Shop Tips » Fitting Out Your Boat
Handles may not be nautical, exactly, but if you cartop your boat they’re essential. Here at CLC we’ve tried many schemes over the years and here are three that work well.
A. The Rope Loop - The good news is that these are cheap, and the bad news is that loops can be uncomfortable on a long carry. Closed loops have a more serious drawback: they can break your wrist if you’re wading your kayak through the surf and the boat rolls, so they’re recommended only for flatwater paddling enthusiasts. Drill a 3/8-inch hole through the bow and stern end pours and knot lengths of rope through them. We recommend the Fisherman’s Knot. See our Shop Tip on how tie a Double Fisherman's Knot.
B. The Toggle - Much more comfortable than a plain rope loop, the wooden toggle goes with the varnished look. (No danger of serious injury, either). You can size the toggle to fit your hand exactly. Drill a 1/4-inch hole through a piece of scrap mahogany or cypress between three to five inches long. Round over all the edges. Tie through a hole drilled in the end pour. See our Shop Tip Wooden Kayak Toggles.
You can also use a plastic toggle such as our VCP Kayak Toggle.
C. The Rubber Handle - Our Fancy Grab Handle is not funky, but very functional. This can be located anywhere on a boat where you can screw into the sheer clamp or gunwale. It won’t scratch anything, and it’s amazingly, nay, sybaritically comfy to hold. For example, a single handle, cleverly located, lets you carry your Sassafras 12 like a valise. They’re useful on larger craft like the Jimmy Skiff where a pointy bow makes for a slippery handhold.
Not Forgetting Padeyes. We also use four-hole-base padeyes on certain boats such as the Sassafras canoes. We searched long and hard to discover a source for these classic bits of boat bronze. They’re perfect for tying off a painter or attaching a loop handle or toggle. Depending on the boat, these can be screwed in place or through-bolted.