New here, to kayaking, etc.
I have a Dagger Axis 12. One of the features is a rear bulkhead / dry storage.
The other day, my son got tangled in a branch and rolled. The boat took on a lot of water, enough that we couldn’t easily get the water out and we ended up towing the boat back while he swam. There was enough water in the boat that it wouldn’t stay upright, and rolled over when I was towing it. This was in shallow flat water, close to shore, he was wearing a PFD etc. etc. so it wasn’t dangerous but it still served as an illustration that this would not be a good thing in chilly weather, further away from shore, etc. etc.
My first question… when I got back to the ramp, the rear bulkhead area was completely full of water. The hatch was tight, etc… It appears that the foam divider panel between the cockpit and the rear area of the boat shifted on the bottom and was no longer glued in place, allowing water to flood the rear compartment. I was a little surprised to see that this was just some foam, vs. something a little more structural. Is this type of failure common? This is a new boat, btw. If this is a common failure and you can’t realistically expect the foam to keep water out in a capsize, then I suppose I’ll have to put a float bag in there. Which is a little annoying, from a loss of storage standpoint as well as additional cost. Or perhaps I can fashion a more structural separator and glue it in? We have another rec boat that has a similar bulkhead (Third Coast Huron 100). It looks fine, but that boat hasn’t been capsized.
Second question… In terms of float bags, are they all basically equivalent, or is there a preferred brand? I see them from NRS, Harmony, and others in various sizes, split vs. not, etc. I’ve taken bow and stern compartment measurements and assume “a big bigger” is better than “too small” in that a bag will conform to the boat’s shape, right? Any issues with keeping them in place? I figured worst case, I could drill a hole or two in the top of the kayak as a lashing point, though it looks like probably I can just wrap them around foam blocks or perhaps attach them to foot rest brackets, etc.
We’re also planning on getting some manual bilge pumps. Again, recommendations here for “works well” and “not crazy expensive”?
Appreciate any guidance!