Hello everyone! (introduction)

I thought I’d introduce myself. I’m a 34yr old resident of Kentucky. I just bought my fiancee and I a pair of kayaks then put together a trailer and modded it to pull them. I have Cystic Fibrosis and numerous other diseases. My doctors have been trying to get me to get out and be more active for years. Since Kayaking has become much more prevalent around here I decided to give it a go and we LOVE it! We have the cheap Sun Dolphin Aruba 10’s. I have a couple modifications in mind I’d like to do to mine and need to find a cooler for it as well, but I mainly just want to get out and explore! Here’s a pic of my Blazer pulling the kayaks. I’m thinking about lowering the trailer 2".

That is great! Welcome to our world.

Nice little trailer set-up. I don’t know why you would want to lower it.

As to adding a cooler to a kayak that is never a good idea with a sit-inside boat. Adding bulky items to the deck affects stability and also makes re-entering the kayak if you capsize nearly impossible. If you want to carry things and keep them cool, get a small soft insulated cooler and put the stuff in the rear hatch. Keep your deck clear.

Also, be aware that those cheap recreational kayaks do not have bulkheads (sealed compartments in both ends) so if they flip or get tipped they will fill with water and sink. You can get inflatable flotation bags that stash under the decks to displace the water and give the boat more buoyancy. If you don’t choose to use those, don’t take the kayaks in water that is deeper than you can stand or paddle farther from shore than you can comfortably swim yourself to the bank hauling the kayak, because you will be unable to empty it on the water.

Presume that you already know that those boats should not be used in whitewater of any kind or in the ocean. They are fine for slow shallow streams and calm sheltered lakes.

Thanks. As for lowering the trailer it would be mainly for aesthetics, it has too much of an angle to it for me. Sorry that’s what I meant, I’m trying to find a soft cooler that fits in the storage compartment (which is very small). I thought about removing the cover to the storage area, putting a small soft cooler in there, and letting the straps hold it in place, what do you think about that? I’ve flipped mine before and the air bubble stayed inside which caused it to stay afloat. It has some styrofoam on the sides, but not much. What are these flotation bags you’re referring to? Should I keep a siphon pump in the kayak?

Oh god yes, we’ve just been taking them into calm lakes.

Yes, a bilge pump (they only cost $12 to $20) is always a good idea (i never paddle without one.) You can pump out a swamped kayak with them – they are also great as water cannons for “sea battles” on warm water days. Here’s a flotation bag (there are cheaper ones on line.): http://www.harmonygear.com/products/9729/Harmony-Small-Rec-Bag-Vinyl.html
Since I paddle boats with either bulkheads or flotation bags, I usually carry anything I want to keep cold in a small insulated bag inside a dry bag with my other snacks between my legs.

I’d be a little nervous about paddling with the lid off any storage compartment. Probably best to make arrangements to leave it on.

If you meant that the trailer is lower in front as opposed to the rear you can just get a different ball mount that will raise the front and make it level.

Hi and welcome! A cheap interim solution instead of immediately purchasing high-end flotation bags, is to buy cheap pool noodles from a Walmart/Dollar store. These cheap extra foam tubes will go a long way to displacing water and helping to keep things afloat after an unexpected capsize. Cut the noodles to fit and shove them up in the bow nose and/or split 'em in half to tuck inside your stern hatches. Then fit your little cooler snug in between them. Definitely spring for a kayak siphon pump(keep it handy, like right under those deck bungee cords). Also, a big sponge comes in very handy for wiping paddle splash/drips out of the cockpit.

Enjoy and adventure!

It’s fun ain’t it? Be safe. Think about capsizing on purpose now and again so you’d know how to handle an accidental capsize.

Good suggestion on the pool noodles. Lash the pieces together with long cable ties. I also know somebody who stuffed an inflatable shark pool toy in the stern of their kayak – anything that filled up the space but won’t absorb water. And make sure you tie them off somehow or they will float out in a capsize.

Most any big box store has soft side coolers. However there are also kayak specific coolers. I use a NRS Twelve Pack cooler. Search NRS.com.

@Zq8 blazer said:
I’ve flipped mine before and the air bubble stayed inside which caused it to stay afloat.

What happens if you only flip it by half (left or right side pointing upwards)?

That is usually the position where a kayak will take in most water. And it is also a position which is quite common during a capsize.

Early on in a new to me boat, I go just offshore, normally equipped, snd flip it in water over my head.
You learn a lot in a hurry.

I bought a recreational boat from a friend for $250. The bow was completely open. It had a bulkhead in the back with air chamber/cargo compartment behind. I thought, OK ,I’ll just pack some life jackets up in the bow and it won’t sink. I took that to an Assisted Rescue Class. The boat didn’t sink. I couldn’t get back into it either. It held too much water, it floated too low in the water and wallowed with all of my efforts to get in it. It did not dagger, float nose straight down, at least. I ended up installing an air bag forward that floats the boat high, and reduces the volume of water in the swamped boat.

So do as I did. Do your inexpensive route then try an assisted or self rescue in “not standing on the bottom” water. You’ll know if it was good or not. Recommend you do this with a rescue boat standing by. Perhaps take a class.

Congratulations on discovering the fun of paddling.

I have a pelican 100 an inexpensive rec kayak. I put pool noodles in it. They run from the stern to the bow, and back to the stern on the other side. The way I did it is sort of like full length sponsons on the inside of the gunnels. I used 10 pool noodles to do 2 rows along the inside. But before I did that for extra flotation I internationally capsized it in a pond over my head while wearing my PFD. I found out that I could not reenter he boat and bail it out. However I have a gallon sized bailer from a antifreeze container ( a milk jug with the bottom cut out works). I would bail the boat while in the water. When I had it mostly empty of water I could climb up the back like getting on a surf board and drop my backside into the seat. It’s called a cowboy reentry. It is a good idea to play around with capsizing in a safe place and figuring out how to get back into the boat. Have fun, and be safe. Be aware cold water kills if you can’t get out of it in time.

I also have a tandem and two solo canoes, and two 17’ sea kayaks. Be forewarned the sport can lead to more boats! :smiley: