installing grabloops/handles in K1?

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installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by michielv »

Hi all,

Last year I got myself a nice Vajda Accelero (basic layup so relatively heavy compared to a marathon layup but it was all I can afford at the moment. Kids are expensive :) ) and I would like to install grab handles so I can carry the boat on a portage.

However, I haven't the foggiest idea how to do this properly and no examples as everyone in my club only paddles our local marathons that have no portages.

I was thinking to take some rope (the same kind used on deck lining on sea kayaks), fray the ends and epoxy/glass them in. Drilling a hole to use a knot to secure the rope sounds not the way to go: a knot on the inside will get in the way and on the outside, well, no.

Does this sound like a good plan or will this come apart too easily? Provided the epoxy/hardener is mixed properly and everything sets correctly I think it should work out but I'd rather not risk dropping my boat due too some foolish construction.

Thanks in advance & Cheers,


Eliza Dolittle
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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

A couple of options I have seen on other boats,
A shaped piece of wood , I think it was screwed in through the wall of the kayak, to provide a lip for your fingers to curl round.The wood wasn't much bigger than a pencil, but square, not rounded.
A piece of rigid plastic hosepipe to provide proper handles but I am not sure how it is fixed. I will look at the weekend.
I think that your rope handles may be floppy and move about, so slower to grab on a portage. We have an old K2 with rope grab handles and they have been covered with lots of tape so they are now rigid.
You may find that just roughing up the surface inside the cockpit rim will improve your grip enough.

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James Hinves
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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by James Hinves »

I have used the wood option and it works - but better and easier one of the members of my club has used electric cable trunking (white box shape that will flex along the length of the cockpit - it needs to be quite long to allow for water in the boat and the wind.

the other option is to use the rope inside the hose as liz suggests and bolt it through the cockpit rim - if you have access to some one who can crimp eyelets in to cable to replace the rope even better.

The newer marsport boats have the wood strip moulded into the cockpit rim so there are no adjustments needed.

The majority of the portages however will be on the shoulder as in addition to the weight of the boat you will have up to a kg of emergency kit see the rules here ... 0rules.pdf and portaging on the shoulder will save the wrists.



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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by michielv »

Luckily the emergency kit is not required on the kind of marathons I paddle, the boat itself is heavy enough (11 - 12 kg, it's a standard sprint layup) ;-)

The Vajda cockpit has a perfect finish and the cockpit rim is really flush with the hull so I don't have a decent grip. From this the wooden rail sounds like a good option.

Thanks for all the tips, please keep more information coming, it will be shared too!



ian sinclair
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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by ian sinclair »

i seen hose pipe or webbing used to make the loops
screwed in place with nylon bolts is this what your thinking about
in cockpit eitherside in K1 or back front deck K1

Chris Bolton
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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by Chris Bolton »

If I was fixing a wooden lip at the cockpit rim, I'd sandpaper the rim and use araldite along the full length of the strip, rather than trying to screw it.


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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by Stuart_J »

Realistically, if you haven't done it already there are a couple of options..

Wood stuck on the inside of the rim (thats what i did on my marathon VADJA supersonic) but you need to make sure you get the balance point of the boat sorted and make the wood long enough to allow movement of your grip for water in the boat.

The second (and a bit more obvious) is using a solid handle of some sort on the outside ( typically purpose bent aluminum) which is bolted on using a hole through the boat and the load spread using a large diameter washer.

I wouldn't go for webbing or rope as it allows no directional control and generally the front and back of the boat suffer.. different matter for K2's but not a great idea for K1's in my opinion.

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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by Ivan »

If you want a professional job done Mark Giddings will fit the wooden rails on theinside of your boat. 07849844130

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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by michielv »

Unfortunately I live in the Netherlands so shipping the boat would not only increase costs a lot but, having had quite a few bad experiences with sending surf and polo kayaks from the UK, will wreck my K1 most definitely.

Weather and temperatures are improving so I can finally get to this job. Just to be on the safe side, could someone be so kind to post some images of inside rails, just so I have a general idea of what it should look like? I am fairly competent with wood and resin so it's not lack of skills, just an extra check.

Thanks in advance and cheers,


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Re: installing grabloops/handles in K1?

Post by WashRider »

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