Sea Kayak Rescue Tow Belt

Can anyone recommend a good easy access, wide mouth quick release tow belt with shock relief for sea kayak instructor work?

This one is very nice

– Last Updated: Dec-30-05 5:35 AM EST –

the seatec tow line version. I have the quick release rescue tow line version. You will not find an easier-to-repack tow line. I no longer thread the belt through any pfd loops; that way if I need to restuff I can just flip it round front.

The seatec version may or may not allow for a knot to adjust the length of the tow. The Quick Release Rescue Tow Line does but you may just want to rig a seperate short tow line off the anchor, or just keep a short tow on the deck or....

Many of the refinements you see might well come from the suggestions of Nystrom. For my small part I insisted that they send me a red dongle (They used to say just pull up on the wide webbing)so that I can quickly identify and pull to release. Northwater sent me the dongle for nothing but I do not know if they ever did anything for Nystrom.

Northwater tow rigs…
…are the best I’ve seen. I have the older Quick Release tow rig that I’ve modified heavily. If you’re interested, there are pics of it in my “Northwater Tow Rig Modifications” album on Webshots at:

Appreciate The Inputs
Thanks Brian and Peter the Northwater tow belt was the one that attracted me the most. Your info has convinced me and as a retired engineer I love Brian’s modifications. I don’t think I could improve on them.



Yet another vote
Mine is a Current Designs made by Norhwater. I modified it per B Nystrom’s pictures, and it works great. Being able to re-stuff a wet rope after a rescue is of prime importance, and the Northwater bags shine in this area.


The Northwater tow rig is setup so that you can daisy chain most of the line and clip the end of the daisy chained part to the brass caribeaner inside the pouch-leaving the unchained part free for a short tow. I leave my rig set so that I have about fifteen or twenty feet of line outside of the daisy chain (and available for towing). Then, if I want to extend the amount of line available for the tow I can unclip the daisy chained line from the brass caribeaner and choose how much line I want. I re-clip into the chained line to give me the tow length I want. Or, I could just let the whole line go for the full length. This is a nice setup because it gives you total control of how long your tow line actually is.

If you have any questions about this feel free to email me and I will send a few pictures. I learned this setup from Shawna Franklin.

Also, the Northwater bag is very easy to re-stuff and when I am not towing I wear mine with the bag in front of me instead of behind me.


Tow Belt

– Last Updated: Dec-30-05 11:26 AM EST –

GRO Tow Belt. Got these last spring. We took a friend kayaking on a calm day accross Hingham Harbor. She ran completely out of juice and was actually loosing ground paddling back home into the wind in a bit of chop. I hooked her up, and with the bungee shock absorber, I honestly couldn't even tell I had her in tow for 3 miles, (except the water got a lot thicker all the sudden.) Worked great.

so did you get one?

– Last Updated: Jan-04-06 10:53 AM EST –

paul did you get a northwater one?????

My Sea Tec tow came today
Much nicer than my older style Northwater. And infinitely better than my Kokatat (although I’ll probably keep the K on my PFD for the times I don’t think I want to be bothered with a tow belt but really should have one anyway. It is compact.) I’m not sure the best way to shorten the tow but aside from that and cutting off the huge belt I can’t see much I would do to alter it.

One minor consideration, carrying this will not meet the Canadian requirement for a 15 m / 50 ft heaving line because it is only 30 ft long. I don’t know how rigerously that is enforced,and your can always stuff a throw bag behind the seat or in a day hatch to be legal.

Another option is a contact tow and a longer line to add on. But having the “burrito bag” for stuffing is really nice.

Northwater A+ Service
I have experience with Northwater’s throw bags, tow lines, and spray-decks for canoes. ALl are top quality. The company is fantastic with service and responsive to suggestions. I am a fan.

I don’t know what other products might be out there, just wanted to express my support for Northwater.

Had a chance to
implement and try your rig method and liked it very much.

Thanks again for the pics and comments.

Pleasant waters to ya.


problems with this one.
I like everything on this new belt EXCEPT the bungie being on the bag end. It makes it difficult to daisychain the length of line. Northwaters older belt has the bungie on the hook end and includes a snap in the bag for the daisychain.