Painters on kayaks.

Checked the archives, and found plenty of discussion re canoe painters, preferred painter knots, painter lengths, but not much about painters on kayaks. Before I get too excited about bungees to secure painters on my kayak deck, would appreciate any input re kayak painter usefulness, safety concerns, etc. They would seem to be handy for a quick shore tieup, but is there a greater risk of entanglement with kayaks over canoes?

On each kayak
I find a painter very useful. I have often also rigged a sternfast.

CD kayaks used to come with them, might still.

Both a painter and sternfast are required on all kayaks particiapting in the Great Hudson River Paddle (Albany to NYC).

I use one
One of the places I paddle, I have to enter from a dock. Boat goes in the water, painter gets attached to the dock, just in case. I really don’t want to watch my boat float down stream with out me. I use a line with a ‘not for climbing’ caribeaner(sp) on each end. Make sure it is long enough so that it can be uncliped from the cockpit, and make where you clip it to can be reached when your in the cockpit.

In my family I require them, each yak going out has one and depending on trip/conditions may also have a sternfast. I have found them invaluable. I learned about them from canoeists…kim

I tried one for a while…

– Last Updated: Mar-03-06 5:27 PM EST –

...and discovered that it wasn't all that useful. A short tow rig will do pretty much everything that a painter can do, plus be used for towing a boat. Since I need a tow rig anyway, it didn't make much sense to me to have a painter, too.

Ah Calls It Mah Leash

– Last Updated: Mar-04-06 6:26 AM EST –

I've had to get out and 'walk the dog' so often in the shallow sounds of NC that I tied a goodly length of rope to the bow.

It came in handy this winter at the local lake. My buddy was practicing his rolls in very cold water. His upper body was acclimated to the cold but he had to wet exit and his lower body wasn't ready for it. He said 'paddle me to shore'. He grabbed my bow and I paddled him to shore. I used my 'dog leash' to fetch his kayak for him.

Ah calls mahn a strang.
When I paddle the Tarpon, since I sometimes paint, I guess I’m a painter on a kayak.

Double Duty
Have used a painter from day-one of kayaking. I use a spring-loaded clip on the end of mine so I can remove it when walking the dog (thus the double duty).

Stay safe on the way,


Both of my boats have a painter. Simple bowline attaches it to the bow eye and the rest is lased under the bow bungies. Never had any issues with them and they have come in handy on occation. As Rex pointed out we have lots of shallow water in NC where you get out and pull your boat.


Ya Killin’ Me, Strang!
and that ain’t the way ya spell tampon. :wink:

This is getting out of hand
First some guy wants to put rhino liner on his boat, then somebody wants to paint the kayak etc. Why can’t we all just go paddling and stop trying to make our boats works of fine art?

Already art
My boats ARE works of art :wink:

the problem
is if the manner and method of attachment for the painter is appropriate for all the circumstances you’ll use your kayak. In other words can the painter hold up to grabbing as a perimeter line can?

I like them because it’s an automatic bow tie down. Kayak is put on the roof rack and the line goes to the bumper.

On the Mariner Express it was a doubled length of line from the bow eyelet to two recessed cleats. It was the bow perimeter line and a painter. It enabled me to use a 1/4" line that’s a lot nicer to grab when doubled up compared to a 5mm/3/16" perimeter line.

On the Chatham18 deck I installed a 1" ss. D ring under the first fordeck bungie so the painter was releasable from the cockpit but still an automatic short tow line or bow tie down. The under deck attachment was reinforced well.

It looks kind of busy having a looped painter and foredeck perimeter line but I find it’s a better line for grabbing and pulling during t-rescues than a single 3/16" line secured close to the deck.

Kudzu, that was crude. But funny.

I always carry them
I have yellow poly-pro line tied to two carabiners.

One of these is clipped to my forward carry-handle, the second to a D-ring I cemented to the inside next to my seat. That way I can tie off anywhere easily by looping the rope around a tree or whatever and clipping the carabiner to the painter. No knots to tie or untie.

Why do I carry these?

Ever have a big wave pull your boat off the shore and into the water?

A group of us kayaked up the Salt and tied off at a cliff for some Geocaching. Infortuinatly, Gary decided that the river was calm so why bother.

A speedboat came by, rocked all our kayaks and Gary’s got loose (remember he never tied it off) and then he had to climb down the cliff, borrow Nanette’s kayak and chase his which was rapidly moving downstream.

THEN he used his painter to tow his kayak back.

So to tie off or to tow, I find the lowly painter to be an important bit of gear that I never leave home without.

All my kayaks
I use 2 clips. The line runs through the eye on the bow clip and is tied to the clip at the cockpit. The loose end is tied back to the line with a sliding knot (hangmans). This doubles the length and gives you some adjustment to keep it tight. The clip at the cockpit is clipped to a short bungee loop at one of the deck fittings for tension.

I carry…
…a 15 foot strap with loops sewn into each end on my front deck. On my PFD, I have two carabiners. The uses for the strap are endless.