Rigging with wet cord or dry?

What's the reasoning behind rigging a canoe with dry cord? I've always done it like that and I thought the reasoning was when the cord gets wet it tightens up, thus we were always taught to splash the rigging when you get in a canoe. Anyone have a good explaination, cause we get that question from time to time in our club?

Submitted by richajo on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 11:49pm



I'm assuming you are using cotton rope since synthetics generally won't be affected by water. When wetted, cotton swells up and the fiber length shrinks, making the rope stronger but shorter (and less elastic). I think most people want a fairly tight lashing for their rigging and that's easier to achieve with the dry rope (and easier on the hands) since you can stretch the rope more when dry.

Check out kanuculture.com (Steve West's website). He has short sections of his outrigger book viewable online. I think with the recent update to the book he's added a note about being too zealous with tightening rigging because of the potential damage which can occur.


#1 Mon, 03/08/2010 - 6:46am


Anowara, Great explaination! Yes we are using the ole cotton cord. Thanks for pointing me to kanuculture.com as well. I'll be sharing your info.


#2 Mon, 03/08/2010 - 7:21am


I just did some googling to confirm what I remembered from West's book and a couple discussions on here in the past. Glad to help.


#3 Mon, 03/08/2010 - 8:56am


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