What are some choices for a recreational kayak with very good floatation. Someone recommended the Pungo as almost unsinkable.
If you are worried about sinking a SOT kayak, if you have hatches just toss a couple pool noodles in the hull.
Unless the integrety of the hull is breached its not easy to sink one.
Since most kayaking is done for recreation ...
Some kayaks have bulkheads and hatches - they create water resistant chambers and add a lot of floatation. If one is worried about floatation despite having bulkheads and hatches, float bags or dry bags might alleviate those fears.
Other kayaks might not have much in terms of built in floatation - typical bulkhead/hatch-less design is an example of that. Float bags are then used to make sure that boat stays above the water.
Absence or presence of bulkheads and hatches does not differentiate between recreational and non-recreational kayaks. WW playboats, racing K1 don't have anything in terms of floatation, but no one will attempt to bundle them with rec boats
And, other folks become ingenious by using other methods of giving extra floatation - inflatable travel/relationship companions, expanding marine foam, pool noodles, beach balls, whatever floats your boat.
You can add floatation…
…to virtually any boat (air bags, pool noodles, etc.). I’d pick a boat based upon how well it meets your needs, how it paddles, etc. as opposed to how much floatation it comes with.
"whatever floats your boat"
No of them will sink
like a pair of dropped car keys. In that regard they are mostly all “unsinkable”
The concerns are how they react to becoming swamped to determine wether you can rescue one on open water or do you have to drag it ashore and dump it out. That’s where the need for bulkheads and float bags come from.
I have an Emotion Glide, which is a great rec kayak, but no bulkheads. The manufacturer thoughtfully ships one sturdy and effective rear flotation bag with the boat. After much shopping around, I realized that for another $25 they would sell me a second rear float bag, which easily fit (with slight deflation) the front of the boat perfectly. So it works well.
They can sink
My sister and her husband lost an Otter to the bottom of a bay in Maine a couple of years ago. Enough water and those really rec boats can sink.
Keep 8 lbs per gallon in mind
Lifting a boat out of the water - to drain it -
will involve muscles and technique to be efficient.
Each gallon of water weighs 8 lbs .
Now consider that weight sloshing around, inside the kayak.
Securing those float bags so they don't slip out is important.
Just because they fit when its upright doesn't mean,
they'll stay in position when the boat is flipped over.
What is keeping them in place, a tether, a clip, etc. ?
The question regards a ‘sit inside’.
My first boat was an OT Otter and I flipped that baby over the first winter I paddled, at which time I didn’t know you could leave the boat upside down and lift it to remove the water.
Funny, how we learn so many lessons from our mistakes. That was the first and last time I went over in the winter. Makes one learn REAL fast!
In general, a recreational style sit inside kayak with enclosed bulkhead at both front and back will have more flotation. The larger the area enclosed by the bulkhead, the more flotation.
Those boats with just those gray foam pillars have less flotation.
You can add flotation to most any boat through adding float bags, but in some ways they are not as good as bulkheads (such as when you go to drain the boat - water does get around the float bags).
With or without
bulkheads I always add some pool noodles.I’ve owned Pungo’s and while great for what they are the cockpit can hold a LOT of water/weight.If you have one cut a clorox or similar bottle to scoop out the water if you flip.