Tensioning deck lines

JohnAbercrombie

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Here's an idea from Sterling Kayaks (Ice Cap) for folks who like to keep their perimeter safety deck lines from looking loose:
IMG_0343.JPG


Under the heat shrink, the shock cord (on the left) is joined to the deck line.
The knot in the deck line limits the amount of 'stretch'.
This idea wouldn't work as well with a different style of deck fittings.
 

YYJ Paddler

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Jan 11, 2021
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Victoria, BC
So non-stretchy deck line on the right, and bungee on the rest? If I understand that correctly, that is how Delta do their deck lines. The location of the knot is really important, though. Although it might have changed in the past year, the knot was put too far to the 'left' (in my understanding of this picture). That meant that the deck lines acted a lot like bungees, with way too much give. I had mine re-done to remove that and completely separate the deck lines and bungees. Getting the knot in the right place would have perhaps been an easier solution!
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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So non-stretchy deck line on the right, and bungee on the rest? If I understand that correctly, that is how Delta do their deck lines. The location of the knot is really important, though. Although it might have changed in the past year, the knot was put too far to the 'left' (in my understanding of this picture). That meant that the deck lines acted a lot like bungees, with way too much give. I had mine re-done to remove that and completely separate the deck lines and bungees. Getting the knot in the right place would have perhaps been an easier solution!
Yes, the deck line is the thinner stuff exiting the frame at the bottom right side.
I agree that we don't want deck lines that are too 'stretchy' or loose. It's irritating if a helper is trying to stabilize the kayak and the lines are just stretching too much. Sterling got the amount of 'give' about right on this boat, IMO.
 

BigandSmall

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Mar 2, 2012
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Northern BC (FSJ)
I was going out with a friend the other day in his new boat. When I showed him how I would assist him in a rescue his lines slacked right off and there was no stability. I re-tied the knots on the front deck to taut lines to get us by for the day. I saw this video later with the suggestion of clear tubing to easily get your hands under with the lines tight. I'm going to give it a try once I find some tubing.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Deck line tension is complicated. LInes stretch and behave differently when wet vs very dry. If you are putting on new lines, it's helpful if you can give them a bit of pre-stretch by tying the line between a couple of stout trees and hanging on it.
The aft deck lines are hard to 'get right' if I want to leave enough slack to get a paddle under the lines aft the cockpit, for paddlefloat self-rescues.
 

cougarmeat

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BigandSmall, you may find that clear tubing in a hardware store - like ACE - or an auto supply store.

I run an extra line, on each side of the kayak, from the shock-cord point at the front of the cockpit to the one at the rear. So the line runs along the side of the cockpit. Instructors would raise and eyebrow and say words to suggest a potential tangling in the lines. But when I’ve been with people in the water, or rafted up with another kayak, it’s a convenient place to hang on.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I run an extra line, on each side of the kayak, from the shock-cord point at the front of the cockpit to the one at the rear. So the line runs along the side of the cockpit. Instructors would raise and eyebrow and say words to suggest a potential tangling in the lines. But when I’ve been with people in the water, or rafted up with another kayak, it’s a convenient place to hang on.
I've run deck lines past the cockpit on some boats. I agree that they can be a good place to grab. Depending on the boat width and shape, the line can tend to get under the coaming lip, and possibly intefere with the sprayskirt. So your idea of a separate piece of line (that could be left a bit looser) is a good one, IMO.
 

cougarmeat

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With the high free board of the Mariner, it is much easier for someone in the water to “stay close” without heeling the boat over. Also, an easy place to clip the non-destructive plastic carabiner of a rafting up line. It isn’t bungee; it’s about quarter inch braided line. Loose enough to grab; tight enough so as not to be sloppy. And, most important, matches the color scheme of the kayak. :)
 
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