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Old 02-19-2013   #1
lchastai's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Outfitting canoes for multi-day class II trips

Hi all!

I'm getting my two canoes ready to lead a San Juan trip this summer with the Boy Scouts (I've done this trip in my raft before, but this trip will be canoes). I have a Tripper and an AlumnaCraft - both 17'.

I would like to add attachment points on the gunwales of both canoes, plus attach D rings to the floors, in order to securely attach my gear into the boats. As my Tripper is Royalex, and my AlumnaCraft is aluminum, I expect the manner of adding attachment points will be quite different.

I would also like to talk the Boy Scout troop into doing the same thing with the troop's canoes. I took this same troop down Ruby Horsethief last fall - great trip, but all of our gear needs a little work!

I haven't done any permanent damage to either canoe (yet) - before I start drilling or glueing I thought I would ask the knowledgeable folks in MB...

Thank you in advance for any suggestions - I'm really looking forward to this trip!

Cheers! Lynne

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Old 02-19-2013   #2
Groveland, California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 201
Don't know about attaching d-rings to the hull of an aluminum boat? Might try posting on (Communities tab/message boards.) A lot of knowledgeable canoe guys over there, someone can point you in the right direction.

For the Royalex boat take a look at the tie downs made by Northwater. I mounted a bunch of them in my canoe and really like them. Think I bought them from Rutabaga?

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Old 02-19-2013   #3
Scottsdale, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 48
Mohawk also sells outfitting supplies and they have detailed pictures on their website on how to glue them in.
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Old 02-19-2013   #4
lchastai's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Thans so much for the information - I will check those out. Lynne
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Old 02-19-2013   #5
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,147
A long time ago I got a some long plastic strips that had gromets in ever 12 inches or so that rivet up under the gunwale and run along either side of my canoe (4 strips total). I did some googling but can't seam to find this product. I am sure they still exist, but aint sure what they are called. They should be able to be installed on your aluminum canoe too. I have them on my roylex boat.

you can see them sort of in this pic:

another tip, if you are running water you are pretty sure you will stay upright in and want to have a good little kitchen box, the small action packer with some narrow sticky foam insulation strip installed round the rim of the box (to form a pretty good seal) works great for splash infiltration. Also the smaller canyon coolers are pretty cano pimp worthy, this size or smaller:
29 Quart White [CC29LB-White] - $149.99 : Premium Coolers, Canyon Coolers
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Old 02-20-2013   #6
Chief Niwot's Avatar
West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 643
Go to and do a search, tons of info. I use Vynabond for Royalex boats to put down D-rings. The process of doing it right must be followed to the T or you can ruin your hull.

Don't use action packers, if you are running rapids or have beginners. You need dry bags or something that provides complete dryness, if there is any chance you can flip.

Once we were running the Moab Daily many years back, camped at Onion Creek and a group of boy scouts came down. They hit the first rapid, Onion Creek, and at least 10 boats flipped. They had no dry bags, nothing tied down, no floatation, it was a real mess. Alway rig to flip and use floatation, regardless of the water.

Not sure what part of the San Juan you are doing or when you are doing it, but there are a few rapids that can swamp an unprepared canoeist. At high water, it can be swift, and there can be sand waves. I would not recommend a metal canoe or a Coleman canoe with a keel.
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Old 02-20-2013   #7
bgarnick's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 21
I use glued in D-rings in my Royalex canoe and also outfitted the iinside of the gunwales with these screw mounted tie-down kits from NRS. You can epoxy the stainless screws for additional strength depending on your use.

Screw Mounted Tie-Down Kit at
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Old 02-26-2013   #8
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168
I have found the Mike Yee website to be the best resource for step by step instructions and also a resource for materials. Web loops hurt less when your knees smack into them and can be more versatile.

I have a Royalex boat with vinyl gunwales and I drilled holes in the gunwales and tied small loops of parachute cord for tying in cargo as well as lacing for floatation bags.

If you send an e-mail to the Mike Yee guys (do a googl e search for Mike Yee outfitting) they should be able to help you figure out if you can glue d-rings or tie-down loops to an auminum canoe or if that isn't possible. You may only be able to rivet something into the bottom of the hull.

I have played with tons of rings and glue in royalex boats so feel free to PM me if you want to learn from my experience.

Good luck,

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Old 03-06-2013   #9
lchastai's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 36
Thanks, guys, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do now. I really appreciate your input Lynne

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