Store it in bow or stern?

If I am packing one heavy item is it better to store it in the bow or stern?

Robert G

Canoe or kayak?
If canoe, and you are paddling solo, probably the bow.

If sea kayak …
Put it in the rear compartment as close to your butt as you can get.

Is it Jimmy Hoffa?

It’s all about trim
Your boat needs to be level in the water. Slightly bow or stern heavy in certain conditions, but level is good.

Basic ratio
I heard this from a real old hand at sea kayaking, and we’ve found it works. Start out with a 40/60 ratio, 40% of the weight in front of the cockpit and 60% behind, then modify it as needed to help with the boat’s trim.

So in my Explorer LV with the wandering bow I usually bring it up closer 50/50 for camping. For day trips I stuff the spare skirt, float bags and dry bag of spare clothing in the nose as far up as I can cram it. The skirt and float bags also help also create some friction and keep things from flopping around on me if I drop for a roll.

I modify the 40/60 the opposite way in my Vela, with a tight bow and a disappearing stern. In that boat, I’ll shift weight to the stern to help hold it.

What boat do you have? Others on this board may know the boat and have a recommendation on percentages.

If it’s a grey thing, then…
according to Pamlico_140, it goes in the bow.


Ditto That.

– Last Updated: Aug-20-06 5:53 AM EST –

most sea kayaks built with some weathercocking (turning into the wind) tendency. Putting the weight towards the back will begin to neutralize that. However, you don't want to end up leecocking (turning downwind) by having the weight too far back. The closer to the paddler the less likely for that. Helps to lock that weight in place.


What the
heck WAS that thing, anyway???