painter lines

Good day to all, I wanted to ask on kevlar canoes do you use painter lines or is drilling etc. Not advised, I like to put my flag on loop when hauling canoe. Note this question is about drilling through bow and stern to put on a loop of line, which painter line would then attach to. Best to you and yours, Ravenwolf.

Some do it, but is it necessary?

– Last Updated: Feb-10-15 12:04 PM EST –

I know some people do it. I haven't. My only Kevlar canoe is fairly fragile and also rather hard-tracking, which means I won't be using it in rapids. Since I'm not using it in rapids, there's really no advantage to having a low attachment point for painters (an attachment point down near the waterline makes it possible to steer the boat when lining through swift water without creating a strong tendency to roll the boat whenever it's angled sideways to the current). I tie my painters to the carry handles (end thwarts), and for non-whitewater use, that works fine.

If you tie your flag to a carry handle when transporting the boat, it will look essentially the same as seen from a following vehicle as it would if tied right to the stem.

I don't know what your boat is like, but on mine, I'd have some reservations about applying a really strong pull via a painter line attached to the hull. The paper-thin, flexible fabric of the hull may be strong enough, but the gunwales are a lot stronger, and the gunwales are what take the stress when pulling on a carry handle.

It’s OK to do

– Last Updated: Feb-10-15 1:38 PM EST –

I have drilled tons of holes in composite canoes without any difficulties. The hull is usually plenty thick at the stems to allow holes to be drilled for a grab loop to attach a painter to.

Composite boats usually have flotation tanks in the stems, however. In some cases the tank does not extend all the way up to the top of the stem and there is enough room to drill holes through the hull above the tank. In other cases the tank comes nearly all the way up to the deck plate and there is no room to do so.

Some composite canoe flotation tanks are open topped and filled with foam since water would be able to enter the tank from above the tank top from under the deck plate. In that instance you can usually thread a grab loop right through the tank although you usually have to devise a method by which to poke a channel through the foam to thread the loop.

Many flotation tanks are closed topped and sealed except for a small screw or plug with a pinhole to allow equalization of pressure to accommodate temperature changes. Those generally don't have any foam. In that case you want to do something to ensure that water does not enter the tank through the holes you drill for your grab loop.

Tugeye makes a system whereby you can do this:

If you have some epoxy you can get by much more cheaply, however using a short length of PVC pipe. Decide what internal diameter PVC pipe you require to accept whatever you like to use for grab loops (I like 1" diameter tubular nylon webbing as it is much easier on the hands than rope if you need to use the grab loop as a carry handle). Drill your holes in the hull large enough to accommodate the outer diameter of the PVC pipe. Cut a short length of pipe long enough to go in one hole, through the float tank, and out the other hole. Bevel cut the ends of the pipe to match the contour of the hull using something like a hack saw and smooth the cut ends with a file and/or sandpaper, then epoxy the ends of the pipe to the hull.

After the epoxy cures you can take an artist's brush and some automotive (or other paint) that closely matches the color of your hull and paint the exposed white cut ends of the PVC pipe. Then thread your grab loop through it. Tie the ends together with a double fisherman's knot. Make sure the placement of the holes you drill and the length of grab loop you use is such that the loop won't drag in the water while underway. If you want to hide the knot, make sure the internal diameter of your PVC pipe is big enough to tuck it in to. This type of installation is very strong.

I have painters on all my canoes. The only ones I drilled for tugeyes was a roylex ones that I figured on lining. On my kevler/carbon canoes,I tie to the front stub thwart. I wanted to line one ,I would rig a temporarily line around the boat, tied the the main thwarts as Paul Mason recommends.


I have three kevlar canoes and…
I wouldn’t drill into the bow or stern just for a painter.

I have drilled lots of small holes for rivits and bolts.

Jack L


– Last Updated: Feb-11-15 10:55 AM EST –

I'v put tugeyes in my ultralight kevlar boats and a royalex boat

not that hard to do - the kevlar tends to chip when drilling, so put some masking tape over where you want to drill, and it helps prevent chipping.

I like the thru the hull attachment point as I use it for locking the canoe to the roof rack when I have loaded the baot the night before - maybe only a small deterrent to theft, but it is some deterrent, and I do use the tugeye for the painter lines.

hmmm tugeye
is an interesting word from Cree to Urban Dictionary but here’s boat tugeye

the insert fitted pipe method is deluxe: low does tow.

My deluxe Solstice sports 2 deluxe u-bolts barely large for a floating Walmart painter.

I regard the u bolts with great suspicion that pulling one out is imminent just looking at it. But so far not.

Sailboats have a plate spanning bolts holes reinforcing the hull’s underside where nylock SS nuts screw on the yacht hardware.

THANKS for the tips, I am going to follow Guidebotboys advice. Best to you and yours, Ravenwolf