I’ve had my kayak for about 3 years now and I noticed two things. 1. One of my kayak deck bungee cords snapped and 2. I noticed a very small amount of water leaking in from one of the pad eyes.
The kayak deck bungee cords breaking are understandable in that they are exposed to the elements and eventually break. It’s always a good idea to rinse wash them really good after each and every outing. After a while, the kayak bungees will inevitably lose elasticity or snap. Eventually, you’ll need to replace your kayak deck bungees and it’s a good idea to do it before they break while holding your favorite kayak gear.
Although it makes a sense to replace the bungee cords after a while, I never thought I had to remember to check the pad eyes. I suppose it does make sense that these kayak pad eyes can become brittle over time and also snap off. The screws holding down the mounts can also weaken and become loose. When this happens water can get through the cracks and corrode the screws damaging the kayak in the process.
Whether you have a new kayak that came without deck bungee cords or you’re looking to replace your current ones, this article will help you easily install your kayak deck bungee cords and pad eyes.
How to install your kayak pad eyes and bungee cords
Step One: Preventative Maintenance
The first step to installing your kayak pad eyes and bungee cords is to gather preventative maintenance tools and supplies.
If you haven’t read through our kayak resources and learned how to take care of your kayak, stop reading and do so now.
The kayak maintenance supplies & tools list is below:
- UV protection cleaner like 303 Marine & Recreation Aerospace Protectant for kayaks. Products like 303 act much like sunblock and can extend the life of your kayak and kayak accessories.
- Philips head screwdriver
- Waterproof silicone: Sealants and adhesives are very important for kayak rigging as they will protect your kayak against unwanted leaks.
- Sharpie pen or marker to mark drill holes
- Needle nose pliers
Step Two: Identify Drill Holes
After you gather your kayak supplies and tools, place your kayak on a set of sturdy kayak stands. Once your kayak is secure, mark the holes you plan to drill where the kayak pad eyes and J hooks will live.
Step Three: Drill Holes
Drill small holes in the kayak where the hole markings were made. After you drill the holes, add your waterproof sealant in the hole or around the thread of the screw.
Step Four: Screw in Pad Eyes and Other Bungee Mounts
As mentioned in step three, don’t forget to use water sealant or silicone around the screws and inside the fresh holes. This will help prevent corrosion and water leakage over the long run.
Step Five: Bungee Installation
Tie one end of the bungee to any one of the pad eyes. It’s very important that the not you use to tie down the bungee to the pad eye is tight. Some people like to use shrink wrap to place around the knot and compress the two sides of the bungee cord together. If you go this route, use a hair dryer or lighter to shrink the wrap and secure the bungee.
Pull your bungee tight but not too tight. If you pull the bungee to tight it will not stretch any further. Pulling your bungee to tight will likely damage the kayak deck bungee and you’ll have to do this again.
Loop the bungee cord through the pad eye mounts and until you reach the pad eye that you started with. Tie down the end of the bungee similarly to how you tied down the first one.
After your kayaking trip, take your bungee off of the J-hooks and let it rest. Thoroughly rinse your replacement bungee cords with fresh water after each use to extend the cords life span.
We love hearing from our readers, so please share your stories or tell us your kayak maintenance tips and tricks to help other paddlers.
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