Kayaking is an incredibly rewarding and fun activity, but it’s also vital to ensure you are safe when you take to the water. Part of this safety comes in securing your kayak correctly before you set off. Tying down your boat isn’t difficult, but if you’re new to kayaking, it may not be immediately obvious how it’s done. Here’s a helpful guide on how to tie down the bow and stern lines on your kayak.
1. Ensure you have the correct ropes
Before you begin tying down your kayak, you’ll first need to make sure you have the correct ropes. The most common materials for tie-downs are nylon or polypropylene lines, both of which are strong, durable, and easy to work with.
2. Identify the bow and stern of your kayak
The bow of the kayak is the front, pointed end, while the stern is the rear, wider end. The bow and stern can also be identified by looking at the kayak’s cargo hatch, which will always be at the stern.
3. Secure the bow line
Start by securing your bow line. You’ll want to attach the bow line to a secure point. A popular anchor point is the kayak’s handle, located at the bow. Thread the rope through the handle before looping the rope back over itself to make a simple hitch. Finally, pull the rope tight so that the kayak is secure.
4. Secure the stern line
Next, attach the stern line to the appropriate anchor point. Most kayaks will have a loop at the back of the kayak where you can thread the rope through. Loop the rope around the anchor point, and then double back and tie a knot by looping the end of the rope over the top of the rope and then threading it through the loop to create a hitch.
5. Ensure rope tension is correct
It’s crucial that your kayak is secured tightly before you take to the water. To check if you’ve done this correctly, stand alongside the kayak and give it a gentle shove. If it moves, it’s not tight enough. You should be able to push it gently and have the boat resist before gently returning to its starting position.
Securing your kayak before you head out is a safety measure that shouldn’t be overlooked. By following these steps, you’ll be able to take to the water knowing that your kayak is safely secured and ready for any excursion.