Re: [baidarka] lashing and Snow Seal

Todd Schlemmer (
Sun, 10 May 1998 08:02:59 -0700

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 08:02:59 -0700
From: Todd Schlemmer <>
Subject: Re: [baidarka] lashing and Snow Seal
In-Reply-To: <>

I did an informal comparison of nylon cable ("zip") ties vs. lashings
(tarred nylon seine twine) some years ago. I really liked the idea of
cable ties, but several things disuaded me from using them for anything
other than quick and dirty assembly.

I used #12 tarred seine twine and 3/16th inch wide (nylon?) zip ties. I
don't have more specifics on what I tested.

1. Lashings - particularly nylon - retain a reserve of elasticity. Any
stress on the lashing pulls on ALL of the lashing and then elastically
retightens. Zip ties stretch and DO NOT return to original tightness.

2. Pulling on a joint "lashed" with a zip tie popped apart with moderate
stress. In all cases, the "ratchet" part of the cable tie pulled through
when the tie failed. Pulling on a genuine lashed joint NEVER failed
because of a broken lashing (the wood that was lashed would crack, split,
crush). I use simple single lashings that pass from gunwale to gunwale,
crossing each longitudinal along a single rib (replacing a rib is much
simplified compared to the "greenland style" of lashing that follows a
longitudinal) There are some good diagrams in Qayaq by Zimmerly. #12
seine line is about half or a third of the width of the zip ties I tested.

3. Cable ties are vastly more expensive (one a per boat basis) than nylon
twine. Even at costco.

4. Tarred nylon seine twine smells good (like tarred marline)

5. The tension you can build into a "lashed" joint with a zip tie is
limited to the "ratchet strength" of the tie. Too much tension and it
justs pops through. The smaller dimension of the twine allows you to build
more tension into the lashing as you work. You will want to wear leather
gloves (garden gloves with the tips of the fingers removed work well) when
you do this, otherwise you will pull the flesh from your hands the first
few boats.

I haven't since seen any developments in cable ties that might cause me to
change my opinion. I'd be interested in anything anyone else has
experienced with cable ties.


At 07:38 PM 5/7/98 -0700, you found the courage to say:
>Has anyone used plastic cable ties or Tywraps as lashing? I know it would be
>faster to assemble. They make a little gun like tool to tension and then
>cutoff the excess in one squeez. I know someone will say it has no soul,but
>I'll be doing great if I can finnish a project before I loose interest.
>How well does Snow-seal work? I think Mr. Brink mentions useing it in his
>At my harware store I see it comes in a gray primer and a white top coat. Is
>it normal to use both? I'm talking about the rubberized plastic paint for
>roof coating. I've never used it. I'm wondering if it workes equally well on
>nylon cloth (from G. Dyson) or on cotton canvas?
>BTW my copy of The Aleutian Kayak just fits perfectly into an old empty
>GODIVA chocolates box. It's gold! And it brings an inner smile!
>Cheers,Steve Yahn