Million Dollar Question

 Please help me solve a disagreement my GF and I are having.<br />

If you add air flotation bags to the inside front and/or rear of a kayak, what effect does it have on the kayak as it sits in or moves through the water? Does it add a buoy effect to the kayak raising it out of the water or does it only impact the kayak in keeping it from sinking if it fills with water?
Please hurry with you answers as the fate of the western world hangs in the balance. :)

a friend of mine
here at work (with a GED) said it would float higher if you filled them with helium.

… first we have to ask you a question
What color is your girlfriend’s hair?

Keeps the boat from sinking

– Last Updated: Aug-03-07 1:48 PM EST –

Hydrogen or helium in the air bags may provide an immeasurable amount of "bouy"' effect.

What is you girl friend wearing?


Float bags filled with air will only add weight to empty kayak. Of course, the weight will be negligible - equal to the weight of empty bag + attachment hardware.

Float bags filled with Helium or Hydrogen will add less weight - you can calculated the difference. I’d be extremely surprised if it reduces weight.

P.S. Lament on the state of education is NOT attached

only affect the kayak when it is upside down or under water the air in the kayak float bags can’t be displaced by water, so you wind up with less water in the boat, and a boat that will still float with some water in it. If you don’t have the float backs and wind up upside down or underwater then water will displace the air in your kayak, this is how you wind up with a sinking water logged kayak.

If your bulkheads and hatches seal well, it’ll have no effect right side up or upside down.

I agree

– Last Updated: Aug-03-07 2:38 PM EST –

I agree with the posts above.

A boat running normally would see no significant difference with float bags. Only difference would be the added weight of float bag and attachments, which should be nominal.

If you flip the boat or it otherwise takes on water, the float bags would make a huge difference in how much water gets in the boat (assuming you don't have watertight hatches that are still doing their job).

Who do I send the bill to for the million bucks?

how did this become a big question to start with? (as above, the float bags I regularly use have made no diff in how high the boat sits in the water)

Actually, Actually
Actually, I think you’re assuming the kayak in question has bulkheads which it may not.


if your boat has fore and aft bulkheads…many boats don’t have one or the other, or both.

very good

What temperature is the air? (nm)

How many pounds of air pressure you put in the bags:^)

Prove it to yourselves
Try it both ways and check your results. Ask GF to pack a picnic and when you’re done playing in the (shallow) water enjoy some lunch. This way you both win by getting in some boat swamping practice, knowledge, and a nice day out.

must be quite the ladies’ man. How many other stupid males here (myself included, sorry guys) would prefer to simply argue the point rather then turn it into a fun and romantic exercise.

Stay away from my wife :slight_smile:

No measureable diff.

– Last Updated: Aug-03-07 3:32 PM EST –

Bulkheads or not doesn't matter I don't think. It's only if you start filling the compartments that contain the float bags with water that the float bags matter, whether the compartment is the whole boat or a bulkheaded compartment. Yeah, the cloth adds a little weight to sink the boat slightly, and maybe the bags insulate the air inside so that it's a slightly different temp than it would be without the bags.

Here's another question. If you're doing a brick roll in a pool and you accidentally drop the brick, does the water level in the pool go up or down?

Oh, and the two million dollar question, if your girl friend is wrong, how are you gonna break it to her? Think man, think.


What good is arguing
if there’s no kiss and make up?

Polluted Air Weighs More
What kind of perfume does your girlfriend use?

Is the kayak in question rudder or skeg
equipped? Second question, did your girlfriend recently attend an ACA or BCU symposium? Third, is she a democrat, republican or green party member? Fourth, is her PFD equipped with an exterior mounted fixed blade knife, or is it a folder in the pocket? 6th, Does she use Greenland or European style paddles?