Looking for some help. My first kayak that friends and family still use when coming out with me is the Sundolphin Aruba 10. There is ZERO floatation in this boat… no bulk heads etc. Now that i’ve upgraded to a CD kayak, i’ll be letting others use the Aruba to come out with me…
With that said… not many, if any of them are big kayakers (yet), so I want them to be safe. I want to install at least a float bag in the Stern, if not the bow as well before it starts to get too much use. It seems that the Harmony and NRS float bags are most popular… but i’m torn as to which one would work best? There is the NRS Standard Stern bag… small size?
Then there’s twin split bags (mainly used for bow I guess)…
Anyone else use air bags in a rec 10’ kayak… and what did you use?
Keep in mind that a float bag can only do so much. In this case, the float bag would at best keep the kayak from totally sinking (which likely isn’t an issue - they probably have enough foam blocks stuck in to ensure that doesn’t happen). But adding float bags wouldn’t likely be able to float the boat enough for someone to get back in while in deep water.
There aren’t that many companies who make float bags, and Harmony (and likely NRS) probably don’t make their own. So brand-wise really comes down to which has better warranty/availability. I’d buy either.
Float bags will fill space you have. So getting a larger general shape one and then just inflating it in place will probably do fine. If their is a column or skeg or similar, then the split bag may be useful. If not, stick to a single bag - which would be much cheaper.
I’ve usually taken dimensions of the space and matched it to bag size (l ,&w). As I recall that boat may have a strange shape the likely will be odd size.
My wife and I have matching Aruba 10’s our first kayaks and just got them last fall so are still super new at this. They have the foam flotation blocks in the rear under and behind the seat. I also wanted more flotation so cut some pool noodles to size and stuffed them under and around the seat to help fill the voids. I would like more flotation in the front, I see no flotation there at all. Looks like a small bag should fit there.
I know many here will say these are junk but for cheap and a way to start they are fine for us. We only plan to use them on the Big Vermilion river system in eastern Illinois and west central Indiana. We have a lot of canoe miles in this river together and I probably have thousands of miles on this river. Still have the canoe but an 80 pound 17’ canoe starts getting heavy when you are in your 70’s so a 40 pound kayak is nice. Jim.
@jimbrown : trust me, these kayaks are totally fine… I loved mine and paddles about 40-50 hours last summer, you just need to be aware of its limits. It’s a flat, inland lake, quiet river type of boat.
With that said, I’ve seen videos on this type of boat (entry level 10’ pelican actually), and it gets totally submerged as it fills with water when tipped… the little bits of foam it comes with doesn’t do the trick.
I know float bags do more for taking up space compared to being your main point of flotation, but anything is better than what I have now.
Should a guest flip this yak, I want it to float so A) they have something to hold onto while I help out and B ) better chance of saving the boat.
I’ve ordered the NRS stern bag, once installed, I’ll come back and update this thread.