Kayak Inside-Cockpit Gear Hammock?

Looking for some sort of bungee deck-rigging that goes on the INSIDE of the foredeck, to hold camera, car keys, wallet, etc… I guess it might attach to the same cleat bolts as the exterior deck rigging, but would form a kind of hammock under the foredeck to hold such small items and maybe a water bottle.

Searched archives/online and found only the raw materials to build my own, but want to avoid re-inventing the wheel.

Any ideas?

An under deck bag

– Last Updated: Jun-14-04 12:56 PM EST –

is the way to go for what you want. less likely to sponsor a yard sale than a hammock, but a bit harder to get in to. North water, (and mariner) and others are functional.

Northwater underdeck bag
Installed one this year and it is the berries. Out of the way and I don’t even know its there. I used a combination of existing fasteners and adhesive to install it. Got it from Rutabaga for $40.


Yep - love mine too

got one too and…
it’s the sh*t! I love that thing. It’s like having a glove compartment. I keep my lunch, sunscreen etc. at my fingertips and no longer have to pull a dry bag from down at my feet. Plus, I am able to stash my rain jacket on top of the bag with no problem. The best thing in/on my boat.

Thanks …
… for all the suggestions!

What are the pros and cons of such an under-deck bag compared to a standard above-deck bag? It seems it would be more secure and dry, and would keep the foredeck clear. But may be harder to get into, requiring one to open the skirt partially, and might make it harder to do a self-rescue re-entry.


for the average roomy kayak
it makes no sense to pile stuff on the deck. Manufacturers rarely outfit that space simply because of the labor involved,crisscrossing bungies look like a “real” sea kayak. A manufactuer could put a gold plated wet bar under there and it wouldn’t sell any more kayaks.

Mariner has been putting in a sheet of sprung plastic for that purpose.

Benefits PIC
Here’s a picture of the North Water Under Deck bag in my Q700 (21" beam, 12.5" deck height):


More secure? By far. Drier? Yes again. The best part? Clear decks! The more you think about this - the better it becomes. Once you do it - the better it is. Clear decks and nothing loose in the cockpit is a good thing.

Yes, you will have to pop the front of the skirt to access it. Question for you: If it’s too rough to do that - meaning you need both hands on the paddle - what do you think you are going to do with whatever it is you were wanting to get out anyway? I think same applies to pulling things out of deck bungees or reaching around to access a day hatch. What do you really need to access while in rough water? VHF? Something else? If so, keep it on or in PFD.

Entry/Exit? When you first install it - you may find it noticeable when entering. It will not be on exit. In short order you won’t notice it getting in either. The bag rides between your shins - between knees and ankles on most folks. Wasted space on even narrow kayaks.

how did you fasten it?
I was reading the intructions that came with this underdeck bag and it said installing it would take about 20 minutes. Did you follow the steps described such as scratching the surface before applying the specific bonding glue? My question is how hard is it? How long does it REALLY take and do you have to use the glue they mention on the instruction page?

I love the concept of the underneath bag but didn’t want to get in over my head to install it.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


It’s easy, but
do follow the instructions. I would say to use the recommended adhesive for the pads: VYNABOND

However, I used E6000 and it is holding great (two pads are on the hull - vinylester/Kevlar, and two are on foam liner/padding that I didn’t bother to cut out). I did sand/scuff a bit before gluing - would recommend you do - and be sure to do if it’s a plastic boat.

The part that takes time is measuring and marking where you want the pads to go. Placement doesn’t need to be exact, but if too close together it will sag - too far apart it will be hard to clip in. Too far forward - it’s in the cockpit, to far aft it’s harder to access and more around your feet.

It really helps if you can mark a centerline and work from that. Also helps if you can have the kayak up off the ground and upside down so you can get inside and work easily.

Have fun - it’s worth it.

Adhesion to RM plastic?
Are the bags/adhesives made to adhere to plastic boats?

much thanks
I like the idea of establishing a centerline first. You gave me some good suggestions on installing the bag and I think I’ll go for it!

Pretty slick
A little bulkier than what I was planning to make, but by the time you stick a wallet and keys and camera and water bottle in it, probably just right.

And if it’s really as unobtrusive as Greyak says, seems like the perfect location to stash all that stuff and keep the deck clear. I’ll stop at the paddle shop and take a look.

Thanks for all the thoughts!

Different instructions for plasticLink
Unfortunately, hardware is required for plastic boats, as nothing really adheres to polypropylene. See complete instructions here:


It’s small, but holds a lot
I’ve had 2 24 oz water bottles, lunch, my “running lights” (3), cell phone (in aquapac), and VHF in it no problem (with room left for GPS).

It can hold a 70oz Camelbak bladder! If it gets any hotter here I’m going to need that in addition to the 100oz behind my seat!

I usually carry a lot less. Empty or full it rides well. Nice to be able to just clip in and out.

Another picture - just the pads

Some of the pencil marks are still visible (and I used a water soluble pencil). Centerline is hidden behind pump - outer side lines helped me see what I was doing (I did the install hastily in poor light). The pad placements are outlines as in instructions.

What surprises me is how well the pads (closest to cockpit opening) are holding to the thin foam. I should have trimmed it out first - but so far it’s rock solid (for a year now).

perhaps this technique Greyak
You are a bit of a senior person around here.

How about a one handed behind the neck scull for support when you need to grab someting out of the day hatch or under deck bag. It is doable, but like many techniques, takes practice.

something to practice between high speed intervals?

Might not work on a ski; what do I know from skis?

L Possible!

– Last Updated: Jun-15-04 1:02 PM EST –

For you, yes ;)

I however need to learn and practice any number of related maneuvers! I'm falling into the "Jim Zone" of just paddling - with little to no skills work. Heck, even my speed pretty much sucks lately!

I'm sure there are lots of ways to access an under deck bag or day hatch in conditions (whatever definition - for now let's just say "not calm"). A day hatch has the added benefit of limiting the amount of water you can ship. A little harder to reach - but less chance of swamping. Reasonable trade.

My point was simply that accessing any gear in conditions poses challenges. Isn't it easier be set up to avoid the need as much as possible.

My real question isn't so much about ways to get to the gear - it's more about: What gear do you really need to get to? What than can't be kept on or in PFD?

Just curious what others carry and use while on the water.

On most paddles I don't need to get to anything (but I'm usually out 4 hours or less). I have hydration tube handy and paddle in hand. If I'm using GPS - it's in it's mount. If I need anything else - I'm probably in the water (or on land for a break) and skirt's off anyway.

I don't seem to pop the glove box much on the highway either *L*.

I know we’ve been around this one before,and I AM enjoying the use of the day hatch on my Chatham in that it’s like a glove box,open and toss stuff in. You’re right it’s not that hard to get stuff out of ,I’m pretty flexible even with my fat gut,can twist around well. BUT,I think it’s still an artifact of British marketing where they made the molds for a deck pump and didn’t change the mold once deck mounted pumps turned out to be a bad idea and they tossed a VCP hatch over the hole. “blimey, it’s a day hatch for afternoon tea!”

If you can’t pop the sprayskirt and grab something then sure as shootin twisting around to open a hole that’s an inch from water,makes less sense as the cockpit coaming sits higher from the water.

I have not fully mastered this yet
but I am working on it. It is getting more reliable on bigger swell, but I still worry about capsizing , yard sale out of the day hatch or other things.

Some kayak makers are really anti day-hatch. They say if you cannot pop your skirt you cannot pop your day hatch. Perhaps only 5% of paddlers would ever care to learn that sculling technique, but, (with practice), it is an option.