Foam Flotation - is this needed?

I have a 2004 Victory Classic 12 kayak and it’s been a great recreational kayak for us. On the way home from MI recently, the front foam flotation under the bow blew out of the kayak on the freeway and was not retreived.

Is it necessary to have this piece of foam? What is its purpose?

If so, any idea where I can obtain?


not flotation
Generally, the foam pillar provided in rec boats is not flotation. It’s structural. It provides the structural support to the deck of your kayak. While I wouldn’t say it’s “required” but I would say that it’s bloody good idea.

It does two things: It provides some structural support for the deck, (for example, if someone sits on it), and it provides flotation that helps the kayak float a bit higher if it swamps.

You can certainly use the boat without it, but be aware of the potential issues.

You could use almost any closed-cell rigid or semirigid foam to replace it.

Foam Pillars and Collapse

– Last Updated: Jul-10-12 10:04 PM EST –

The foam pillar keeps the boat from collapsing on your legs if you get into a pin situation in moving water, if you capsize in a river and are pushed against a rock or bridge piling the kayak can collapse and trap you. The same thing can happen in overflows and whirpools in rockgardens when ocean kayaking. It also serves as floation when swamped.

Try googling for Pungo and Big Grey Thing / Paddling net if you want some entertainment.

I believe it’s “Pamlico 14” and “Gray thing in the bow” or something like that…

Thanks for your input!