Re: back up flotation

Posted by LeeG on Jan 21, 2005

The problem is it's a misnomer. A bulkheaded compartment is doing what it's supposed to do,,keep water out so rescues can be accomplised. A float bag will provide X amount of flotation but once there's a cubic foot of water sloshing around your ability to self/assist rescue will go from dificult to impossible in the conditions where it really matters. I'm not talking flat water "thread the needle" rescue practice. I'm talking about your rescuers ability to bring your boat across their lap or your ability to paddle a kayak with 100lb-200lbs of water in both ends WITH "back-up flotation". Basically if the hatches are off,,you're screwed. Sure float bags and dry bags will help keep the kayak an inch higher in the water but that's like saying all the wheels are on the car,,and they have 5psi with the gas station five miles away. There are solutions,,but they start with securing the hatch and then experiencing the limitations to a rescue with a float bag that occupies a fraction of the compartment volume. With my Mariner I put in two BIG float bags on top of each other in the bow,,it's about as effective as you'll ever get with float bags,,,and it still let in an extra 20lbs or so of water. The problem is that there are too many variables with float bags to think they can be a one-one "back-up". Put in a float bag in a compartment that doesn't fill the entire volume then take the hatch off and try a rescue,,there's a LOT of nook and cranny volume all around dry bags that will put an unacceptable amount of free water in the ends of a kayak,,,try maneuveraing on 2' waves with 4" of water in the ends of a's an eye-opener on what constitutes a "back-up". The fastek buckles can be perfectly acceptable,,it's just that people shouldn't use the aft deck straps like handles during rescues.

In Response to: Re: yeah,,I got issues by terry on Jan 21, 2005