Rope for Grab Loops & Painters

I’m preparing for my new boat. A Wenonah Prospector 16 RX. It should be here next week. I went ahead and paid for the tug eyes and they should be here about the same time. I need some recomendations on rope for the grab loops and painters. I deciced after some research to attach the painters with caribiners. I have some rope that I was considering using but I want some opinions. Here’s what I have:

3/8" 30, 48m x 9, 53mm Diamond Braid Poly Rope Safe Working Load 244 lbs. 100%Mixed Fibers: Polyester/Polypropylene

There are numerous cautions on the rope including the recomendation to splice the rope instead of knotting it.

Is this rope appropriate for grab loops or painters? I’ll probably do 25’ painters. THis boat will see mostly class II and the occasionaly class III ww.

Thanks for your help! Dwayne

Flat webbing for grab loops
Flat webbing is something you should also consider for grab loops.1 inch nylon strap webbing

has worked well for me with or without tug eyes.

simply knot each end on the inside of the hull.

loop size of about 8 inches with 3/8" rope attached with a bowline knot a litte larger than than your webbing for free play works well.for

whitewater,painter lenght of 8-12 max will work

for car topping and on the water. 25 ft. ropes would concern me in the event of a swim that may

cause entanglement. I been there! perhaps stow the longer ropes in your bag for lining or emergencies. let us know how you like Prospector.

Bicycle grip on the grab loop?
I had grab loops on my last boat and if you carried it any distance it would wear on your hands. Has anybody tried to put some type of grip on the grab loop to make it easier to carry? I wouldn’t think it would get in the way of painter attachment?

3/8" rope is normally the minimum recommended for comfort when handling the painters. For a boat primarily used in white water maybe 5/16", 1/2", or even 9/16" would be better as it will provide a better grip and be easier on the hands when the rope is under heavy strain.

25’ painters ARE WAY TOO LONG! You will be asking for a good entanglement with that much rope possibly snaking around from both bow and stern when you are swimming white water! The painters on a white water boat should not extend more than a foot or two past the center line of the hull. Carry longer ropes securely stowed for emergence use so they can not play out accidently. When long ropes are needed tie them on to the painter or where ever needed.

Floating polypro rope is handier in white water situations as it floats and is easier to find and grab ahold of. Get a bright colored rope for the same reasons.

It is not wise to use carbineers on boats, especially white water boats unless they are: 1) Locking carbineers, and 2) real carbineers and not those “WalMart key chains” that look like carbineers. Non locking carbineers are accidents waiting to happen. Get near one while going over or swimming white water and you can become securely attached to your boat via one of those non-locking carbineers. Getting dragged down river, into strainers and boulders can really ruin your day!!! Learn a few good knots and use them.

Hope this helps a little.

Happy Paddl’n!



Knots and painters
For your grab loops, use a “fisherman’s knot”. This is a dandy knot for joining rope ends to form a loop, or even knotting together two different ropes. It’s a little hard to describe in words, so you should look it up somewhere. Basically, the two ends to be joined lay alongside each other, each piece is formed into an overhand knot which the other rope section goes right through. When pulled tight, the two overhand knots slide up against each other, creating a very handsome-looking, barrel-shaped knot. Take care to orient each overhand knot such that the free end comes out parallel to the piece of rope it surrounds, otherwise the knot will look sloppy. This isn’t just a make-do connection, as it is also the knot that Bell uses on their grab loops.

There’s a lot of disagreement on how long to make painters. Some have already said they should be very short, but paddlers as respected as Bill Mason have opted for painters that are quite long, as long as it’s a floating rope. Keep your painters bungied down so they don’t come loose unless you need them. I’d suggest using whatever length you want, based on what you will need them for.

To the poster who said something about grab handles, a short wood handle big enough to hold in your hand, with holes drilled in each end works well. Insead of completely looping the rope, just put each free end through the holes in the handle and use an overhand knot to keep it from pulling back out. Works great.

A lot of the whitewater open boaters here sleeve the grab loops with heavy vinyl tubing. It keeps a nice open loop that’s easy to clip into or grab.

I have used carabiners to attach painters, but I much prefer using a girth hitch to attach them to to my 1" webbing loops. Biners tend to bounce around and make noise. I would also recommend 3/8 rescue line for painters in high visibility yellow. Got mine from NRS. Length is a personal preference, but keep them stowed at the ready with bungies. I use painters that are about 3 ft. longer than my boats to make lining easier. My ww boat (Outrage X) has 12 footers. You could also use shorter painters and carry 2 30-40 lengths of cord w/ carabiners to use for lining.

grab loops
FOr grab loops, I find some boats come with a small rope that is kind of hard on the hands. I like taking a larger piec of rope, putting it through the holes so that both tails are on the outside of the hull. next construct a double fishermans knot, thus creating a large and comfortable grip. Most importantly easy to find when you take a spill

Grab Loops
I use climbing rope which sounds like what you have in mind - comes in mm size but at least 3/8" equivalent. You can usually get a color that matches if youre fashion conscious!!

I just tie a stopper knot on each end inside the boat - need to play with it a bit to get length right so it will just come up over the deck plate so you can tie your painters to it. Too long and it drags in water, or can grab an obstruction. .

As to plastic tubing, I dont use it but if you do, try to get a dark color. Ive seen mildew buildup inside the clear tubing that looks pretty awful. THe climber’s kermantle rope is pretty tough stuff and I havent felt a need for sleeve. I never used the eyes, just drilled a hole and chamfered the edges. Good luck.

Painters should float.

I have a large selection of painters and I swap them as required. In whitewater, I like at least 15’ at the bow. Then, if there’s going to be lining up or down, I’ll use a 30’ on the aft, otherwise 15’.

On exposed open water, I’ll fit v-e-r-y l-o-n-g painters. Every foot I have rigged is another foot I won’t have to swim with the boat.

I don’t like carabiners except in controlled circumstances - recovery, putting together a swimming line, etc. I figure-8 or splice a loop in one end, then loop that through the canoe’s towing loop (I have MRs, and they supply kernmantle loops fed through holes drilled through the Royalex at bow and stern). The result looks like a whole hitch, but on loops. I’ll usually remove them for cartop travel.

Traveling in grizzly country, I use cheap painters so I won’t hesitate cutting them should that be become a good idea.

If there’s lots of lining, I use a separate line and fix the ends to bow and stern. Here, I’ll use carabiners. My current favorite is 75’ of high-grade floating kernmantle rescue line, must be at least 9mm, maybe 11.



Painters and Linings?
I’ve read the posts so far, and am slightly puzzled by the terms.

Can someone please clarify?

Defining terms

– Last Updated: Mar-23-05 7:51 PM EST –

Painter: a length of rope attached to the end of the boat. Most paddlers like to have one at each end.

Lining: The process of guiding your boat through rapids, while you stand on shore or in shallow water. You take up or let out slack on the two painters (which may need to be longer than normal in this case) to control the angle of the boat relative to the current and adjust the boat's distance from you. This way you can get the boat through rapids you don't want to paddle through, but you don't have to unload your gear and portage the boat around, so it's less dangerous than paddling, less work than portaging. Also, it's a good way to go upstream through rapids or otherwise difficult sections.

ahhhh…got it.
Thanks for the definitions…