Best flotation system for

Posted by skiffrace on Dec 5, 2007

I am trying to decide on the best flotation system to use for my kayak. Currently I use a sea sock, but I think it may not be adequate in severe conditions.

Here are the options I consider along with their pros (+) and cons (-)

***** Option 1. Bulkheads and internal hatches (accessible from the cockpit) (+) Watertight bulkheads are the floatation standard. (+) Unlimited cargo-carrying potential. (+) No holes/leaky hatches on the deck. (+) Bulkheads strengthen the boat by stiffening the hull (according to some).

(-) If a bulkhead/hatch fails 1/3 to 2/3 of boat fills with water. (-) Added weight to the boat (-) Bulkheads weaken the boat by creating stress points (according to some)

****** Option 2. Sprayable insulation foam filling the bow and stern sections. (+) Permanent floatation that is always working no matter what (+) Light, cheap innovative solution that should be easy to "install"

(-) Once in place the area left for cargo cannot be increased (-) Not sure how the foam will hold up in the long run. (-) Unorthodox solution (has anyone done it).

******* Option 3. A few (2-4) cone-shaped and progressively larger rolls of bubble wrap encased in plastic tape (to hold the shape) and stuck in the bow and stern section. (+) The volume of floatation/cargo room may be changed by adding/removing cones. (+) Always works no matter what. (+) Light, cheap and easy to install.

(-) Not sure how the cones will should up in the long run. (-) Unorthodox solution (has anyone done it).

I am somehow attracted to option 3. I wonder if it has any "legs" in your opinion.


PS. This website could really benefit from search functionality, perhaps all these questions have been asked (and answered) before)