budget "float bag" - would this work?

Since the object is to displace water with something buoyant, would this work?


It is that spray foam insulation that comes in a can and expands and hardens. It I set my kayak on it’s nose and empty a can into it and let it dry - why wouldn’t that work? How would it be any different than the kayaks that come with a foam block stuck in them?

I only use my kayak on reservoirs/lakes and maybe a very slow moving river (recreational).

(Please no haters about being too cheap to buy the best bag $ can buy. Not everyone had the $ to spend on this hobby, but would still like to enjoy it.)


That foam absorbs water and retains it

– Last Updated: Sep-25-14 5:42 PM EST –

If you only paddle where it won't get swamped or capsized (ie stick to waters the boat was made for) you don't need it. I've got 5 rec boats and in 5 years have yet to lose one.

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A little more detail

– Last Updated: Sep-25-14 6:51 PM EST –

Just to add to what Pirate has told you, an official name for foam that you might think of as Styrofoam is "closed-cell foam". They call it "closed-cell" because for the most part, the individual "bubbles" in the material are not interconnected. "Open-cell" foam has much interconnection between adjacent bubbles. Guess which type absorbs lots of water if given the chance. You don't want to take chances with any type of foam which isn't of the "closed-cell" variety.

Don’t use that foam – it absorbs water and will make a huge mess that will be hell to get dried out. Same with a lot of solid foam. You can only use waterproof closed cell foam in kayaks, like Minicell (which is more costly than flotation bags.)

One thing you can do to fill in the hull a bit to exclude some water is to cut short pieces of foam pool noodles (those bright colored hollow foam tubes they sell for kids to use in the water). If you tie a bunch together you can stuff them in the hull, but you do need to use rope to fasten them inside the bow or they will just float out. The seat will usually keep the stern ones in place.

There are people who will tell you that you “don’t need” flotation in rec boats by I disagree. I have paddled skin on frame kayaks for years and always use flotation bags or bundles of pool noodles or both to full in the hulls. It does help reduce the amount of water in the hull due to a capsize to an amount that can be reasonably removed with a hand bilge pump.

Find an old truck innertube
stick it in your kayak.


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pool noodles
They are a ridiculously cheap way to get closed cell foam. They can be cut down and trimmed to fit in many tight spaces. I have seen them used in WW boats in the nose as water displacement/flotation when air bags were not available.

One big problem with a flotation device in a kayak not designed for that specific use, is that it may be tough to keep the flotation inside of the boat when it is needed.

When things are going south and emergency flotation is needed do you really want to cobble something together when you can get an airbag designed for a kayak for under $50?

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It’s not called be a "hater."
It’s called being retarded. Don’t do this.

thats messy. try this
I know that exact foam you,are talking about. It is sticky and messy and you surely will not get the results you want.

Instead, get a styrafoam block at the hardware store or get scraps and glue them together to forma a block. Use a wood rasp to cut shape, and form the block so it fits inside the bow and stern of your kayak. You can use adhesive backed velcro pieces to hold it in place.

Thanks guys for the advice. I didn’t realize this about the canned foam and the different types of foam.

Glad I checked here 1st!


the form
Not really understanding this flotation /form blocks needed in kayak I have a cheap one from Walmart sun dophine no form blocks n no flotation devices in or on – of course I wear my life jacket if these are needed could y’all help me very new to this – hubby brought us two but his has styroform blocks in side of kayak next to seat where he sits-- mine did not come with them ty all

in addition to providing flotation
The foam in some of the less expensive kayaks is used to reinforce the hull to prevent it from collapsing and trapping you legs if it were to get pinned in current.

reason for adding flotation
The purpose of filling the inside of the hull in the kayak with solid foam or inflatable float bags is to displace water so it does not fill it up and sink the boat if you get swamped. This video shows what can happen if you don’t have that (his boat has no flotation in the bow/front.)


I had great success with beach balls

Lots of stuff can be used
But do not use spry can foam, it’s just a mess. Pool noodles, soda bottles, beach balls, etc, will all work well, and can be modified to suit your needs from trip to trip.

You biggest problem will be securing it so it doesn’t float out of the boat when it gets swamped. You have to figure out a way to contain it and tie it into the boat.

Must see video…
Watch the video posted by willowleaf!!!

Question: What would the clown have done if he had been in moving water when he capsized ???

“Sarah help me”!!!