-- Last Updated: Oct-15-13 11:39 AM EST --
Sure you can just tie a rope to the carrying thwart, if there is one. That's usually what I do if there's not already a through-hull attachment point, and it's what I do for tie-downs on the car roof since that way there's no side-to-side movement possible between two opposing tie-downs like there is if those opposing tie-downs attach to a loop that goes through the hull (the bigger the loop, the farther the boat can move one way or the other before stopping). But attaching a rope much lower than gunwale height on the hull is better for such purposes as lining through rapids. The ideal lining attachment is a bridle which puts the point of pull directly under the hull, on the keel line, because then, no matter how sideways to the direction of pull the boat might turn when in strong current, it won't flip. Putting your attachment point a lot lower than gunwale height by means of a hole through the stem does a lot to reduce flip potential when the boat gets crosswise to the current, even if it doesn't completely eliminate it like a bridle does. All that is based on the idea that a tug-eye is even needed, which it would be if the attachment point were very low on the stem. As Pete points out below, for attaching a loop well above the waterline, simply drilling through the hull is all you need to do (no liner tube is needed).
Wall Mount Boat Racks
Cartop Kayak Carriers
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