One of the great things about kayaks is the fact that you can customize the heck out of them. Pad eyes, bungee lashing hooks, bungee buttons, J-hooks, anchor cleats, cam cleats, jam cleats, handles, rod holders, if you can dream it up you can find a place to rig it on your kayak.
In most applications a pop rivet is the answer but there is an important distinction between a normal pop rivet and a marine pop rivet. You want a rivet that will seal out water. A marine grade pop rivet will have a small rubber seal on the underside of the rivet edge. This seal compresses and keeps out the water.
One trick we use when installing marine pop rivets is make sure we don’t over tighten the rivet when clamping it down. We take it to the point that it is good and tight and then we stop. Then simply break the shaft off which insures that the center of the rivet stays in the rivet itself making it water tight.
If you have ‘oops’ and need to remove the rivet, here’s one of the ways we do it. We use an awl (think ice pick) to push the shank out of the middle of the rivet. You will hear it drop in the bottom of the kayak. Then re-insert the awl about 1/4″ down into the rivet hole and gently pry. When you start to pry it off, most often it breaks the rivet in two. Now you can start over.
There you have it. Marine pop rivets to install cool stuff on your kayak.