How to fill extra space in cockpit

Anybody got any ideas about how to fill up extra space in the cockpit?

My Nordkapp has about a foot behind the backband (necessary for placement of the chimp pump). It’s useful for packing large items, but when empty, it limits the effectiveness of a T rescue as a significant amount of water pools up behind the seat (behind the back of the cockpit opening).

The obvious choice is minicell, but since it’s $10.95 per sq ft I was hoping to find a cheaper solution.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas.


Blown up Hefty bag? or bag stuffed with styrofoam P-nuts??

Free Minicell?
Minicell is probably the easiest way to fill the void. I honestly can’t think of any other way to fill it, that’s temporary enough to remove when you have a pump to store. Hmm.

But my point is sometimes you can find free minicell. If there are any large warehouse-type places or factories in your area, they may have packing materials that they HAVE to get rid of. Home Depot-type places are a good option. Or furniture dealers. Sounds bizarre, but it’s a good free source. And keep your eyes on the road! Someone in my area found the minicell motherload on a local road.

Barring that, you could stuff sponges in the void to soak up the pooling water. Wringing them would still be easier than pumping or lifting.

Good luck! Hope you find a solution!

How about a Beachball. Put in, blow it up. Tough to puncture, cheap to replace, adds flotation.

put in a bulkhead and day hatch

– Last Updated: Jan-07-04 9:58 PM EST –

Not easy but doable. Better heads than mine will have to tell you how in terms of pointers but that is what I woud do or pay to have done. Maybe pay to have bulkhead put in, and do kayaksport hatch or vcp myself.

Obviously this cannot work if you are keeping the chimp pump.

Sheathing foam
or other rigid foam is cheap and cuts easily. I used several layers to fill the void in front of my footpegs.

I keep an inflated paddle float behind my seat, but it sounds like you have more space to fill. Drybag full of packing chips? Dry clothes?

even a empty dry bag
would help to take up space and keep water out.

Swimming noodles
Someone mentioned these once before to make rigid floats in kayaks that don’t have bulkheads. I also have seen a paddle float made out of some of these and duct tape. They are pretty cheap, and should be on the discount store shelves soon.


ok I will bite
What is a chimp pump and how is it different then a bilge pumP?

OT Deck mounted, hand operated

– Last Updated: Jan-09-04 9:12 AM EST –

and because of the poor biomechanics usually move a small amount of water per stroke. So as you are operating it your arm is making lots rapid up and down motions either above your foredeck or back deck. Looks like a crazy chimp. On the plus side you can pump with one hand and brace with the other.

No high school level jokes please.

I have at least one good friend who like his a lot. It is forward mounted.

lots and lots of grapefruit

In a similar vein…
I like the idea of a day hatch and bulkhead, but the shape of the Nordkapp deck will make it difficult to install a hatch. Another option is to move the existing bulkhead forward. It’s a simple matter of cutting it out close to the hull and deck, then glassing it back in closer to the coaming, using epoxy and fiberglass tape. If there is extra space forward of the foot pegs, the forward bulkhead can be moved back in a similar manner, further reducing the cockpit volume.

Another simpler option is to keep an inflated paddle float behind the backrest.

I second the beach ball.
Old sailors trick for adding cheap floatation/filling voids. Buy two or three at the dollar store for try-outs. Inflate as desired to fill in the area.

Actually, “Chimp” is the brand name
The one that came installed in my Pintail has “Chimp” molded into the handle.

chimp pump
When I first got the boat I found the Chimp pump to be pretty impractical since I had to reach behind my back to use it (it’s an older model boat). However I solved the problem with a length of 1.5 inch PVC slightly hollowed on one end to fit over the pump’s handle.

I can fit it over the handle without looking and it works as an extended lever which allows me to use the pump in a comfortable position.

It empties the boat fairly quickly and allows me to do it with the sprayskirt on.

Nothings as quick as a T-rescue though. Hence my original inquiry.


Pelican camera cases

A high carb diet, like mine.
Pass that Coke and HoneyBun please.

two six packs of bud?

The reason it’s impractical…
…is that it was never intended to be operated by a solo paddler. Frank Goodman (VCP’s Designer) intended that another person would operate the pump from alongside the stricken boat.

I removed mine and replaced it with a day hatch, which I find far more useful. The pump was an entanglement and impalement hazard, anyway. Extending the handle makes it even moreso.

Chimp pump
The PVCs not permanent. It sits under the foredeck bungees until it’s needed.

I’ve thought about the day hatch, but I do like having the big storage space for larger items (the boat’s got 7.5 inch hatches front and rear).

Did you miss the space when you added the day hatch?