Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Installing Deck Rigging - A Quick and Easy Project!

Hi everyone. My tandem Mainstream Escapade kayak is classified as "recreational" and did not come with factory installed aft deck rigging. I decided to install rigging so I could lash gear (e.g. paddle float, spare paddle, etc.) to the deck and be able to get to it quickly in an emergency.

Aft deck with a hatch facade. I assume this model may be ordered with an actual operational hatch and bulkhead. I decided to put the empty deck to better use.
I ordered a round deck fitting hardware set from Hook 1 Kayak Fishing Gear. I don't fish, but the company carries a large selection of kayak accessories that many yakers will find useful.

I also purchased 10 feet of shock cord (e.g. bungee) from our local REI store and also got some helpful tips on how to install the rigging.

I used a 13/64th drill bit and drilled 4 holes through the deck. My kayak is made of hard plastic and after getting the holes started, it was a quick and easy job. I made sure to position the holes well above the water line and approximately 11 inches apart, following the example of the forward deck rigging.

I screwed the plastic guides down using a Phillips head screwdriver and pair of pliers to prevent the nut and washer from turning on the underside of the deck. It was definitely a "2 handed" job!

The 4 plastic shock cord guides installed.

I pushed the shock cord through the plastic guide and tied off one end.

I pulled the shock cord across the deck, pushed it through one end of the plastic guide located opposite of my tied off end and then looped it back, going in the opposite direction. I had to loosen the screw to be able to tuck the cord under the plastic guide.

Important tip from the REI paddle associate. Be sure to burn / melt any shock cord ends that you cut to keep the ends from unraveling. Once the shock cord was installed, I had to pull hard on the loose end to tie it off.

Volia! Installed aft deck rigging!
Project took under an hour to complete and increased my usable deck storage area by 100%. It was quick and easy, requiring only household tools and no special skills. :-O My kind of "do-it-yourself" project!


  1. Do you worry about the holes leaking if the yak is inverted for any length of time? Seal them?


  2. Hi Arthur! Actually, have not given it much thought! Drilled holes are very small... screws have washers... and plastic guides provide some water protection. I could use a sealent and caulk around the holes. Thanks for your comment!

  3. You can use the propper size of rubber O-ring on any screw installed into the plastic of a Kayak.

  4. . . . or you could just use clear silicon sealer out of a tube. Cheap and easy to use. Sets up in a few hours and any excess (if you get sloppy or over zealous in your application) can be trimmed easily. I've done this on all my deck fittings to minimize any water drippings.


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