up, than one with the toggle below the deck attached to the hull banging around every time the boat moved.

Other companies' boats have only toggles and they too are tight on the deck and would be difficult to use by a swimmer in the water, so why the "half ass" beef pointed specifically against Impex?

If the OP wants to make the toggle more accessable from the water, the rope with vinyl sheath approach is a good one. Or, why not cut the toggle off and just replace the shock cord with a longer one to allow the toggle to hand below the bow tip for more access?


Towing is my concern.
I came close to purchasing an Impex boat once (still liked the way it paddled). But I wondered how the handles would play in the towing process.

Nice boat though!