Deck bag or not?

I received a nice Harmony Deluxe Deck Bag (not waterproof) for Christmas but am wondering about the pros and cons of using one. On the one hand, it could keep some items neatly stored and close at hand on the top of the deck instead of stuffed behind the seat or bungeed onto the bare deck. On the other hand, because of the width (almost 13") it’s going to take up a lot of space on the deck I would normally use for a paddle float and bilge pump (and water bottle or hydration pack). Maybe some of that could go inside the bag but at 4" high the space is limited and if I stored the pump and float in there it will take longer to get them out when I need them (and God forbid if the zipper were to jam). I don’t know how to roll yet but I’ll be taking classes to learn that this spring. Will a deck bag interfere with efficient rolling? And … does an under-deck bag that hangs inside the cockpit between the legs make more sense? Bottom-line: I can’t return this bag but I can eBay it and buy something else. Or is it worth having anything like that at all?

put paddle float behind seat
You can save some space if you stick you paddle float behind your seat (assuming you have some way to attach it there). The time you would need the paddle float is when you are out of your boat, so getting at it behind the seat would be real easy then. This may free up some space on your deck for stuff you would want easy access to while you are in the boat.


– Last Updated: Jan-24-08 5:01 PM EST –

the perennial answer in this sport.

First as to rolling - I haven't tried but figure I could roll with a deck bag now if I needed to. However, it wouldn't have been a good idea in the early stages of my getting a roll.

An under-deck bag is used by some, as long as you have room if need be for a wet-rentry - getting back into the seat when the boat and you are upside down. I can't go with that option because my boats are on the smaller side, but many can make it work. The more improtant feature might be to make sure an under-deck bag can be securely affixed - wouldn't want it getting caught between your feet at the point you really, really needed to re-enter.

You will not need your own paddle-float unless you are already out of the boat, so it's fine to look for a place behind the seat or by your hip where you can clip it in. Even if you end up helping with an assisted rescue, you aren't likely to need it. The only gear I've seen guide types typically keep outside the cockpit that may be used to help get someone back in a boat is a stirrup.

Also, where do you paddle? On a cold day or alternatively a hot summer day, in calm water, it may be more important to be able to get to things without pulling the skirt than to worry about aiding and abetting a roll. In more challenged conditions, the deck bag may be better left on land. If you paddle in mixed environments, you could find yourself wanting either depending on the specifics of the trip.

If I had to offer a potential tie-breaker, it'd be charts. I can't imagine any good way to work with a chart on the water with a lumpy deck bag up there, like to figure a bearing. From your profile, it's tough to call whether charts are something that you'll be real reliant on.

Deck bag interferes with self rescue.
My experience with a deck bag is negative. Three years ago before I learned to roll I capsized in rough water and could not flip the boat upright. the deck bag filled with water and behaved like an anchor. If I was in danger I could have ripped it off and possibly lost it. As it was another paddler came over and assisted in my rescue. General rule: keep your deck as free as possible. Both my paddle float and pump fit behind my seat. The only thing I keep on my front deck is a spare paddle (which does not interfere with rolling and a water bottle. If you have to use a deck bag use the kind that rolls up like a dry bag. It won’t let water in and will be less of a problem if you should happen to go for a swim.

find the ungrammatical sentence
a. Don’t doubt yourself.

b. You consider yourself an okay paddler.

c. You will never need to paddle by yourself.

d. The paddle-float will never be needed by yourself.

Changed it but…
this has what to do with whether the guy should exchange the deck bag before time’s up?

if he’s going to go the deck-bag route
what he really needs is a mesh deck bag. That way it drains itself. Of course, you only put waterproof things in it …

I’ve always been intrigued by your way of phrasing things. Often strikes my ear as unidiomatic. Find myself wondering if it’s just a NE thing, or if you originally come from Canada or somewhere else. (Inquiring minds want to know :slight_smile:

Don’t you mean grammatically incorrect?


NJ and NY states

– Last Updated: Jan-25-08 1:49 AM EST –

I write more casually, at times overtly badly, in this environment. That depends on my mood and the need for precision. I looked up idiomatic online to be sure (unidiomatic was fighting back) and am not sure of my response.

I have written for a variety of purposes including newsletters, annual reports, reference letters, software specs, letters to the editor for a good cause or two and a few legal briefs (pro se). A good bit of it didn't suck. The letters to the editor have been, at times, written for personalities other than myself who had more interest in saying something than paying attention to the length and tone that a given periodical was likely to print. I have been able to do a pretty believable blue collar guy.

In sum, I've of necessity learned to alter both the personality and personalization in my writing.

Everything I learned about writing was in 8th grade, since I am old enough to have fully diagrammed sentences. Everything since that has been details like when to use a passive tense and getting the 5 W's in the first paragraph for newletters.

Gotta say D
d) The paddle-float will never be needed by yourself.

Should be: “You’uns won’t never need one of dem dare paddle float thingymabobbers”

Did I do good?


I am American and so can you

Rules? Schmules!
Rules? Schmules!

Why bring sentences that whipped mules

could not haul when tethered so tightly

by these reigns of post-Edwardian fools!

Unbridle that syntex!

Feel breeze on your participle that dangles!

Turning corner from behind,

The Queen’s English comes upon you in new angles!

And then roll with the punches,

or in punch of a frothing wild sea.

Just remember to not have a deck bag as pourous

as loose constructions from the dictionary.


I have a (wp) GAIA deck bag

– Last Updated: Jan-25-08 12:04 PM EST –

and a Seal Line (non waterproof).

Both get items wet. The bags is used for dry clothing kept in zip-lock bags. I stow the bag on the rear deck for extended trips because I have a 25L Seal Line on the bow. Both deck bags are the same size and neither holds much. Not really worth the money but they look good.
The deck bag on the stern does not effect my roll in a rec kayak but the 25L on the bow sure does.

I bought one to try…
…and I’m still deciding on its usefulness. I doubt it would affect your roll if you keep it zipped. You can keep small drybags in it. I think mostly it might be nice for multi-day camping.

yes, you mean gramattically incorrect?

– Last Updated: Jan-25-08 1:02 PM EST –

And, 'yes' isn't really a sentence.

“Uncle” Guys!

– Last Updated: Jan-25-08 12:54 PM EST –

It sure is winter! I changed what I wrote already, so comments on written purity must seem pretty odd to a casual reader.

(Or I can change it back so this all makes more sense.)

Hey! I may be pretty, odd, and…
…a casual reader, but “written purity” went out for me somewhere between Hukleberry Finn and Humbert Humbert. (Though that crazy Russian Vlad was pure with the English, wasn’t he?) Or, was it somewhere back in the second stanza, behind the Queen’s “English”?

Nah, Ms. C, all I’m say’n is write it like ya like. The Bells of Saint Grammatica never clangged (clanged, clanggeth?) clearly with tintinabulation (Poe made that one up!) proper in my belfry.

As for deck bags, well, seems a waterproof variety that one could jettison, and possibly, due to a wee tad of entrapped air producing buoyancy, possibly recover, seems a better bet. Perhaps in a pinch you could even make a sea anchor from one.

But, darling, this, “Or I can change it back so this all makes more sense.” What? You crazy?

I got a girlfriend thats better that this,

and you don’t remember at all.

As we get older, and stop making sense,

you won’t find her waiting long.

Stop making sense, stop making sense,…

stop making sense, making sense.

I got a girlfriend that’s better than that

And nothing is better that this!

(Is it?)

That this - how’s that for gramattically ungrammatical impropriety?

Talking Heads and Typing TW

Deck bag -mental factor
I’ll occasionally use a deck bag if camping or desiring photos. I’ve tested it and it has little impact on my rolling ability, but mentally, using it makes me less confident in doing a roll. Strange and don’t know why.

And back to deck bags
Thanks for the above. As usual though, your style does not entirely hide the substance.

But there is a germ of something in there about deck bags. There is a manufacturer - forget who - that makes a waterproof deck bag that also can serve as a paddle float. If I remember correctly the thing is large and has enough bouyancy to float all of me, but I suppose that the dual function might make the space seem more worthwhile for flat water paddling.

No to all the gizmo’s
I can’t believe the crap people carry around. Most of the stuff I get tossed at me I just pass along. My advice is keep it simple. I know that’s not gonna be popular, but I propose trying it. It’s liberating, free, and less stressful. And you don’t need to paddle a barge.