Bungee Boat Strap

Once again on the boat and something broke. It really doesn't happen that often, just now and then. We were just about to launch the boat and was in the process of securing the ladder when the end of the rubber ladder strap broke. That's not the end of the world but it is nice not to have the ladder hanging down and dragging in the water all day. Besides that, dragging your ladder lands you in the clueless category and I don't need the extra help with that. We could have just simply tied it in place but that means untying it every time we wanted to use it.

Bungee cord (shock cord) to the rescue. We keep a few Bungee straps of different sizes on the boat. Each of our straps had a hook on each end. Choosing a size that would provide enough tension to hold the ladder up while easy to hook or unhook from the ladder, we were on our way. We hooked the strap to the cleat on the boat and then to the ladder. This worked great and everybody liked it. It was far easier to use than the much harder rubber strap that came with the boat. After several uses we found a flaw in the system. When removing the hook from the ladder if you let it slip from your hand there was enough tension (stretch) to flip it by the cleat. Not so bad except the hook also came out of the middle of the cleat and the strap was in the water. Side note, we like so many on Lake Powell have donated our share to the bottom of the lake. Mostly orange flags (most of them are made not to float--go figure) with our best donation being our truck key and fob (yes, we know what key floaties are and the story is longer than that). Not wanting to add to the treasures at the bottom of the lake and needing the strap my wife jumped in and grabbed it before went to the bottom.

Paracord to the rescue. I tied a piece of 550 paracord securely to the cleat and the bungee cord. I tied the paracord to the bungee cord with enough slack that it didn't hinder its ability to stretch. This attached the bungee cord to the boat keeping it out of the bottom of the lake. No more problems. This arrangement worked fine all day and I'm keeping it like this because we like it better.

All this worked great in the water while we were playing. I did find out that the way we had the bungee strap did not provide enough tension for traveling down the road. The ladder could bounce off the hook at highway speeds. On the bright side the bungee cord secured by the paracord was still attached to the cleat and did not end up highway trash. We were able to use the broken rubber strap to get home. Without it's tip to pull on its just that much harder to use. I've ordered a new rubber strap to use while transporting the boat back and forth to the lake.

Sometimes the first quick response to solving or repairing a problem could have been done easier upon reflection. After all was done I wondered why I hadn't simply chosen the next longer bungee strap and cut off one of the hook ends. I could have adjusted for length and tied the hookless end to the boat cleat. Problem solved. However, when all this began, and I first hooked the bungee cord to the cleat I didn't think it would pop off. Naturally when it did I used paracord to secure it.

M. Shane Sullivan, Owner/Manager of Paracordglalaxy.com