Submitted byRandy onMon, 04/16/2018 - 13:52

OK, I am down to the last thing I don't know about kayak building :))

I have seen photo's on this forum (can't find them now of course :() of the bow/stern carry straps that are tied together in such a way that they form a handhold 3-4 times the diameter of the rope itself with a rope end sticking out each side of the handhold. I have perused several web sites looking at knot photo's but don't seem to find it. I am sure it would help if I knew the name of the knot, which I don't.

Will someone please point a finger in the direction I need to go :)
Thank you,


I just found a photo of a "common whipping knot" which is similar to what I am looking for.

If it helps giving me advice I am looking for a handhold that does not have anything solid in it that would clunk against the side of the boat.


Thank you rbodelon, that may be it. I thought the handle part was a larger diameter from the photo's I saw but this knot may do. I will try tying it a few times tomorrow and see how it looks.

Thanks again,



Tue, 04/17/2018 - 08:10

I know what you're looking for and I went through that too. I had a light S&G rolling boat and wanted to keep it simple. I made my own knot. Look up a hangman's knoose.  I brought up one loose end and made a long "S" shape with a lot of extra rope. The other end makes a long "U" shape. one end of the "U" shape goes through the loop end of the other piece. Then you wrap the other end round and round forming a thickness like a handle and and it goes through the loop on the other end. When you tighten that up, it will not slip. Hope I am kind-of clear. That's basically it and you get a thick, wound handle. I too never found an official knot like that. You might have to experiment a few tries. I'm working from memory and would have to try a few times myself.

For now I am going with rbodelon's Fishermans knot just to get the boat in the water. The actual handle is to small in diameter for me but I am using 1/4" line so going to 3/8" would probably help a lot.

Jay, I really like your modified Hangmans knot. Unfortunately, I have tied it many times this morning and, although I can tie a perfect Hangman's knot, I cannot grasp your modification to it. You said, " one end of the "U" shape goes through the loop end of the other piece." I am not getting this part? Inserting a loop into a loop is fine but I am not seeing anything that keeps them from pulling apart when completed.

I just thought maybe the end of the "S" shaped piece goes through this loop before the wrap arounds start ? I will try that next. 

I am sure you are by now regretting responding to this post but sometime when watching TV take your shoestring and see if you can describe the process in a way I might understand. I respond really well to the KISS method :)

Thank you,


The fisherman's knot is a good one to use.  The one Jay mentioned is the same knot climbers used to tie off a coil back when climbers knew how to coil a rope and it is a nice clean knot.  Do a search on alpine coil, you essentially do the same thing but you just make the wraps around the rope not the coil.  Here is a youtube link.



Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:02

In reply to by sbaxter

I should have mentioned you want to leave enough tail that you can pull it right inside the knot and you just cut the other end off flush with the knot.

Howie II

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 18:37

In reply to by Randy

I think I have exactly what you are looking for, but I cannot figure out how to attach a pdf file on this new forum. Would someone please point me in the right direction for that. As a fallback, how can I send a PM?

That is a very frusterating facet of this forum. On my aircraft forums it is exceedingly easy to post photo's and send private messages via PM (private message) Thats about the only fault I can find with this forum though :)


Fri, 04/20/2018 - 19:48

After playing around a bit with rope I always end up with a hangman's noose with is actually perfect for a grab handle.


Here it is:

You take the long end when its done, pass it through the boat and put it into the noose and tighten up the opening. You then adjust the length by putting a simple overhand knot on it to prevent it from slipping out of the noose.

Any tension tightens the noose and the other end cannot pull out with with the knot on it. The amount of loops you use to wind the knot makes the hand width.

Anyone figure out if you can edit your own post or delete it? I would have deleted my post describing my wrong memory of tying the knot.

Gentlemen, thank you very much for the knot directions.  Opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

rbodelon provided a list of 'bend' knots - didn't know knows were catagorized by classes ?

Howie emailed me some excellent directions on woven carrying handles and

Jay provided a good possibility of a modified 'hangmans' knot.

Putting all this info together I should be able to come up with a very acceptable handle

And a week ago I thought I was doing good just to tie my own shoes :)

Thank you all again,