Could someone please advise if Old Town Loon 160 T need buoyancy devices when filled with water.
If you’re talking about while in the water, my guess is that at best it might float about even with the surface. I have a 138 Loon, which has no flotation other than the foam layer in the hull. I have added some flotation in both ends of the boat, but have never tested it to see if it would do much good. The good thing is that the boat is very difficult to tip and as long as you don’t do something stupid, it isn’t a problem. Just a guess, but if it were full of water and far from shore, you’re SOL.
It won’t sink completely.
I have one. As above, with the foam core, it’s supposed to stay at the surface, meaning completely submerged at the surface, but not sinking straight to the bottom.
I was with a group in the Ft. Fisher basin here when a pair capsized a similar open cockpit tandem. Ft. Fisher basin is a closed off inlet and salt marsh between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. Minimal-fetch shallow water, but it does have wind exposure. I don’t know if they were just fooling around, or if the wind chop and carelessness got them? I was helping another person one-on-one who had fallen behind and I found starting to panic in the wind and chop. So I let them know I had to get her across, or we might just end up compounding the issue.
I got her to shore, and the two young guys from the tandem, along with three others, still in their kayaks, were unable to manage anything with it. They were calling me out to help if I could.
I lined up the bows of 3 kayaks. I had the two guys focus on getting one end of the capsized tandem up over the bows, with the hands of the 3 of us to help them and help steady the whole situation. I then had one guy grab the tandem toggle up on the bows, and brace his feet against my bow on the outside of the three so he could pull. I had the other guy, with the help of another kayaker and flotation from his kayak, work on lifting the other side of the tandem and pushing. So between the pushing and pulling of two strong young men, with 3 bows to bring it up onto, my bow for the puller to put his feet on to brace against and pull, and the flotation of a 4th kayak to help the pushing guy push and lift the other side, they still struggled and gave all they had to finally get it done.
So with two 20-year-oldish able-bodied paddlers, and the help of 4 other kayaks, we were able to get them back in and paddling without getting the sunken boat somehow to shore to empty first. That submerged kayak would be something to tow any distance. A much better anchor than anything else at that stage.
Filling both ends with floatation and securing it in place would be a huge help. I was really surprised they hadn’t managed to do anything with the situation in the time it took me to get the struggling person to shore. It ended up taking quite a coordinated effort. I was glad of all the able hands ready and available there to make it work.
I’ve made great use of my Loon 160T over the years, and a good number of people (and pooches)have some great memories using that boat. Even the hardware has held up beautifully for me with all the saltwater use. I’ll never forget Casey Allison (an 85 lb chocolate lab - now in the happy hunting grounds) leaping from the Loon, quite certain of it’s capsize among some huge wakes. Captain Otis (75 lb American Brown Dog) and I steadied the boat. And then I had to perform some acrobatics, laying across the cockpit, to lift poor Casey back in as we floated down the ICW. We got words of encouragement from another powerboater cursing the bastards who left the wake for doing that to us. But I just remember it as a fun adventure, and laughing so hard at Casey for bailing into the drink that I almost felt bad for pickin on her. Joy in the face of adversity is some of the most fulfilling joy there is.
if you haven’t tried sitting in the boat filled with water and emptying it out so you can paddle it worth a darn, I’d give it a try before foregoing float bags. Our first rec/transition boats had sprayed in foam to prevent total sinking. It did float the boats, but after the first couple of times taking them over we went for float bags to reduce the amount of water we had to bail to get them moving.
The good thing is they’re hard to flip over in the first place! I used to use a mesh bag filled with two liter soda bottles as floatation. This was my first kayak and I usually paddled it solo. Now I give my grand kids rides.