Monday, April 19, 2010

Behold: The Lowly Toggle
All the talk is of length, beam, cock pit shape, chines and what have you, but this dangling ditty gets no respect and is often passed off as a grab loop. Mostly thought of as a means of carrying a boat, these little seemingly-listless loops can save our lives. It is a wonder then how much effort is made to reduce their worthiness.

Many boats have clips (not shown) to keep these little guys on deck so they won't tap-tap-tap against the ends of the hull while afloat. Many are kept very small or short for the same reason. Both these maneuvers, unfortunately de-power one of the more important uses of these circular saints.
There may come the day when, in the biggest of blows, you are forced to wet exit. It will be then, as you clutch paddle and boat, that you realize how much windage the hull has while beam to the wind. The only way you may be able to hold on is to reduce that resistance by letting the hull lie along the wind. That is, you will need to hold it at one end or the other. Did someone say, "where's the toggle?" And, by the way, how easy will it be to grab that little stingy piece of line now?

My belief is that a generous piece of line to grab is a welcome safety devise and not one to be underestimated. I guess I need to replace the ones on my Cetus...just as soon as the end-pour cures.

Paddle safe...


Anonymous said...

looks like the skies up north are as beautiful as they are down south. should we make a bet?

Ron said...

These innocuous looking little devices have been on my mind for awhile, in particular,the Valley toggle with the bungee. Be looking for a post on this subject soon.

gnarlydog said...

Silbs, I regard a sea kayak without a good "end toggle" a dangerous kayak.
I often paddle in seas where landing involves surf.
Occasionally I end up swimming (involuntarily :-) when close to the beach and I have to hang onto the kayak by the end toggle.
Even when hopping out of the kayak close to shore I hold the toggle to prevent the kayak being sucked back into the sea.
I have given the innocent toggle a lot of thought after a few incidents where poorly designed ones nearly severed my fingers.
I have compiled a comprehensive view on common design and not all of them are acceptable to me.
For more details check:

Silbs said...

I encourage all to click on Gnarly's excellent article on this subject.

JohnB said...

Indeed an excellent review of the end toggle/carry handle issue by Gnarly. Don't know if you noticed, but my Explorer has the single line (I did it when the looped line broke last year). I will be changing all of them soon.

Silbs said...

Suzette, only a photographer would have noted the sky in that photo. It was enhanced by use of a polarizing filter. You win.