I just bought an Aires and had it out in the surf for the first time this past weekend. Really cool boat.
One issue I had (although minor)is with my day gear. I had a few items--first aid kit, repair kit, extra water, lunch, etc.
Without a day hatch, where I would normally store the heavier items to keep them contained and close to the bulkhead, I distributed the items between the front and back hatch in order to trim the boat out.
The problem I had though is that the items in the rear hatch slid around from side to side when edging the boat which threw off the balance of the boat on edge when the items slid over. This is especially noticeable in the Aires, given how wide it is right behind the seat.
What is a better solution for storing this gear in the absence of a day hatch?
I thought of getting a combination floatation dry bag and putting gear in it and inflating it in the rear hatch to keep it intact. Another thing I had considered is gluing down daisy chain and then lashing equipment down with bungees or cord. None of these options are very appealing.
I could put it all up front and this would probably solve the problem, but that would change the balance/trim of the boat. I guess it's not a lot of weight--10 pounds or less I guess, but I would think that it would slide forward in the front hatch and therefore be pretty far away from the center of the boat and therefore have a bigger effect on boat trim.
One person had mentioned to me that the Delphin handles better with the seat placed as far forward as possible. I don't think you can adjust the seat position in the Aires, but storing gear in the front like this would have a similar effect.
I would epoxy in loops at the front of the rear hatch and attach bungee cargo net to that.
IIRC the seat is movable. Whether it would help handling - that is a really good question - you know enough about boats to understand that effects are dependent on paddlers weight.
If the seat moves…
…and you do have room to move the seat forward without cra,ping you legs for entry it would give some good storage behind the seat. In my Greenboat, I there are lash points fore and aft of the seat, I’m just careful to avoid entaglements by using small drybags that are compact and out of my way.
Enjoy your boat, tOM
For a couple if the items they can be clipped onto the gear loops that are on the backside of the seat pan. For water, lunch, etc. small dry bag with a 5mm length of retrieval cord/leash attached to the closure so you can pull it out from in front of your footpegs without having to burrow your head below decks to reach it.
Have fun playing.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
(site 2.0 is up and running)
what I do
so basic snack and such in the small day hatch forward of the cockpit. Then bigger things like first aid and repair stuff in a dry bag in the rear hatch. I then have an air bag (a paddle float in my case) that I inflate in the rear hatch to force the gear bag forward and prevent moving around.
what I was going to recommend
I was going to recommend the same. Put gear in back hatch and then put a float bag behind it to hold in place.
You could also buy a few of those foam pool noodles and stuff back there. That may reduce or stop the movement of the gear, and are cheaper than a float bag.
I also put stuff in the back hatch, and secure with a float, or just wedge it in against itself so it sits tight.
I keep day gear that I might want for on water incidents clipped to the gear loops behind my seat. There’s a bit of room back there for stuff like a thermos and a cag.
From my experience, I wouldn’t move the seat forward, as the boat tends to weathercock if the boat is front loaded. I find (at 6’ 180#) that I need to put most of my day gear behind me to balance the boat correctly. The stern in plenty loose, even when weighted.
for the float bag. It will keep the day use items wedged in tightly. I typically use float bags in both the front and rear hatches just as an extra measure to keep larger volumes of water outside, where it belongs.
Thanks for the info!
All are good ideas.
I think I will start with the paddle float or one of my canoe floatation bags and see how that works. Or maybe one of my stern bags for my whitewater boat.
Fill in hatch space with
six packs of Guinness stout…and to keep your boat trimmed you might want to match them with the same number of six packs in the bow hatch. I will be happy to come down and help you load/unload them…
Ok…I actually used half-inflated cheapo beach balls in my SOF for float bags way back when. I would think these could work in your situation too.