Perimeter deck lines

Submitted byRich Greenberg onTue, 07/30/2019 - 15:26

Hi, I am new to this forum.  My wife and I have a couple of skin on frame kayaks.  They are beautiful and are built in a very traditional manner with no perimeter lines. As we venture out into Puget Sound more, I think I'd like to install perimeter lines. However, if possible, I'd like to avoid drilling holes.  Right now there are two sets of horizontal lines in front and back of the cockpit and a carrying handle at the bow and stern (all thick leather).  The first picture below shows how the boat is set up (not a picture of me).  My question is would it work to loop some leather tightly around the tip at the stern and bow to create an anchor  point for perimeter lines? The second picture seems to show something like I am refering to.  Thanks, Rich


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Rich Greenberg

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 15:30

Hi, apparently the pictures I was referring to are not allowed (from a different domain).  Hopefully, people will still be able to get an idea regarding my question.


Tue, 07/30/2019 - 16:17

Though you'll see a lot of DIY built kayaks without them, perimeter lines are an essential safety feature.

So it is good that you are going to install them.

You can upload pics (reasonable size files, not many MB, I think) from your computer to the forum here.

Check out:

Kudzu lines

deck lines

I don't think you'll be able to avoid screw holes, but I don't see why that would be a problem.

Builders have been using webbing and screws for line attachments to S&G plywood kayaks for years.

I've read SOF builders suggesting using a hot nail to melt a hole through the SOF fabric before drilling a pilot for a screw.


BTW, using a sea sock or air bags is pretty important in a SOF (without bulkheads), IMO.

Otherwise, search for 'kayak Cleopatra's Needle' :)

Brian Nystrom

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 17:26

Perimeter lines really need to be very securely attached and I depending on the shape of the bow and stern of your boat, that may not work. Even if it did, you'd still want them anchored at more places than just the end and the middle.

Rich Greenberg

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 19:35

Thanks to both of you for such quick responses.  We do have float bags in both kayaks fore and aft and I will work on adding perimeter lines.

As John has stated, no issues using webbing and screws/bolts (with washers) on stitch and glue plywood. I've been using that on my boats for 19-years now, never had a problem with leakage. That said, I have always used a marine grade silicone sealant to ensure that the seal is watertight. The sealant is injected into/onto the hole with the screw/webbing slightly lifted above the deck just before nesting it in its permanent place. Try not to use too much gets messy if there is excess stuff squishing out while you are tightening the bolt (if you use a nut-n-bolt).

Robert N Pruden