Bow Flotation Bag Rigging

Hi All,

I am trying to figure out if my current bow flotation setup is good or if I should exchange the larger bag for another smaller one. Here is the link:

The two flotation bags are jammed in hard enough, where they won’t slip out; however, if I go to two smaller bags, I may get more room under the cockpit, but the flotation bags would be loose.

Any thoughts???

They will come out
unless you only paddle perfectly still water.

In any kind of current or waves those bags will wash out of the boat PDQ. Better to find some way to tie them off.

You need to tie them in. Since your kayak lacks a central foam pillar, the easiest way to anchor them is probably by using the machine screws that pass through the hull to secure the bow ends of your Keeper foot braces. You may need to get a pair of slightly longer stainless steel machine screws to do this.

Get a couple of short lengths of 3mm nylon cord and anchor one end of each using the foot brace screws. Tie the other end of each to the grommet in one of the bags. Keep the lengths of cord as short as possible to avoid the possibility of them tangling around your ankles, and to keep the bags stowed up in the stem of the kayak.

To tie them off
They will pop out in a capsize, even if it takes a couple of minutes. That said, you don’t have a ton to work with in that boat unless you add something to secure the bags to.


Glue in D-rings (ask Rich - canoe folks use these things), tie the bags off to that. Check w/Rich for recommendation, but glue is generally available from a hardware store. Just read the labels looking for the hardiest stuff for the material your boat is made of.

Secure a board or run strapping - something a little chunkier than rope is safer - so that it secures between the far ends of the rails in front of your footpegs and is tight enough that it can’t slop forward (and hence be an entanglement risk). Secure the bags to that.

Glue on velcro strips to the bags (can get at places like Joann’s Fabrics) so that you can velcro the bags to each other, thus making effectively a bigger bag that can be more easily contained.

I suspect that the first idea is the easiest and most directly helpful. Just make sure that whatever you use is not able to come loose and wrap around your foot. The hoses sticking out some to inflate/deflate the bags aren’t such a big risk that way, less likely to create a problem and you aren’t doing WW where risks ramp up.

Wednesday’s launch is from Lock 7 on the Mohawk. I was there last night to check it out - still muddy and a mess from the flood but it should be OK for launch by then if you can make it. Just wear shoes that you can wash out or don’t care much about. Park end to end with other paddling-looking cars to save space for cars with boat trailers.

contact cement and polyethylene
This appears to be a polyethylene boat. Contact cements such as DAP Weldwood do not work very well for securing vinyl D-ring patches to polyethylene if there is any tension whatsoever applied to the ring. Contact cement is OK for securing foam thigh and hip pads, or seat pads, because these are not subjected to any tension.

If you want to secure anchor points to the hull you are better off using West Systems G-Flex epoxy, but you probably won’t find it at your local hardware store.

It is, and thanks
I mistakenly figured that somewhere among the tubes in the hardware store was something that’d work for this boat. Thanks for the better idea.

Stainless machine screws and nuts
All of the poly boats I’ve seen use stainless steel machine screws, installed above the waterline, backed up with rubber washers.

I’ve got no experience with G-Flex so I can’t say that it won’t work. But I do know that the screws will work.

And he already has stainless steel machine screws going through the hull to secure his Keepers foot brace rails.

The ones securing the forward end of the rails is just about in the right position to anchor the grommets of his bags.

Using the KISS principle, this is the obvious way to secure those bags.

Similar Question - Different Boat
I don’t want to hijack this thread, but my question is so similar it didn’t make sense to create what might look like a duplicate question. I have a Pyranha Fusion with the connect 30 outfitting – meaning instead of footpegs there’s basically a foam bulkhead that your feet go on. HOwever, this isn’t a sealed bulkhead, water can get around it, but it is screwed into the side of the boat with rails. If I have a float bag inflated in front of this, would I need to attach it to anything? It seems it couldn’t float out in a capsize unless the whole bulkhead set up ripped out – in which case I’d have bigger problems than a lost float bag.

You don’t have to attach it to anything.

Emotion Comet
I read all of your replies and thank you all for your suggestions. Despite the two bags being wedged in the cockpit, the both fell out when I put my kayak on my new cart that arrived last night. I am not sure about the machine screws idea, but putting D-rings and a bungee sounds like nifty idea; especially to setting them up a a center column. Before I do any work. I still have to see how comfortable I am with the larger bag, plus the smaller one.

Believe it or not, Harmony sent me a rodeo bow bag with a labeled micro bow bag on the hanging cardboard. It takes up a lot of space in that bow and eating away what little storage I do have; however, it is slightly past the foot paddles by an inch or two, so it isn’t too bad. I still have my bungee storage on the bow and stern, but it is kind of hard to stick my collapsible cart in them. I will soon find out this Saturday. Once I see how like this setup, then I will consider each of your suggestions with the final setup.

Thank you all for your help.

With that bulkhead…
No hardware needed. Two or three, I forget, of our WW boats have that traditional arrangement and it holds the bags in just fine. We (and most we have paddled with who have the same) don’t even take out the float bags for transport. Just make sure they are inflated enough before car-topping the boat.

storage and float bags
are made – dual purpose – you put stuff in like a dry bag AND put air in them. I mention this in case you didn’t know and becasue you were concerned about taking up storage space.

Thank you all
Thank you all for your help.


I will be heading off to see Rich tomorrow after some errands in the morning. He is going to help me rig the flotation bags with rope through the foot rest rails. So it looks like I will be all set in keeping those flotation bags from rattling around in the bow.