Tug Eyes?

I am anxiously awaiting my new Wenonah Prospector 16 RX. It comes without holes or grab loops. My brief experience, with my MRC 14tt may it RIP, was that I was much more confident lifting and tying to the grab loops rather than the deckplates. Maybe that’s because the riveting wasn’t overly solid but, I was thinking about setting up the prospector similarily.

First, I’ve seen a few discussion of tugeyes on this board and I just want a few opinions if that’s the best way to put in the holes for the loops?

Second, on my last boat I had the grab loops and then I tied painters on to them. Is that the best way to go or should I just make the painter an extension of the grab loop?

Third, rope recomendations?

Thanks and God Bless. Dwayne

drill holes thru the hull and thread 10mm.


What’s that?
I’m a little green bc I don’t understand bomber? I got the just drill holes and 10mm but what type of rope? I was always concerned that just drilling holes and roping through would eventually lead to frayed grab loops? Thanks. Dwayne

PVC Couplings
Wha Ho, Pilgrim;

When I got my brand new Wenonah Prospector RX last July, first thing I did was to drill holes into the ends for grab loops and lining (tramatic experience it be), then used that pvc electrical couplings and vinyl hose trick that was presented on this board awhile back. Worked out great and it cost me about $1.25 for the parts instead of the $25 with shipping that Tugeyes would have cost me.

Fat Elmo

Sounds good
Alright now tell me about my new boat since you have it! I’m salivating… I’m having mine built up burgandy RX with walnut stained web seats, 3rd seat installed, and vinyl gunwales. I’ll be using it solo and with any number of my 5 kids on class I & II.

What rope did you use for the loops and did you tie on painters or extend the loop?


– Last Updated: Feb-04-05 2:10 PM EST –

Wha ho

Hard waitin' fer a new boat, ain't it? Anyway, since I work part-time for a canoe & kayak dealer, I got the "pro deal" price which was 20% off dealer cost, so I sprang for the full wood trim and center seat. I really would have liked bright red (ala Bill Mason's Chestnut)but since Wenonah doesn't offer the bright red and only the burgundy, I chose the green version.
What can I say.... there's nothing like a Prospector. What a boat. Great secondary stability. No wonder the design has been around for 100 years. You'll love it! Good luck. Let me know how you like your new arrival.

I used a short length of 10 mm climbing rope for the grab loops and just clip on 8' x 1/2" painters and if lining I clip on 25'+ of 3/8' line.

Fat Elmo

bomber ?=
Do you want it 100% bombproof??

then just drill 10mm holes and thread with 10mm static line, climbing rope, spectra cord or whatever.

savey? or in laymen terms “Do you understand?”



Tug Eyes
I, too, have a 16’ wenonah Prospector in burgundy. I did like Fat Elmo. However, instead of PVC pipe I used some pvc pipe reducers for the holes and flexible tubing conecting them. Same idea though.

For painters I use plain ol’, hardware store rope. I buy a 50’ length of 3/8", yellow, “floating rope” (I can’t remember, but I think it is poly). I cut it in half, and use half for each end.

Alright now you give me some details about my new boat. How well does it paddle solo? Have you ever put bags in it to run class III? Do you have the center seat installed and if so how does it work with the yoke? Thanks! Dwayne

I did excatly what flatpick did…to
simple…you don’t need anything to line the hole unless you think it looks cool, really…I used climbing rope (11mm) bought by the foot (3ft.each end) at REI…just tie knots in the ends and there ya go…

Go with the Tug eyes
I have 'em on all my rx boats, and I’d put 'em on my composite boat if they perfected it. Unless money is really tight and you are super handy and have plenty of time to mess around.

Here is a source for some cheap but serviceable 3/8" boat line from NRS:


Here is the link for more expensive spectra line:


Spectra line: http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=1835

specific name for the PVC fittings?
What are the PVC fittings called? I looked at PVC electrical fittings in Home Depot and Lowes after reading the previous discussions about using them as a tug-eye substitutes, but didn’t see anything that looked to me like what I was picturing. Maybe I’m not imagining the right picture. If anyone has a close-up picture of these installed on their boat, or a specific name for the fitting, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

PVC Fittings

– Last Updated: Feb-06-05 4:57 PM EST –

Wha ho; Pilgrim;

I'll see if I can photograph one and send you an e-mail. They are little pvc couplings with an outside thread on one end and a sleeve to accept a pvc conduit pipe on the other. The treaded end you screw into the hole you drilled into the hull (which should be drilled to the diameter of the "shank" of the fitting and not the outside of the thread, so as to literally 'tap' a thread into the hull) and at the sleeve end you have to grind this down to about 3/16" or so to form an exterior flange. These fitting go for about 28 cents apiece at Lowes or HD. They are used to attach pvc electrical conduit to the pvc electrical box. Very easy to install, but make sure you thread them into the hull first to cut the thread in the hull material (that will make it much easier to install after you grind), then remove it and then grind the sleeve end to the final thickness (a stationary disk sander works great here, but you can cut it with a hacksaw to somewhere close and sand it the rest of the way.). Then re-install it. Just leave a little flange on the outside hense the 3/16". There is enough of the threaded end sticking out into the interior of the hull to be able to slip a piece of vinyl tubing over the ends to completely seal the connections - just like the Tugeyes. Took me about 5 minutes apiece to grind them to shape and another 5 minutes to install them. The tough part is to drill the hull - it is a tramatic experience! I know, now I have everyone confused, but it's much easlier done than said. I did all of my four Royalex boats this way including my brand new, just-brought-it-home-5-minutes-before Wenonah Prospector. But then again, I also drilled holes in the bumpers for SS eyebolts for tie downs of my brand new Jeep the same day I brought it home from the dealer. Anyway, the couplers work and look just as well as the real Tugeyes for me and doing 4 boats it cost me less than $6.00 instead of $100 with shipping for Tugeyes. That savings bought me a new paddle (good excuse to justify the paddle)...

Fat Elmo

My suggestion…unless you’re absolutely sure about creating your own “tugeye”, then spring for the $20. When you spend $1000 on a canoe or kayak I would never recommend skimping on the outfitting. As they say…you get what you pay for.

Details about my new boat
>>How well does it paddle solo? >Have you ever put bags in it to run class III?>Do you have the center seat installed and if so how does it work with the yoke?

Details about my new boat
"How well does it paddle solo?"

I don’t know. I have never paddled it solo. Currently I have a wenonah Sandpiper for my solo, creek/day trip boat and a OT Penobscott 15 for my solo, tripping boat. I will say that as a tandem it paddles sweet.

“Have you ever put bags in it to run class III?”

Nope. I’m an easy river guy. Class I is enough of a thrill for me. Class II, I’m “white knuckling” it all the way.

“Do you have the center seat installed and if so how does it work with the yoke?”

Nope. My is set up as a tandem

The Tugeyes worked great for us and
give it a finished look. We used braided nylon floatable line for grab loops. We tie our painters to these and store the line on the deckplates, under bungie cord.

If you’re handy, you can do a nice job with other things.

3/4" PVC Conduit box adapter
Here is a quick inexpensive way to make tugeyes.

go here:


click on 3/4" PVC conduit box adapter.

This one is glued into the hole with epoxy.It can be sealed across the two sides with a length of medical tubing, just like a tugeye. Lowes has them in the electrical department with the PVC conduit.

Don’t need Tug Eyes
unless you are drilling the painter holes at the waterline you don’t need anything but the rope. Most Royalex canoes I’ve seen just have the holes drilled throught the royalex with no grommets or eyes. Some of the great adventurer’s like to drill lining holes at… or below the waterline so the canoe won’t flip when pulling upstream in swift water. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you know you’re going on a great adventure or know exactly how your boat is going to trim when loaded. Normal painter lines are about 1" to 2" below the gunnels which should be all you really need. Holes drilled at the waterline on any boat severly hurt the value of the craft…Just my opinion.