Northwater coaming tow

Any one out there have any experience with Northwater’s coaming tow system? I am wondering about it as an alternative to a waist tow belt? I seems like it would be easier on the paddler than having a kayak and contents pulling against your waist. I am mystified as to how it is supposed to release though :slight_smile:


no personal experience . .
. . with this unit but I’m left wondering if this isn’t a solution in search of a problem to address.

I’ve used deck-mounted and waist-mounted tows for several years with no problems. Why would anyone want to mount something producing dynamic stresses to a rigid anchor point that isn’t designed for such stress? Sounds like a recipe to rip the coaming off a perfectly good kayak.


Just how much stress
is generated towing a kayak? If it is enough to rip my coaming off, what would it do to my waist? I don’t think I would want something so violently powerful tied around me :slight_smile: I thought that the bungee was supposed to relieve sudden strains caused by wave action?

it does offer some
The bungie helps, as does using a length of dynamic rope that closely matches a multiple of the wavelength of the dominant wave period.

There is an additional shock absorbtion built into a waist mounted rig. The belt sits low, nearly at my hips to reduce any strain on my belly or lower back. The big advantage for me is ease and speed of deployment and repacking. Release in case of problems is dirt easy with a waist-tow as well as is handing the rig off to another paddler or for use as a throw bag.

I don’t have any significant issues with rigid systems, I just prefer the waist tow for several reasons. The coaming mounted tow seems problematic to me though. YMMV



I have one
I have a Northwater coaming tow rig.


  • don’t have to wear it
  • adjusts quickly to any size coaming
  • quick release works well

  • not as ready to be used as a waist tow.
  • rides lower than a waist tow rig so is more likely to snag on anything you may have on your back deck.
  • when deployed the bag drags in the water, just what you need, something to slow you down during a tow.
  • need to practice with it before you have to use it, it takes a bit of getting used to.
  • the bag opening is not that big so it seems to take forever to stuff the rope back in the bag after deployment.
  • did I say not as ready to be used as a waist tow?


Thanks Nelson
Just the kind of info I was looking for :slight_smile:


I agree with Jed
I simply don’t see the point in this setup. I also have concerns about what happens if it pops off the coaming and ends up around your waist or chest. Get a good waist rig and you’ve got a proven system that works with any paddler and any boat.