deck storage

-- Last Updated: May-13-09 6:38 AM EST --

What all do you store on the deck of your kayak. I have a permanent pump located just behind the cockpit, a spare paddle on the rear deck and a water bottle under the shock cord up front, other that that, nothing. Also what's everyone's take on deck bags? Thank you!

Deck stuff

– Last Updated: May-13-09 9:31 AM EST –

Spare paddles on the front deck. (On the rear, they are harder to rip off in an emergency, can catch or snag a tow line, get really in the way of re-entering the boat in a number of rescues)
Pump on deck behind me because the regular ones don't really fit in my cockpits.
If on ocean or other body of water where I have a chart, chart case in front of the cockpit.
Strap-on watch depending on the conditions and availability of pockets.

Camera (waterproof, signal mirror, laser flare, Gu or similar, whistle, hand held compass, noseplugs attached to PFD and most in the pockets.

Water on deck via a PFD-mounted hydrator pack.

For the rest, I have a day hatch. (GPS unit lives in the day hatch, in a bag, pull it out when needed. Tracks fine inside.) A deck bag would get in the way of the spares and maybe the chart as well, not preferable.

GPS and a water bottle on the front deck
pump on the rear deck on top of the pfd which is also usually there, and then a spare paddle back farther.

If there is a possibility of rough water or weather, the skirt is also on the front deck, otherwise it is in one of the hatches.

On a long rough crossing both the skirt and PFD are worn.



mine probably doesn’t count
when I take out my little OT Otter Sport I put a small snack or lunch in the deck bag, maybe a different shirt or light jacket, sun screen, cell phone, bug spray, maybe a first aid kit. It just depends. I don’t have a lot of room in that little boat so a deck bag was a pretty nice investment.

My water is oddly enough on the BACK deck most of the time. and I do have a spare paddle, but it is broken down and stuffed inside.


Depending on the paddle…
I always keep a water bottle in front, pump just behind me, and a chart (waterproof) if I’m on an adventure. I don’t own a deck bag, but while in Florida over the winter I paddled a borrowed Necky Esky Sport with a big yellow one. I was going to leave it behind, but decided to give it a shot. It turned out to be a pretty handy thing. The weather was beautiful, so I stashed my shirt, camera, extra batteries, charts, water bottle, and a small dry bag with wallet, keys, cellphone. They ain’t pretty, but they sure are handy. Still haven’t purchased one…

I keep a chart, and usually a notepad under my front bungies, spare paddle on the bow, pump is deck-mounted, nothing behind me on deck.

I keep a paddle float wedged behind my seat, and VHF, signal stuff, snack and hydration on my body/vest. The rest goes in the day hatch.

Good topic. Med-sized deck bags, anyone?

– Last Updated: May-13-09 9:17 AM EST –

I may be up for a deck bag. Most seem too big. Northwater has best selection I've seen.

The peaked deck back may be close, but 7 inches tall seems too much!

The little turtle back bag may be too small.

(I hope the in-laws don't read pnet!)

essentially what must be accessible

– Last Updated: May-13-09 12:53 PM EST –

Day hatch is really only accessible in rough water if one can either raft up or put on a paddle float. Celia is right on about leaving the rear deck clear.

Most essential item would be a day/night emergency signal, like a orange smoker/red flare combo, waterproof.

There are low profile waterproof deck bags that allow chart pump and essentials and do not interfere with rolling, paddles and paddle stroke. So it is the way to go in really rough stuff My current boat, an Xcite has a glove compartment hatch so I store stuff there, love it.

Just a note on pumps. They are practically useless in conditions so plan on having your mates empty your boat and do an assisted recovery and learn to do an in water boat empty and flip. The cockpit holds somewhere between 80-120 gallons of water, even if not full 1 gallon weight 8 lbs so think of how unstable the boat is with just 14 gallons or about 120 lbs of water sloshing around.

(My oft heard remark is get a good pump electric, hand or portable like the Atwood)

Deck Bags
I purchased the Watershed Aleutian and am very happy with it.

Oops almost forgot…
For ocean or Gulf paddling, I also keep my VHF on the front deck.

I don’t take it when I am on the lake or in local rivers.



on deck
up top I generally have a GPS and spare paddle ahead of me and a hydration pack just behind me. Sometimes a map ahead of me. pump, float, pee bottle inside cockpit. VHF, small snacks, whistle, camera and sometimes hand compass in/on PFD. Rest like more food, shelter, boat/human first aid in day hatch.

deck bags
I will use a deck bag on a very limited basis-if camping or a photo journey. Beyond that, I do not like their presence on the front deck. They are in the way of a spare paddle, a higher profile for wind, and a mental nit that there’s one more thing in the way of rescue or recovery. I also hate bungeed water bottles. They do not stay.

smaller deck bag

water tight. Smaller volume than most bags which is good to me. I use this on my boat lacking a day hatch.

Only the spare paddle
Everything else is in either my under-deck bag, the cockpit, or my life jacket. I see no reason for a deck bag unless you really need a lot of extra storage space (like on a longer expedition). The under-deck bag holds quite a lot and you can rig it (thanks Greyak) so a pump sits between the bag and the front deck.

Deck bags bad!
Many deck bags are not waterproof, hence they will fill with water during a capsize and greatly impede rescue by acting as a water anchor. I know from experience. Keep stuff you need dry in the day hatch and a minimum of stuff on deck: pump, spare paddle, water.

deck hatch
this is new -

using a new deck hatch on the easkys - not for everything…

using it on the scorpios and cetus as well.

Just spare paddle and sometimes a GPS (has low profile dash type mount on deck - it’s cradle stays with GPS) and “everything else is in either my under-deck bag, the cockpit, or my life jacket. I see no reason for a deck bag unless you really need a lot of extra storage space (like on a longer expedition). The under-deck bag holds quite a lot and you can rig it so a pump sits between the bag and the front deck.”

Why not stow pump and water too?
Clean decks rule!

Under Deck Bag
by Northwater is in 3 of my boats, or at least the anchor points for one. It doesn’t get in my way for rolls, exits, or reentries and it’s easily removable if I don’t want it there. Although my boats have day hatches, it’s another option for additional storage in otherwise empty space and it keeps the decks clear.

Clean Deck Club
Nothing on the deck except mounted compass and a paddle leash twined in (I’ve yet to use it and don’t like them.) Sometimes I will add an 8 foot cowtail tow with clips.

Carry a spare paddle if no one else is, and it’s a fairly long trip and/or there are many open water crossings. I’m with Celia and tideplay - spare goes to the front, back is for rescues or supporting a swimmer.

I would put up a chart case if that was needed.

Hydration pack and small 1L drybag of repair/meds/firestarter/back up signal stuff

clipped to backband. Hydration tube slips thru

a 1/4" of skirt to my right side.

Pump betw. seat and side of kayak - right side

Inflatable paddle float, same deal, left side.

I wear my VHF in netbag which is zipped inside in the D pocket of my Palm PFD, with a soft band around my neck which has very little play and so does not entangle. The VHF (a Standard Horizon) has a white blinking strobe option so that’s covered.

Deckbags? no thanks. Over the deck they add wind resistanc and are water buckets in capsizes. Under the deck, in my case, they are in the way because my deck is low (10.5")

Interesting solutions that paddlers come up with.