Floating my boat

Hi all! I own a old town loon 138 “open cockpit” recreational kayak. There are no bulkheads. For flotation I use front and back airbags.The airbags add bouancy and displace water if I ever flip the kayak over. Everytime I use the kayak, I have to put the airbags in and take them out, otherwise they fly out at road speed. ( Lost one already )

I contacted a dealer and he quoted me a price of $100.00 per bulkhead for installation, a big investment for a $500:00 kayak.

My idea is to fill the bow and stern with waterproof foam to provide floation and displace water. As long as the foam adheres to the kayak lining, it should work. Foam does expand, so I’ll do a little at a time, so I won’t overfill. If I do put too much in, I can carve it out with a knife. Foam is heavier and more dense than a airbag, so the kayak may ride higher, but I’m on the heavy side, so I don’t think this is a issuse. The kayak is only used in back bay and coastal inlets in fair weather. Has anyone tried this or have any ideas that will make this work ? Dave

Don’t spend $100 dollars
Get a friend to show you how to tie the bags in properly. If you are in NC I could show you how some time. Then you can leave the bags in all the time and just let out some air to keep them from popping in the sun during transport. Also look to see if they make a cockpit cover for your boat so you can keep bugs out while it is stored back at your home.

Don’t do it!

– Last Updated: Jul-27-05 12:48 PM EST –

Spray foams are not waterproof and will absorb moisture and break down over time. They expand powerfully enough to distort a boat.

It would seem to be much simpler to just tie your float bags in better. They should be tied in anyway or they're float out in a capsize. In the front, you can use the footpeg rails or screws as anchor points for them. In the rear, attach them to the seat or install padeyes under the deck. If your float bags don't have grommets in them, glue on loops of Nylon webbing using Aquaseal or GOOP.

BTW, internal floatation has no effect on how high your boat floats unless it's flooded.

Am I wrong ???
I agree with the others.

On our Old Town Disco Canoe I got air bags so we could use it in white water.

I added the little pad eyes to keep it all tied in place.

Why not do the same thing inside your yak.

You can get the pad eye kits at any outfitters, West Marine or Boaters world.



Pad Eyes inside hull
Just add pad eyes or cleats inside the hull. Everywhere you see a screw or bolt entering the hull from the outside you can put the hardware on the inside using the same bolt. Be sure to use locking nuts and consider covering the (possibly now longer) bolt ends with acorn nuts. Works great for me.

I have a loon 138…
…in the summer I used to get up early, put it

in the lake and go back to sleep. It was like

a big water bed.

Short of doing gymnastics in it, I’m real

curious how you’d get one to tip.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s a great platform for

fishing and sleeping because it’s so boringly

stable, but the only way I’ve gotten mine to tip

is on purpose.

I own a Loon also
Roberts right about flipping it. I can lean mine over to the coaming without it rolling. I bought the rear hatch cover from old town for $50 and added a rear bulkhead with mini-cell foam for less than $20 and added a floataion bag to the front, which i only use when i’m fishing Lake Michigan or lakes with a lot of powerboat traffic.

I used 1/4" eyebolts
in my Loon. One centered through the top deck in each end, about 3’ (Haven’t measured exactly, just built to the bags.) from the ends. The hull drills easily with just a hand crank drill. Doesn’t everyone own a Yankee Drill. It was an early years cordless. Put the eye under the deck with a nut and a washer to adjust how far the threads stick up above deck. Another washer and Nyloc nut on top with the threads flush with the top of the nut. Tie the bag to the eye and don’t overinflate or you can pull the grommet out of the bag if it isn’t right next to the eye. No worries about leaks. The washers seal against the plastic and, what the heck, it’s the top deck anyway. I used stainless fasteners and a plated eyebolt. Should be years before any corrosion could be significant, at least in fresh water. The eyes are also handy to secure other gear to.