Need advice on float bags for solo

-- Last Updated: Apr-28-08 8:47 AM EST --

canoe. Have a Wenonah Vagabond, want to add float bags to bow and stern. In the event of a dunking the boat would be less inclined to be damaged, and easier to get to shore and empty out. I don't plan on paddling in more than class II. I am waiting on a response from Wenonah, but thought I'd get some advice here too. I have looked at NRS and NOC, and I'm thinking two small or a small in bow and larger in stern. Does anyone with a similar boat have them and if so, what is the best way to secure them.
Thanks in advance


Securing float bags
I do not have float bags but I have a Vagabond thta I set up to secure packs and camping gear. i bought some nylon kayak deck hooks like these( Then I took some of the screws holding the gunwales out (where I wanted the hooks positioned) and put the hook on the underside of the gunwales with the screw through one of the hook holes. The hooks are not noticable and out of the way when not being used. I then took 1/4 inch bungy cord and made a lashing line to fit over my packs and laced it around the hooks in a criss-cross pattern over my gear. I put hooks in the bow and stern so I could haul in both locations. I am sure this would work for you.

all, jerryohare, that sounds like a great idea.

I would suggest that bow and stern
bags be the same size. It may make the boat more manageable when you have to slowly roll it over and then up while letting water flow out. Your lacing system should be pretty thorough, though the lacing eye intervals need not be as close together up in the bow as when going back toward the center of the boat.

Lots of us prefer to just drill the hull below the gunwales for lacing. For an ABS boat, wipe some sealant onto the foam in each drill hole. For a composite boat, a bit of detail sanding and a spot of varnish in each hole may help keep the laminate from sawing the laces.

I’d go with 30" bow and stern
I don’t see the need for big air bags in a Vagabond. It’s not like you’ll be doing a lot of whitewater in it where you may want/need to continue paddling once the boat is full of water. Just as long as it floats out of the water if you dump out, which it will do with 30" bags.

As for attachments, I’d check out the links Tommy provided. Make sure you use Vyna Bond or the like to secure any D ring patches. Don’t use contact cement.

What’s that about Sealant?
I’ve heard that exposure of the foam core is bad (air- or water-exposre (can’t remember which) apparently degrades the foam).

So, what do you recommend for sealing the exposed foam in the drill holes? I can no longer use something like silicon for that, because I recently altered my lacing-equipped boat so the main lacing and bags can be removed and re-installed in a few minutes. To allow this, a “zig-zag” cord remains in place on each side. This cord can be loosened to create loops for quickly lacing another rope from one side to another, or tightened to “disappear” beneath the gunwale. Bottom line, I’m thinking that something like silicone sealant applied to the drill holes would rub right off as the side laces are tightend and loosened. I suppose you’d need a pretty durable sealant in this case. Any thoughts?

I never sealed the holes before, and I know that the full length of exposed core inside the gunwales never gets sealed, but whatever preventative action can be done seems like a good idea to me.