I recently purchase the F&S Eagle Talon. The weight capacity is listed as 400lbs. I am approximately 310 lbs and currently losing weight. I took it out on a calm lake for the first time yesterday and noticed a lot of water under my seat and near my feat coming up through the scupper holes. I knew ahead of time that some water would come in the kayak but had no idea that there would be 2" of water in some areas. I did purchase scupper plugs but i didn't really want to use them because i know that the holes are there to drain water out. Is this normal? Or should i have gotten a larger kayak? The kayak salesman told me that this boat would be more than big enough for me. I was just looking for another opinion. Thanks
Field and Stream Eagle Talon
First of all, disregard 90% of what any salesman in a box store tells you. His primary job is to move products out the door.
Although, in this case, the boat is not too small for you and your likely immediate needs.
By all means, install the scupper plugs. With the plugs removed, the water under and around your boat is finding its own level. Which, when your weight is factored in, is about two inches above the floor of the kayak.
With the plugs in, the water will not be able to come up through the scupper holes. Any water that gets inside the cockpit will be what splashes over the sides or dribbles off your paddles and that won't amount to much.
The same boat with a person who weighs 150 pounds in it may ride high enough that the floor of the kayak is above the level of the water so the scuppers in that case would work as a drain.
But, in your case, unless you enjoy the feeling of wearing a warm, wet diaper for hours at a time, use the plugs. The boat will also perform better without the additional weight of the water in the cockpit.
Enjoy your new kayak.
Thanks for the quick response. Are those one way scupper valve plugs worth it or should i just stick to the regular plugs?
As for the plugs, I would stick with the low-tech plugs.
The plugs with the valves sound like a cool idea but in the real world of mud and grit, sand, twigs and other glop will eventually work their way between the valve and its gasket, causing it not to seal completely and rendering it useless.
Plus at your weight (I’m 260), the valves are always going to be well below the water level, so they will always be in the closed position and you won’t get any benefit from them.
If you were a flyweight and the boat always rode at near the level of the valves, they would then be able to close when the water level rises to prevent water backing up through them and open when it falls so they can drain water away. At least until they get stuck open as described above.
To avoid loosing them in transit (which you will at least once), punch a hole through each plug’s pull tab and run a short length of string or cordage between the plug and a pad eye or other deck fitting that you can tie the line off of.
I installed an extra pad eye just above the foot wells on my Tarpon 120 so I could secure each of those plugs with a line. Each line is less than a foot long so there’s not enough extra line laying about to worry about wrapping around my foot if I should ever get dumped.