Instructions for installing deck lines?


Just wondering if anyone knows of a good site or tutorial with instructions for installing deck lines. I’ve recently purchased some a couple of Dirigo 106s and a Pungo 140, and would like to install some perimeter lines.

I’ve googled and searched on here. I’ve come up with posts about rigging bungie lines, but can’t seem to find the magic combination of words for installing a perimeter line.



deck lines…
…I didn’t find any tutorials either, just comments on perimeter lines on builders forums. It’s not really hard , you just need to spend time planning b4 you start to drill holes. buy the hardware and then spend twice the time you think you need planning. U have to decide on whether U are going to use rivets or bolt and nuts to fasten the hardware with. If you use bolt&nut, can U reach far enough under the deck to get a wrench on the nut? If U use rivets, can u reach into the area to put a backing washer on the rivet? Don’t forget to use waterproof sealant under hardware to prevent leaks. Again .plan…plan…plan and then get the felt tip and tape measure out and start marking locations for hardware.

magic combination
put line around perimeter of kayak in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with paddling. You can use regular padeyes with two screw holes or 1" webbing folded in a loop with finish washer/screw/washer/nut. Most of the time making a V in the bow and stern in sufficient, some boats might be better served with a complete boxing of the perimeter. Up to you.

Pretty easy to install
From the photos I found online, the Dirigo comes with perimeter lines, at least on the stern section:

If yours is older or they are missing, one can usually add such deck lines fairly easily, simply using the padeyes already there for the bungees.

Be aware that if the padeyes are old and brittle, or just plain cheap, they may not withstand a violent yank, so you may want ot replace them with stainless-steel padeyes.

Be sure to leave the lines a bit slack, to make them easier to grab in cold, wet, rough conditions and when wearing gloves.

Good luck!


One thing to keep in mind is to not put any rivets or bolts where your “paddle motion” will be. Put them far enough in front and then far enough in the rear that you can make a clean paddle stroke without hitting them.

Speaking from experience, you will occasionally rub the side of your kayak with a paddle stroke and running your hand over a screw or rivet isn’t the best thing I’ve ever felt…

perimeter lines
I’m sure this sounds like a really dumb question, but being a complete newbie and having not seen a yak with perimeter lines, I am only making an assumption they are made with nylon cord or poly line and NOT with bungie cord. Seems logical to me, but I’d really prefer knowing than guessing at it when I add mine. I’m also thinking an anchor trolley (full length of boat) might serve well enough. Any advice there?

Perimeter lines are generally polyester braid. Nylon is no good because it stretches too much, and Polypro breaks down in the sun more quickly.

Thanks Nate. That’s what I needed to know. It’s all in the details.

Or a paddle park hook
I started out in a big loon tandem, and they had these (at the time i thought) neat hooks with a bungee to grab onto your paddle with and hold it for you, but after you catch your thumb inside the hook 2 or 3 times it starts becoming a little less “neat”

Make sure you can get to the line attachment from inside of the kayak. A friend built a nice wood kayak and was swearing at himself when he was struggling to hold the bolt/fitting that was beyond his arms reach!

i did it to my Dirago 12
It was easy.

  1. Go to a boating store and buy pad-eyes. Boat stores sel lthem cheap.

  2. go to Home Depot and buy the kind of line you want.

    HD sells it cheap.

  3. mount your pad-eyes along the deck of the boat where you want them. IF you angle the pad-eyes off-line the deck-line runs easier.

    Glue these tothe deck with hot-melt glue or silicon seal for waterproofing.

  4. Whenthe silicon dries, drill through the pad-eye holes. slide bolts through.

  5. the hard part!!! Talk some small-skinny person to crawl INSIDE the kayak with a nut and wrench. put the nuts on the bolts and tighten.

    I did this myself and got stuck.

    hint) on those pad-eyes that are near and around the cockpit, use longer bolts and add a pad-eye to the INSIDE of the deck.

    This allows you a place to clip your leash and gear.

  6. buy a bunch of beads that are maybe 1/2" or larger in diameter.

  7. tie your deck-line to the bow, add two beads, then slide the end throughthe first pad-eye, add two beads, repeat. It is nice if the beads are snug on the line.

  8. work your way around the boat to stern, then back to bow. Tie it off and cut the line.

  9. slide the beads to the pad-eyes.

    These line-beads will kepthe deck-line a bit off the deck so you can catch them easily.

    note) this rope will losten up eventually so be ready to untie, tighten and retie the rope every few months.

    Mine has worked for years with no problem other than the line fading (I used bright yellow UV-resistant rope for someting like $5 got 100’.