Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

I'm going to put a set of hiking straps in my Northeaster Dory fairly soon. Has anyone else already done so? I'd like to learn anything I can from their experiences before designing my own version of this minor improvement.

By the way, I have perched on the rail to keep the boat flatter in high wind conditions, and I've used some rope as a safety hiking strap (to avoid man-overboard). With that background I think I'm ready for something more permanent.

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RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?


Sorry I have no experience at all with this. All I have to say is “I want to see video” when this is done!! I hope it works out well.

RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

I'm interested in that video, too. I've got to have warmer weather (in case I capsize), a rip-roaring wind from the right direction, and a bit more commitment from my wife to become a videographer!   


RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

    I'm intrigued! 

I've often thought of putting some in mine for the very same reasons,...

I'd like to see your implementation...  do you have any plans to share?


RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

 Birch2 said, "...........   I have perched on the rail to keep the boat flatter.........."

If you're going to do this I suggest some hiking straps. However, holding a long tack in this position will likely be uncomfortable. Parts might be sore, weak, "asleep" when attempting a tack.

RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

   I singlehand my NE Dory a lot and found that in any serious wind i need to hike out when going to windward. This past summer i installed a hiking strap and it works great, makes a real difference in trim and in safety. (Sitting on the rail and leaning out, without something to hook your feet under and while sailing solo is a really unsafe thing to do!)

I use some 1" polypropylene webbing strap, purchased from clc, and a side quick-release buckle.  I glued a mahogany padeye to the deck on the centerline just fwd of the after thwart.  The padeye can be very low in profile (to reduce toe-stubbing potential) because the slot for the strap only needs to be 1/8" deep.  Then I screwed a ~3" strip of the webbing to the daggerboard trunk sloped part just forward of and just above the center thwart, with two brass screws and finishing washers. There is a screw on each side of the trunk, and the webbing over the middle of the trunk becomes a Padeye you can reeve the hiking strap through.  Then i just loop a long piece of the webbing through each of these two attachement points and buckle it in the middle. (So there are two layers of strap essentially).  Pull it tight and there's your centerline hiking strap.  The reason i didnt use a wooden or metal padeye on the fwd end is that would dig into your backside when you row from the center thwart.  The webbing "padeye" is flat and won't bother you, and you have plenty of wood to screw into with the daggerboard trunk case there.

When you don't need the hiking strap, just remove it and get it out of the way. 

Needless to say the padeye needs to be strong and quite securely glued to the deck.  A ripout while you were hiking would certainly cause you to fall overboard!  I chiseled off the epoxy and glass there and glued directly to the deck plywood.  

RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

   I might suggest that you try a pair of Zhik Deckbeater shorts to protect your posterior.  The K-1 seat in my racing kayak is pretty small/hard/uncomfortable and they really help.  I wish that I had found them when I raced Lasers.

RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

Thanks for the detailed information, NYyaker. Your way of attaching the strap makes a lot of sense to me. Like you, I have found a hiking strap makes a huge difference when sailing in high wind. I'm surprised that it hasn't been adopted more widely on the boat.

And yes, Mark, padded shorts will help on the rail. Another use for my well-worn cycling shorts.  

RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

   A lot of time has passed, and I've sailed my dory quite often in high winds. My solution for hiking straps has been primitive -- but effective. Essentially I drop some 1/4" nylon line over the dagger well, run it down through the limber holes, over the bulkhead for the aft (removable) thwart, forward through the limber holes of that thwart, and tie both ends of the line together. That sounds complicated, I know. But it's pretty obvious what to do if you're trying to run two strands of 1/4" nylon through the limber holes to create hiking straps. The line goes over the aft bulkhead in order to raise it enough so that I can get a foot under it. 

Hiking on the rail of the Northeaster Dory very quickly becomes a pain in the butt. This has led me to my second innovation. I cut two sections of 4" foam noodle, sliced it open, wrapped it in black Gorilla tape, and velcroed it to the rails where I like to sit when hiking. These hiking cushions are not things of beauty, but they make an enormous difference in comfort. Here is a link to a couple of pics. (Please let me know if the pictures cannot be viewed.) They might even help stabilie the boat if I ever capsize.

RE: Hiking Straps in Northeaster Dory?

"(Please let me know if the pictures cannot be viewed.)"

Works fine!   

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