Scuba Tank on sit-in kayak

Anybody got practical advice for carrying a scuba tank on a sit-in? Im trying to avoid an expensive power boat rental just for a few dives.

I just have a big tsunami 175 sit in and not a sit-on-top. Im planning on strapping a 40 lb air tank somewhere on deck. Id really like to put 2 on. The back is much lower to the water so 1 will probably go there.

Im completely guessing that this is manageable for calm conditions with occasional 20-25 lb power boat wakes, within a couple hundred feet of shore, and a short paddle. I will land on a island and change in the water near shore.

Anybody ever try this with a sit-in and have any practical advice?

skip it
I highly recommend you try it in swimming pool calm water first. If you can fit the tank inside it will make the kayak more stable, but how are you going to get it out without flooding the hatch?

I strongly recommend you rent a sit on top designed for this usage, like a Cobra Fish and Dive or a Scupper Pro tank well model.

An outrigger kit.

Ryan L.

How about towing a board?
Use a paddle board and strap both tanks?

If you do two tanks …

– Last Updated: Aug-27-12 5:34 PM EST –

Please shoot some video ... it will be a youtube sensation.

I second renting a sit on top with a tank well, just a Frenzy or Scrambler would work much better than what you are proposing, and boats like this are usually pretty easy to find as rentals. You could also buy a cheap inflatable raft and tow the tanks out, if you are really confident about flat conditions and no wind.

I agree with these guys. Rent a SOT
made for the purpose.

Also weight belt
You probably will also need a weight belt in addition to mask, fins, regulator, bcv

How about trying…

– Last Updated: Aug-27-12 8:27 PM EST –

different tanks? Would a couple of 50cf tanks fit in your hatch?
I just measured my wife's 50 vs. my 80. Hers is four inches shorter, same diameter. Women don't need much air when they can't talk, it seems ;).
If you're paddling out to do a "beach" dive, or anchor in shallow water and assemble your gear, it may work.
Just tryin' to think of another solution.
Edit: I just looked on line at tanks. They make itsy bitys ones @ 13cf. Lots of choices in between. I don't know if you want to buy/rent another tank, but it's a lot less than another kayak.
BTW, I watched a man paddle a kayak with a dog that had to be at least 35lbs. standing on the rear deck of his SINK. They seemed to be doing alright. You don't really know until you try. Try safely.

I’ve carried my SCUBA on a closed cockpit kayak and it was fairly easy to pull off. It should be a lot easier on an open boat, even if it doesn’t have a tank well (as some do).

I created an outrigger using a paddle and two paddle floats. Here is the process I’ve used:

  • tie off the boat to kelp fronds as an anchor (rope wrapped around several fronds just under the surface - works quite well and is easier than any anchor)
  • attach paddle floats to both paddle blades and inflate
  • attach a tie around paddle shaft, run it under the boat and up to the other side to the shaft there - make sure it is very tight

    With this rig, I can stand up in my kayak to extract gear. Inflate the BC, attach a tie to it and throw it over the side. Jump in and don gear. I use caribiners to make most attachments and strap ties for the outrigger.


Thanks for the advice
Well I guess Im going to keep the option of renting a small skiff…no SOT’s available, even though I thought ferrying stuff out to an island would be doable. Last thing I will check is one of those new big flag carrier/rafts with d rings…supposedly work as a resting float for divers in rough water…maybe it can be towed.

Good point about the weights…they would have been inside a partially inflated weight-integrated BCD strapped to the front.

buy a kiddie kay ak for $100from walmart or dicks and tow it with your boat

It’s possible
It’s possible to do, but not easy/recommended. I once against better judgement (and with a few too many pops down) tried to carry some firewood across a lake we were camping at to our campsite.

The first problem was putting the gear on the boat without it flipping before i got in(which happened a few times).

The second problem is it is very tippy and top heavy once you’re in and underway, so you run a fairly high risk of losing gear if/when you flip.

Unless you can put them in your hatch i would stay away from putting the tanks on top.

How secure is this?

– Last Updated: Aug-31-12 12:40 PM EST –

I'm having a hard time picturing a tie down wrapped around the hull of a kayak staying in place as the boat moves through surf and waves. I would think the drag would pull the tie down towards the narrower shape of the hull and eventually loose.

Tank wells in SOTs have been designed for divers and they work fine.

I would really discourage someone from taking a gerry-rigged pontoon out into the ocean anywhere on an open coast line. Wind and sea conditions can change rapidly. Water and wave action has a huge amount of force, small waves can be deceptively efficient at undoing things.

I had the experience of participating in the rescue of a very large diver with two tanks, from my surf kayak. The weight and balance issues of the tanks is not trivial for a boat not designed to carry the load on the deck.

For the OP I wonder if the floation vest could be inflated enough to keep both tanks buoyant and just tow them out that way?

FWIW, towing most of the gear in an inflatable boat ($25 from Dicks sporting goods on clearance) using the sit-in kayak worked out well.

I put about 40 lbs of lead weights in the front compartment of the sit-in and made sure they would not fall out of the hatch if I capsized.

BTW tracking and windcocking improved…I wonder if adding some weight can be used to trim the performance of any sit-in for windy conditions.

Next time I would leave the 7mm farmer john off and put it on at the remote shore site as it made torso rotation unpleasant.

We are talking moderate lake conditions. although there was 12kt wind there was no reach so waves were 1 ft.

Using a tow belt made things convenient.

Unfortunately 1 of the 4 air chambers got punctured by some rocks at the landing site due to the wind. Even so everything was tied to an inflated bouyancy compensator so the risk was minimal.

I think something more durable like an NRS Big River Tube, a river rescue board, or a cheap, used, small rec boat would be better.