installing a "grab loop"

Installing a “grab loop” in the bow of the canoe seems like a good idea; I even have a book “Solo Canoeing” that provides a cutout template so that a hole can be neatly drilled in the bow to accomodate a grab loop and/or a painter (bowline). Do any of you paddlers out there actually have a small loop in the bow of your canoe? I don’t notice them in pictures of people in canoes! It seems like a useful thing to have but, in truth, the idea of drilling a hole, even a neat one, in the bow of my canoe doesn’t really appeal to me. How many actually have this handy loop on their canoes and is there another way to attach it?

Nope - - Not yet - -
but when I do aquire a canoe sometime early next year, I’m likely to do so. After having one on a Kayak, I’m most definitely putting one on, or something similar.

You mean like this?

– Last Updated: Dec-19-06 9:00 AM EST –

I copied what the local whitewater canoeists were doing. It's braided polyester rope sleeved with vinyl tubing to keep the loop open. I tied the ends together with a double-fishermans knot inside the hull to minimize the chance of it pulling through. I normally have a painter atached to it that's stored under the bungees on the deckplate.

Tugeyes are another option:

Thru-Deck Loops…
…work for us. I just drill two holes thru the decks in the bow and stern, then pass a loop of soft line thru 'em, tied off with a reef knot below the deck. When not in use with a painter or tiedown line, the loop just drops back flat and flush on the deck.

BTW: I HATE, HATE, HATE hardware on canoe decks - any sort of cleat, pin, or ring seems to unerringly find a way to nail me in the shoulder or try to tear my kneecap off.

Have a loop in the bow
and I attach a painter to it. It’s useless for carrying the canoe…wood handles just beyond the deck plate are better. Most loops I’ve seen on canoes are placed way too high for anyone planning on doing some serious lining or tracking with a loaded canoe…tip city! The lines should be much lower on the bow. Garrett Conover’s book “Beyond the Paddle” has some great info on a simple harness to use for tracking that loops over the seats of the canoe. It’s well worth tracking down a copy if you’re going to do any lining. -Chuck


– Last Updated: Dec-19-06 2:31 PM EST –

I have no problem with drilling a hole into the hull and all my canoes have grab loops on both ends. Either with the above mentioned PVC hose as a handle or a double-double fishermen's knot on the outside that serves as a handle. The loop has to be large enough to fit an adult's hand and should not be used for carrying the canoe. Instead of painters I use two elcheapo throw bags, clipped underneath a bungee loop on the deck plates. My tripping canoe has two web loops around the stems just above the waterline for lining. I use the rope that's attached to the grab loop already and clip it with a biner into the web loops. Those are only glued to the hull and I would never trust them 100%-with the biner method the rope is still on the canoe if the web loop should let go.
I recently came across two new canoes from two different manufacturers (Bell & Esquif) that had grap loops already attached. But you better check how those folks tie the loop: rather than tying both ends together, they only tie a knot into each end inside the hull. With any serious pull (like in a boat recovery) those knots will pop through the holes and the boat might be lost.
Best method to attach the grap loop to ww canoes for serious pulling is to attach both ends to the gunnels underneath the deck plates with steel D-rings and screws. That way you can't pull the rope through the hull and the hull won't be damaged either with a strong pull (like with a Z-drag).

grab loop
My Ranger Otter came with them. I added gromets myself. I use them to attach bow/stern lines. Don’t use them for carrying or tie down.

Grab Loops
Grab Loops. I have them on my whitewater boats. I don’t use them to pull a pinned boat, I don’t use them to carry a boat. I don’t have any thing else tied to them. On my boats they are there for the swimmer to grab so I can paddle him/her to shore. If he/she grabs there, it won’t end up flipping me. Or me flipping you if you have them on your boat!

so, you’re

– Last Updated: Dec-19-06 1:10 PM EST –

running ww without any bow or stern lines?
No intend of self rescue? You must have either a lot of faith or good even the best paddler needs to flip once in a while (if only to be reminded to pay more attention)
Luckily, I never had to unpin one of my own canoes (knock on wood) but beliving that I would never need a good recovery point on my boat seems unreal.
The description you gave for the loops is exactly what gave them their name. Doesn't mean you can't use them for anything else, though.

grab loops
I use them on all my boats but have gotten entangled in brush a time or two so always be aware that they are there. Bummer when you snag a lure on a grab loop in a solo canoe away from shore.