Attaching eye straps to hull...

I was thinking of putting some eye straps for lashing inside of the hull. I seem to recall that someone in the forum epoxied eye straps to the hull. Curious if anyone has done that and had some success? Also curious about strength in the attachment, need for silica, etc.? Thanks for help/suggestions. 

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RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

For several years now, using carbon eyestraps glued to the boat has been my favorite way to attach things.  The back sides of the eyestraps are made very rough so that thickened (cab-o-sil) epoxy will adhere well.  When glued to the boat, the attachment is very strong and I have never had one come off.  You do have to properly prepare the surface by removing all paint/varnish and sanding to roughen up.

The eye straps were initially made by PT Watercraft and sold by CLC.  PT stopped making them and for a while I found some made by a NZ company called Ropeye and distributed by Harken (as in sailboat hardware).  When I was building my Yukon last winter, Harken USA was out of stock and I ended up buying the last 17 direct from Ropeye in NZ.  As part of that buy, I also got a few Ropeye XS and XXS loops.  Now as I am writing this, it looks like Ropeye may be gone so you may have a hard time finding either the eye straps or the loops.  All of these things are rather expensive.

First picture shows the eyestraps used for deck bungies on my wife's SUP.  I would note that some do not like using carbon eyestraps for deck application because the could get crushed.  I have not had this happen but it certainly is possible.


Second picture shows the cockpit of my Mystery.  It is a little hard to see but just forward of the seat I have two eyestraps with bungie between used to secure a drybox or hysration bladder.  I also used four behind the seat on the bulkhead for a second bladder and one under the deck just forward of the coaming lip for a paddle leash. 

Third picture shows the Yukon.  I tried the Ropeye looks here and think that they work better than the eye straps.  There is more glueing surface area so no doubt that they are stronger.  There is also no way that they could get crushed. 

RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

   Hey Mark, thanks for sharing your ideas and experience. Those are slick for sure. Aside from the general coolness of carbon, any practical reason you didn't go with traditional stainless? Colorwise, the black/grey of carbon looks quite nice whereas I suppose the brighter stainless ones might be a bit glaring? 

RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

i wanted to chime in with Mark on eyestraps.

i make my own in carbon and use them on the inside of my boats for straps/tiedowns and have always just attached them with silca/epoxy mixture with a well roughened surface and have had no issues over the years with them holding.

making them is pretty easy.  you just need some carbon fibre tape (3 inch wide tape they sell at CLC), some epoxy for the eyestraps themselves.  for the mold you need some duct tape and a plastic tube the size of the hole you want and a little board.  and for finishing them a saw and a beltsander to cut you eyestraps out of the piece you make.

the picture below shows the eyestraps (before they are cut) coming off the mold which is the duct tape over the tube on a small piece of scrap wood.  i just laid three layers of wet-out carbon fibre tape over the mold and used some spare wood wrapped in saran wrap clamped down over it to hold the carbon fibre tight over the mold.

i did not take a lot of pictures of the step by step, but it is not that hard.  

afterwards, i cut the piece into indivdiual eyestraps and then used a belt sander to give them final shape.

the picture below shows how i use them inside the boat

and the picture below is a close up of onepretty easy to make a batch of 20 or so in a 48 hour period...costs a couple bucks.  if you want to spend more time, yo can sand them more and make them look real nice.



RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

just some additional note on my previous post.

iike i was saying, these are very easy to make and you can customize easily and make them thicker and do some other things to make them prettier that i did not do given that i use them on the inside of the boat. 

fwiw, i am not a particular fan of eyestraps on the outside of the hull of a kayak as they can interfere with re-entry / self rescue by hanging up on your life vest . on the outside of the boat, i usually go with some kind of flush  attachment.

the disks mark shows, i think are pretty cool and would not take that long to fabricate.  it's just a sheet of laid up carbon fibre using a hole saw of the appropriate diamter with whatever center hole size you need to cut the disk.  the nylon strap would be a simple loop of nylon cordage through the center hole and then melted down flush on the backside with a hot iron to hold it in place and the rest of the surface would be there to glue to whatever you wanted.

RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

Hey Waterman,

I initially went with the CF eye straps because they were easy and CLC sold them.  As you point out, stainless would not look very good on the outside and would also add weight.  On the Yukon when I could not find CF I ended up going with the black plastic eye straps through bolted to the deck.  When you are trying to build a light boat, even the weight of the twenty or so #6 machine screws, washers and nyloc nuts adds weight.  The other thing about stainless eye straps is that epoxy won't adhere. 

For eye straps inside the boat in low strength applications, you could probably attach the plastic eye straps with thickened epoxy as long as you thoroughly roughen the back side.  They are cheap so I would do a couple tests on a surface other than the kayak first.

For hspira, these loops from Ropeye are a bit more complex than they appear.  They are designed for rather high loads (attaching control blocks to racing dinghies) so they used high tech line and multiple laminations.  The entire backside is a glueing surface.  They were way expensive and way overkill for my application.  The only reason I got them is that the Ropeye guy made me a deal because he was out of eye straps and wanted me to try them.       

RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

   @H20 you can look here

I would call them if you don't see it they may be able to get what you want

RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

   Thanks to all for the insight and advice. I probably should have mentioned that the boat is a Northeaster Dory and the likely location of the eyestraps will be in the bow. I built spacered inwales on the boat, so having lower lashing points would keep things orderly in the event of a capsize, which these days seems more and more likely given the wind out here in SF. Making my own carbon eyestraps sounds like a fun new skill to develop. I have heard that you need to be careful with that stuff however. Also, thanks for the advice on stainless vs. carbon approach. Makes sense that there should be adhesion issues with the epoxy on stainless. 

RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

   I tried using eye straps/pad eyes in my dory but found them of limited used when lashing in different sets of gear. Ended up doing this...

Exactly like spacered inwales but lower.  They have much more flexibility in tiedown locations. They are as easy to make as CF pad eyes and you don't have carbon dust getting into your powertools. Gule 'em in with thickened epoxy. More pics here...




RE: Attaching eye straps to hull...

   Thanks Silver Salt. I have to say that I've really enjoyed your pics during my build. They were quite helpful along the way. Thanks again for the advice. 

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