Ropes tied to handles

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PJohanson
Posts: 672
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Ropes tied to handles

Post by PJohanson » Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:58 pm

Happy Christmas season to all!
For my paddling friends, I'm making some little gifts -- ropes to tie onto the handles of their kayaks. These come in two styles.
On the bow handle of my AE kayaks, I keep a tow rope tied. This 20 ft. rope is always in place. One end is tied with a bowline to the handle, and the rest is coiled ready to be tugged free. Only once has one of my inflatable kayaks needed to be towed for a short distance.
On the stern handle, I keep a short rope tied. One end is tied with a bowline to the handle, and the other end is tied to the middle of a short piece of wood for a toggle. After the knots are tied, there's only about a foot of rope left between the knots. This is a trick I learned from a sea kayaking video. A person who has fallen into the water in windy or rough weather might find it hard to hang onto the side or end of a kayak. This short rope is a handle that can be reached from the water whether the kayak is upside down or right side up.

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PJohanson
Posts: 672
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:48 pm
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Post by PJohanson » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:53 am

Oh yes! In my paddling group, we all carry throw bags with 50 feet of floating rope stuffed inside. These make a nice neat bundle. Once in a while we practice throwing rope to each other (it's harder than you'd think!) and towing one another around.
A throw bag is an essential piece of gear. Since 50 feet of floating rope (or rope with a float tied to it) is required by Canadian boating laws, that's how much rope is in the bag.
These little ropes tied to the handles are in addition to the throw bag. I've always had a short tow rope about 20 feet long tied to the bow of my AE inflatables as well. The short bit of rope with a toggle to grab is new.
We were watching a video the other night and there was advice to make a rope handle like this so if you are in the water beside your boat you'd have something easy to grab. I'm going to see how much easier this dangling rope handle actually makes it for me to hang onto the boat. Time for another safety practise session, swimming with the boats!

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