Outfitting canoe with flotation bags.

I’m getting ready to outfit my 15’ Royalex Nova Craft Prospector with flotation bags, and I was wondering if any one out there has bagged out that particular model, and if so, do you have any pictures.

Right now I’m pretty sure that I’m going to use Northwater’s outfitting kit & Mohawk’s 48x60 Center bag and two 3D 52’s to fill up the bow and stern.

Any other suggestions - I’d love to see some pics of other outfitting configurations in bigger boats like my prospector if anyone has

anything please feel free to post it.

Thanks Ed.

Eat you r heart out
and go to mikeyeeoutfitting.com

He has super systems for just about any way you might want to outfit.


The center bag may be a bit of

– Last Updated: Jun-06-07 2:15 PM EST –

overkill,if you have 52 inchers at both ends. I have a 60 in the front and a 48 in the back of my Mad River ME (which is the same legnth) and there is barely room for my legs and feet if I am kneeling plus a couple of drybags to carry my spare dry clothes,lunch and emergency supplies.
Here's a Pic http://www.paddlinpals.com/images/mroutfit.JPG

I get by with 30 inch end bags and a
minicell triple saddle in my MR Synergy, which is very similar to an ME. I also wonder what use might suggest the need for a center bag in a Prospector. If a big center bag is contemplated, then the end bag may interfere with the bow paddler unless it is short.

Um–too much baggage…
With the center bag and two 5’ end bags your all bag, no room for you.

The two end bags would be sufficient, leaving you 5’ for yourself.

but not for when you’re using it tandem

– Last Updated: Jun-06-07 5:31 PM EST –

Then you'd want the center bag in place of the 60 inch end bags.

And then solo, you can fill most of the boat if you want.

The amount of flotation to keep the boat up and out of the water without you in it is not necessarily the same amount of flotation required to keep you in the boat paddling more or less effectively when it's full of water.

Here's my 16 foot Prospector outfitted solo (60-60-60) to run class three after a heavy fall rain. I didn't feel much like swimming.

As it turned out, she was all dressed up with no place to go. The other paddler got cold feet and bailed.


for solo or tandem???
It seems there’s mixed info coming to you. Are you outfitting this boat for solo use or tandem use???

I figured it was for solo. If so the removable Northwater saddle looks like a winner:


As far as thigh straps etc. I can’t recommend Mohawk’s thigh retainer system highly enough. Quick in and out, extremely comfortable, and very secure.


As clarion said "The amount of flotation to keep the boat up and out of the water without you in it is not necessarily the same amount of flotation required to keep you in the boat paddling more or less effectively when it’s full of water. "

Five feet of open boat holds a LOT of water. I probably have around three feet of un-bagged space in my WW solo boat. Swamped it’s a pain to manuever (and the beam - think volume- on my boat is quite a bit narrower than a Prospector…)

Clarifications -
I’ll be paddling this boat solo (spun around from the bow seat on my knees w/ no saddle) and tandem. I figure utilizing the bags I previously spoke of I will have multiple configurations to work with depending on water conditions, other paddlers, etc. . . .

well then…
I guess you’ve got it about figured right.

If the bags aren’t going to be semi-permanently mounted like in a WW boat, I’d consider screwing in short loops of webbing underneath the gunnels every 6" or so, rather than drilling the hull, and running the bag lacing through these loops. Easier to lace and unlace, and the loops give you attachment points to tie in gear if you aren’t paddling it bagged out. Strength of this depends on your choice of screws/bolts and design of the gunnels. I’ve had very good luck with this on another of my boats.


Nix on the northwater saddle
I have one if anyone wants to try it, but its an @$$ buster. If you tried to carve it down to where it would be comfy, there would be nothing left of it. I found a brand new still in the box perception saddle on Craig’s list. Much better : )

I tried the little webbing eyelets
they are fine if you are not in a hurry, but they shrink up and are really hard to relace. You can use the rivet in (or screw in) eyelets as tiedowns and they do not look bad if you are careful about how you do them. To do them so they look good, its best to put the pretty side of the rivet out, this may require picking up some longer rivets than what comes with the kit.

Flotation installation
Mike Yee is pretty much state of the art.


there are some good informative pics in the “Outfitting Gallery”.

Colorado Canoe (Eric Nyre) has a page on ww outfitting with good pictures here.


Things to consider,

The primary purpose for flotation is to keep your boat floating high after you have swum. The higher the boat floats, the lower the chance that it will pin. IMO you can’t have too much (until it crowds you out of the boat!).

A secondary purpose is to displace water that comes over the sides while you are still in the boat. This will put a LOT of lifting force on whatever you use to secure the ends to the bottom of the boat. You want to spread that force over as much of the hull as you can. For a beamy boat like the Prospector, I’d consider at least 3 D-rings across the end of each bag.

In heavy water there can be situations where the current will try to strip the bags out of the boat. Most bags have grommets on the ends. I like to secure them all to the boat.

Your layout sounds good to me. You might want to consider a set of smaller end bags as well if you ever want to tandem.

Have Fun,