How to hide your pump

Sorry, not a porn post! I’ve seen pics around of pumps mounted under the foredeck. I’m wondering how people have secured them up there - bungees, homemade foam clips, etc.?

Bnystrom’s page

Knee Tube…
Do a Yahoo Image search…

CLC Shop Tip: Build A Kayak Knee Tube

Space is at a premium in a kayak, and paddlers have found ways to utilize every inch of volume in their boats. A “knee tube” is a structure fastened to the underside of the kayak’s deck between the paddler’s knees. I’ve seen them made out of solid minicel foam, fiberglass, and even PVC pipe. Knee tubes give the athletic paddler another bracing point for rolling and bracing. If they’re hollow, knee tubes can also make a brilliant place to store your water bottle.

Here’s how to build a knee tube into your kayak:

Step 1: Assemble three rectangular pieces of plywood into a trapezoid shape. Use copper wire or masking tape to hold the plywood in place. The size of the tube is determined by your water bottle.

Step 2: Apply a large-radius epoxy fillet to the inside corners of the trapezoid.

Step 3: When the epoxy fillet has cured, give the outside corners a substantial radius—so the knee tube won’t scratch or grab as you enter or exit the cockpit. Reinforce the outside of the tube with 4oz fiberglass cloth.

Step 4: The tube is installed to the underside of the deck at the front of the cockpit. Use large-radius epoxy fillets to bond it in place. Don’t forget to scuff the epoxy on the underside of the deck for a better bond where the knee tube is attached. Here you can see the water bottle in place.

on a glass boat I have used
Two, two inch wide minicell pieces. One minicell pad is glued to the bulkhead and a deep indentation is cut into it like a funnel. (there should be about 3/8 inch between the handle and the bulkhead

2" heavy duty velcro
We used the 2" heavy duty sticky back velcro under the deck. We used contact glue to give it a bit more holding power. Glue the velcro to the float part of the pump. It has never come loose rolling or wet exit. If you know you’ll going to be in big waves, just put it on the deck at the start.

on the deck …

– Last Updated: Aug-31-05 2:57 PM EST –

you're most likely to need a pump in 'big' water. you're least likely to want to undo your spray skirt and get out that "hidden" pump when you're in 'big water'. deck that pump where it'll be most useful when you need it.

I definitely vote for under the deck. The time you need the pump is when you have failed a roll and the boat is full of water. In this case the skirt is off, access to the inside is easy and therefore arguements about keeping the pump up on top dont fly. Less on the deck (to get washed away) is better. I have fashioned minicell holders that are glued to the underside of the top deck between my knees. If you are careful about how you cut out the openings this provides an easily accessable, yet very secure location. I also believe that this has an added benefit of filling up wasted cockpit space that otherwise just ends up as potential space for water. In fact, I make an effort on all my boats to fill up as much unused cockpit space as I can with minicell (i.e. a false foam bulkhead to fill in the space between my footpegs and the front bulkhead). Granted, I like my boat cokpit tight and it is a balance between using interior space and making sure you are still comfortable with entry / exit.

octopus hatch
Have you thought about installing a Octopus hatch. It allows you to store your pump under the deck, and you don’t need to pop the skirt to get to it. Plus all you need is one hand to pump.

under deck pump
I just glued 4 D rings with vinyl disks attached to the underside of my hull. Very similar to the setup for an underdeck bag. I have light bungees thru the D rings. The pump goes under the bungees. I could stick a knee tube sort of thing in there if I wanted and that would avoid the hassle of using glass, epoxy, etc.

Underside of my deck. Sorry about that.

Greyak’s Idea
Greyak posted or emailed me sharing his idea of a hanging back under the front cockpit. He stores his pump above the bag and it rides well there. I have since installed the same bag and like it alot. For me there is also room for a bottle of water next to the pump.


My Method…
What I have (on my classic “real” Pungo)isn’t pretty but it is out of sight and readily available. Hopefully I can (verbage wise) describe my setup and maybe it can be adapted for your specific situation.

My paddle shop had a set of two clips that matched the shaft of my pump. Included were a set of wood screws for mounting the clips. My Pungo has a trapeziodal shape bungee directly behind the rear of the cockpit which is secured by four eyes in each corner. Along with the clips, I purchased two #8-1 1/2" stainless screws. I trimmed down a 1/2" thick strip of wood to approximately 1 1/2" x 12". Next, I measured and marked the position of the four nylon nuts (showing under my deck) that lock down the front and rear right side bungee eyes. At one front and one back position, holes (slightly larger than the nut diameter)were counter sunk into the top side of the wood so that the wood strip would rest flat against the top of the rear deck. The other two positions were drilled to fit my new longer bolts and then counter sunk (on the bottom of the strip)with a larger bore so that the secured nuts would not protrude from under the wood strip. After mounting the wood strip under the deck, and grinding off the bolts to prevent any snagging, I simply mounted the two clips using the furnished wood screws.

It is great to have the pump quickly accessable but also conveniently out of sight and out of the way. I just leave it mounted all of the time and never have to remember to pack it.

Good Timing
Under the bungies is what I do. I used to keep the pump aft 'til I realized it was in my way when doing a paddle float entry. Now I store it on the foredeck.

Mag light clip fits the pump
perfectly. You can buy them at any hardware store. Just mount it under your deck. The pump just pops in and out as needed. It also doesn’t take up very much room, so I had room, even on my very low deck, to add a knee tube for storing my paddle float.

Can you post a picture?
I’d love to see what the installation looks like from close up. Did you mount it to a glass or poly boat?



I have the same challenges as all of you with my pump. However, the idea of any kind of hard clips as in plastic or metal make me hesitate due to entrapment issues (hooking on them with clothing) and tearing/cutting a hole in my expensive drysuit.

I heartily agree with Brian Nystrom’s foam holders in that it solves the two issues above.

Brian - can you give us insight how to make these, and also, how long would they last before they stop holding the pump?

Hard plastic clip?

It’s pretty simple.
I just cut trapezoids out of 2" foam (~5" on the bottom and ~3" on the top), drill holes in them with a hole saw, then cut the top open, leaving enough material to grip the pump. As for durability, all I can tell you is that I’ve been making them for a few years and don’t know of any that have worn out.

You can hide it, but if you’re strokin’
it, people are going to know by the bobbing of the boat. Wait until you are behind a big rock or something.