Tie downs and tethers

Hi folks, 

I'm getting within sight of finishing my Sassafras 12 and I've started giving some thought to car-topping it. I imagine it will sit in my Thule kayak rack OK, but I don't know what I'll tie the bow tie-down to. 

Also, it wouldn't be the worst to have something I could clip a tow rope to, in case I wanted to give someone a free ride in it (towing from my sea kayak.) 

What do folks do to have something to attach a line to? And does it mess up the good looks of the canoe? 


7 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Tie downs and tethers

having a place to tow from is a pretty good safety feature in any watercraft.

how to do it in a way that complements the looks is a bit of an art.

a small brass/bronze cleat https://www.clcboats.com/shop/products/boat-building-supplies-epoxy-fiberglass-plywood/boat-fasteners-hardware/bronze-cleat.html or a black version of the same is one option.

another approach is padeye https://www.clcboats.com/shop/products/boat-building-supplies-epoxy-fiberglass-plywood/boat-fasteners-hardware/brass-pad-eye.html

a boweye is also an option https://www.clcboats.com/shop/products/boat-building-supplies-epoxy-fiberglass-plywood/boat-fasteners-hardware/bow-eye-security-loop.html

in the clc pictures for a sasafras you can see a boat with a nice padeye https://www.clcboats.com/images/photos/boats/sassafras/2015/12/sass12--robert-davis_builtby-mike-mclaughlin-tx_boat-lives-in-southern-tennessee.jpg    looks good to me 

RE: Tie downs and tethers

   That's perfect, hspira. Thanks! 

I like how they offset the padeye so it screws into the cedar rail rather than the plywood deck. I had been thinking about that, but wasn't sure how it would look. That pic is perfect. 


RE: Tie downs and tethers

I thought I saw that CLC offers some nice looking carbon fiber padeyes.  I think they get them from the folks that make the PT-11 kits.

RE: Tie downs and tethers

Whatever you choose to do, remember that the force on any attachment point like that is likely to be much greater than just the force of gravity, and that sometimes the boat will weigh a lot more because you are in it when that happens.  You'd want to make sure that a sudden jerk on the line, possibly from a direction other than you might imagine, won't (1) leave your fine work drifting off like a feather in the wind, with (2) a big, ugly hole where the hardware ripped out, and (3) sorry looking bits of wood and epoxy clinging to the ripped out hardware dangling from the loose end of a line to tell the sad tale of how your boat came to go adrift like that.  Nothing spoils the looks of a nice boat quite like ripped out hardware.

If it were mine (I don't have one...yet, anyway...but have admired the design long enough to daydream about how I'd use one), I think I'd have pad eyes on the centerline, atop the little end decks, close to the stems but far enough back that I could through-bolt them with backing plates underneath.  That ought to be stout enough to resist most sudden jerks she might encounter.

Mind you, I'm the sort of sailor who gets nervous about going out in boats without ground tackle fit to hold her reliably in a hard chance.  In small boats, that can be a pretty small anchor, but it wants a place to secure the rode that won't rip out at the first jerk.  I'd want at least a bow line secured forward at all times--preferably spliced to the pad eye, with a thimble in the eye to keep it from chafing through--with the other end where I could reach it without going forward.  This could be used to tie off to a piling or dock quickly if needed, or bent onto the anchor rode after sufficient scope is paid out.  Some of my sailing friends think I'm a nervous old woman about stuff like this, but I ain't been shipwrecked yet.


RE: Tie downs and tethers

   Relative to the bow eye, I used the CLC 1-1/2" one.  Best quality bow eye I've seen...perfect for the application: (note one of the plates goes on the inside....I made big flat spots on both inside and outside for the plates to tighten against


RE: Tie downs and tethers

   Relative to tieing it down, here are some pics of my 17' dory   on our Honda Element...not easy but scale it down for yours

The lower part of the T-bar.  The welder made the cross bar which is bolted to the holes where the break away cables clip on, then he created new holes for the break away cables.  There are gussets for side to side rigidity.


My goat is 54" wide so it is wider than the stock Honda roof racks so I built a square frame of 2x6's.  Showing the rounded edges (1/2" router bit) on the 2x6 frame..also showing the S/S eye bolt that goes thru both 2x6's.  Note that the pads are red and green...used red pads on port and green on starboard.  It had to be done.


I have other pics...let me know if you want the link



RE: Tie downs and tethers

   Hi, I have built a Millcreek 13 & a Sassafras 12 & on both I did an epoxy end pour then CLC toggles. Strong enough to use as a tie dowm, look good & easy to remove if you change your mind. When I work out how to post photos I could send a link. Cheers, Chris. 

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.