Flags for Folbot Greenland II

Author: Lutz Pietschker
Version: 2012-07-29

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Everything below is built, but not tested. Copy at your own risk!

OK, a boat needs a flag. Or better two. International law says you have to fly your national flag on the stern when you are abroad; it is also a nice custom to fly the flag of the guest country on the bow (having no mast and cross-tree, where this flag belongs normally). Inland, many people fly their club or association flag as a jack (in my case the pennant of the DKV = Deutscher Kanuverband). The Greenland II does not come with flag poles or even mounts, so I had to think of something myself. On this page I present two solutions each for bow and stern flag poles. Things to keep in mind are:

In both cases I made the flag poles from an aluminium tube, 6 mm outer / 4 mm inner diameter, about 250 mm long, with 2.5 mm holes drilled for the flag lines. For the mount, I tried two alternatives: cable glands (PG 7 size) to clamp the pole into, and 4 mm threading to screw the pole onto.


Here is what I used, of course you can vary that as needed. Some dimensions were simply determined by the material I had at hand.


  1. Aluminium tube 6x1, 250-300 mm per flag
  2. Threaded rod or sawn-off bolt, M4, stainless steel
  3. Aluminium strip, 10x2 mm, 30 mm long
  4. Threaded coupling, M4x20, hexagonal, wrench size 7, bronze or brass (often used as PCB spacers)
  5. Tension spring, outer diameter 7,8 mm, wire 1 mm, 60 mm long (eyelets removed), stainless steel
  6. Cable gland PG 7 (for cable 3…6.5 mm), with nut, plastic
  7. Velcro, or better 3M Dual Lock tape (normal Velcro is probably too weak)

When glueing parts together, make sure that the surfaces are very clean and completely free of grease. It may be best to roughen the surfaces a bit with a file, in particular when glueing plastic parts against metal.

Flag Staffs

The staff for the clamp mount is simple: Just the aluminium tube, nothing else. In the example you also see a security line to keep the flag from getting lost.

simple flag staff

The staff for the threaded mount is built from 3 parts: the tube, a tension spring and a threaded coupling. File the coupling down to 6 mm round on a length of 10-12 mm; it is easy if you clamp it into the chuck of an electric drill and apply the file while it runs.

improvised turning lathe

Glue the spring to the tube and the filed-down part of the coupling. Iit is best to screw a greased M4 bolt into the coupling's thread to make sure that no glue runs into the thread and renders it unusable.
The spring makes sure that the staff can fold down instead of breaking when it runs into an obstacle.

spring-loaded flag staff

Mounts for Bow Flag (Jack)

You need to extend the bow protector a bit. It is a bit tricky to get the screwdriver into the bow, but it is possible:

extenson plate for bow protector

Threaded Mount

An aluminum strip, with a threaded hole in the middle. Glue 15-mm piece of M4 threaded rod into it. Make two counter-sunk holes to screw it to the plastic bow protector of the boat with very short stainless screws.

threaded mount

Clamp Mount

Glue the nut to the cable gland so that it forms a flat surface. Glue self-adhesive velco hook or 3M Dual Lock tape to that surface.
Glue self-adhesive Velcro pile or 3M Dual Lock tape to the plastic bow protector of the boat. This tape should be considerably larger than the cable gland so that in case of impact the two velcro tapes are pulled apart, not the pile tape from the plate.

bow plate with Velcro
flag in clamp mount

Because the mount comes completely off on impact, it is best to secure the flag staff to the boat with a line. And to be honest, I do not really trust this mount, it is probably not up to rough conditions.

Mounts for Stern Flag

At the stern the mount must be far enough outside the center line of the boat, otherwise the rudder blade will chop the flag off when you flip it up.

Threaded Mount

To my surprise, the rudder assemply shackles for the steering lines came with a metric thread (M4). I replaced one of the bolts with an M4 stainless steel bolt and countered with a nut. This left me with 15 mm of threaded bolt pointing upward. Voila.

shackle modification
Thread-mounted flag

Clamp Mount

Prepare the rudder shackle as described above. Glue a coupling unto the hole of a cable gland; before doing so, clamp a 6 mm rod or tube into the gland to limit the depth for inserting the coupling. It is best to screw a greased M4 bolt into the coupling's thread to make sure that no glue runs into the thread and renders it unusable.
Screw the complete assembly onto the extended shackle bolt.

Clamp-mounted flag

Note: This mount does not give way when snagging and may damage the rudder assembly in that case. On the other hand, it is well-protected when paddling forward– if #2 does not snag, neither will the flag.

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Written and published by Lutz Pietschker. Please send comments about technical problems to the site master.
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, last change 2011-03-12