Got an Islander (Perception) Swifty 9.5 for Christmas from Dicks.

Seen numerous reviews after the fact… agree with some and also disagree with others. You would think that people were talking about entirely different kayaks.

So far it’s been a blast to use and I feel it’ll serve me just fine.

Now the questions.

1: How do you mount accessories to a plastic boat? Looking to put on a paddle holder. Maybe eventually a fishing rod holder on the aft decking. Also saw photos of a neat looking dashboard/tray on a Swifty. Do you have to back the clamps etc underneath where they are mounted, or do the screws have enough material to dig in to.

2: Adding flotation. I’ve read about purchasing bladders, and also cramming noodles into open spaces. How much material do you need. I have access to plenty of dense foam packing pieces (same material as the braces in the fore and aft areas) but a lot smaller. I can cut and glue them together so they will fit in the open areas. How do I know if I have enough in there? I’d rather not spend money on bladders at the moment, trying to get enough cash together to buy my wife a yak.

I read all the different threads and haven’t stumbled on these questions or answers.

I’m also open to any sage advice or hints you experts would like to throw my way.

Adding most accessories
you are asking about is easy.

Rod holders and paddle holders just require drilling a few basic holes, some well nuts, screws and a lil silicon sealant.

The “dashboard” is actually an item made by Harmony you can purchase that is attached to the cockpit combing with a bungee strap like a cockpit cover does.

Flotation again is pretty easy. Measure the open area you want to fill up, and purchase the appropriate sized float bags from NRS or others.

Good luck.

Get cheap dry bags at WalMart
Stuff those full of foam, and secure them in the bow and stern.

I inherited two Perception keowees (similar to the swifty)from my parents who used them on a calm lake for years. My daughter and I, in addition to many friends who borrowed them, continued to use these kayaks for another 15 years. During all the times, places and circumstances (all of which were many) that these boats were paddled, no one ever tipped over in them. That is not to say that it is impossible to tip over in this type of kayak, but I believe it is highly unlikely that you will tip one of these short, flat, wide kayaks unless you are fooling around or trying to tip it over. Nevertheless, you are right to think in terms of safety and wearing a PFD will give you an extra margin of safety if you find yourself floating beside the kayak. And, as mentioned previously, practice getting back into the submerged/partially submerged kayak near shore and see if you can do it. See if you can pump/bail it out enough to paddle it to shore where you can completely empty the thing. It can be extremely difficult to reenter a partially submerged kayak, especially if you are tired or cold. People normally use an extended paddle, with paddle float, held onto the kayak under the aft deck lines. You do not have deck lines, and you will find that the self-rescue re-entry technique that most people use is not going to work with this type of kayak. Having extra flotation will also cause the kayak to float higher, making it even more difficult to reenter. You will have to experiment and see if you can find something that works.

Other things you can do to be safe are to dress for water temperature (not air), tell people where you are going, carry a whistle to get other boater’s attention, wear your PFD, etc. I would not be overly concerned about the tipping over thing.