Pad eyes are extremely useful pieces of rigging hardware. They can be used to clip rod leashes to, they can be used as running eyes for anchor trolleys, kayak seats can be attached to them as well as a having a myriad of other uses. They are also very easy to install as this short tutorial will demonstrate. Click on any of the images for a larger size and more detailed view.
The first thing to do is to gather all tools and hardware that you will use for this install. For this project I will be using bolts to fix the pad eye to the kayak but rivets will work just as well. I am using bolts because the kayak hatch allows me to reach the inner part of the installation easily and I just feel that bolts may have a better purchase.
Mark, drill and remove any burrs from the holes that will accommodate the bolts.
As with any installation on a kayak, it is a good idea to add a generous amount of ‘Marine Goop’ or similar sealant to the drilled holes to create a truly watertight seal on the finished installation.
Attach the pad eye with the bolts or rivets and the job is complete. Excess ‘Marine Goop’ or sealant can be scraped away when it has cured properly.
The instructions for this simple project can be replicated for the fitting of any small installation project such as pad eyes, J hooks and a host of other deck fittings.
Most good kayak fishing suppliers will carry all sorts of hardware and equipment for rigging projects. I sourced mine from Hook1 and if you decide to order from them at www.kayakfishinggear.com then use the coupon code ‘HOOK1IRISH’ to qualify for a 10% discount on your purchases. Their rigging and hardware section can be found here.