Re: Float bags and swampi

Posted by Randy Knauff on Jan 21, 2005

Every bit of displacement and floatation helps. It may not be a good as the fully sealed off bulkheaded area, but it still helps.

I've seen kayakers forget to put the neoprene cover on under hatch covers and become much more of a submarine than if they had had some displacement bags. Displacement bags can leave a kayak partially submerged but still much easier to empty than a Cleopatra's needle situation.

I have seen unsecured hatch covers blow away on beaches leaving the person to paddle back with an open hatch if they didn't bring correct emergency gear even for day paddling. Heavy garbage bags or visqueen and bungee cord take up little room and can be made into hatch covers or even a spray skirt with a little duct tape. And lots of float bags leave far less room for any water that may enter under any unplanned conditions.

I like the tapered sto-floats that can be used just as air displacement but also are a drybag for gear when you want it. They do double duty and are cheap insurance.

They also can be used to hold long trip gear in place/from shifting if your are not packed completely full.

I carry woven poly bags also. You can fill with sand, beach gravel or rocks and suck a unladen kayak down some for added stability if things roughen up while out. Displacement bags inflated around them help hold them in place.

Displacement/floatation baggs go on every paddle, day or long trip. They have made paddling much more relaxed for a number of students and less experienced paddling friends too.

The best safety equals good skills and thinking ahead about equipment and conditions.


In Response to: Float bags and swamping by Rick on Jan 20, 2005