Poke holes in my boat?

I have a well-cared-for Navarro legacy that I recently bought used. I’m in a quandary about how to secure the leading end of this canoe while car-topping. Navarro states that the brass “handles” are decorative and should not be used for securement. The actual handles appear to be what you might refer to as the “decks”, which are made of some rather nice looking wood, but I see no way of fastening a tiedown to them without causing damage.

I have been thinking of either attaching some sort of handle to these “decks” or drilling them and installing a loop of rope for carrying and securing. But the thought of defacing this classy-looking boat puts me off some. What have others done? If I were to sell the boat at a later date, would either of these options decrease it’s value?

Go to REI or EMS
or some other outfitting store that sells rock climbing gear. Get a couple of short nylon webbing loops used for making draws with carabiners, and wrap them around your wood handles, then attach your tie down hooks to those. They shouldn’t damage the wood at all, and are weight rated to handle much more weight then your canoe’s load will put on them.

Does it have end thwarts?
If you have a thwart within a couple feet of each end of the boat, that will work fine for an attachment point. On two of my Royalex canoes, end thwarts are all I use for painters and end-point tie-downs. For tying it down on a car roof, thwarts that are even a few feet away from the stems work just fine. For tying a canoe down on a small car, tie-down points some distance inboard of the ends a lot work better anyway (it provides a better rope angle for “blowback” resistance at the front, and a better angle for “hold-down” power at both the front and rear).

Thanks for the ideas…
The “handles” are actually just an extension of the “deck”. Nothing there to attach a line or a loop to, unless I drill a hole. Hooking a tiedown strap to the deck works, but it leaves marks and will show wear eventually.

End thwarts would work great if they were there, and would probably look good. Any reason why I couldn’t just add some? Actually, I’m giving serious thought to just making a hole near the inner edge of the “decks” and rounding off the inside edges of the hole. Should look clean and presentable. Then maybe I’ll attach those climber’s loops…

Yup Poke Holes in Your Boat

Another vote
for Tugeyes.

Strong, simple, useful.