Well, my long message was deleted when the screen froze. In short, is there a trick to using tractor inner tubes as end floats, or do you just stuff 'em in?
You usually see truck inner tubes used as floatation in the center of tandem boats - especially big old aluminum Grummans. Tire tubes aren’t really the right shape for end bags, but I guess if you had them tied in it would work. What type of boat are you talking about - solo or tandem.
Only seen em used tandem in the Kenduskeag race as center bags
Thinking about this (end bag flotation for my MR Explorer) as well. Only because I find myself often crossing open, deep water channels, paddling solo. End flotation might make self recovery a little more efficient/easier. Has anyone used poly foam for end flotation? I’ve seen videos of the two-part pourable marine poly (expensive and messy, too)
Noticed, while at Lowe’s, there are packages of poly foam planks (4x2 ft x 2 inches thick) for less than 10 dollars (package of four).
These would be easy, cut into two, two foot sections, shaped to fit into the bow and stern (perhaps ‘bagged’ in plastic). One cubic foot of foam floats about 65 lbs. and a Royalex canoe has enough flotation, already, to prevent an unloaded hull from sinking.
If you use foam, make sure it is closed cell foam that will not absorb water. Back in the day, styrofoam blocks were commonly used by whitewater open boaters. Large styrofoam blocks would be cut and shaped to fit it the canoe. But once they were in, they were inconvenient to remove or store. Left in the boat, they tended to get stinky, slimy, and moldy and promote mold growing on the hull interior. There is a good reason you don’t see them used anymore since inflatable float bags for canoes came along.
If you are looking for a lower cost alternative to dedicated canoe flotation bags you might look into inflatable dunnage bags, used to cushion and protect cargo in transit. Used ones are often sold on ebay. They won’t be the right shape to fit into the stems of your boat, but they will work.
This is for a solo in the end. Since inflatable dunnage bags go for $4 + shipping on ebay, I think that’s the route I’ll go.
music321 thank you for starting this thread. And Pblanc, thank you for mentioning Dunnage bags (did not know they existed). The Vestil 4836, double wall, poly reusables sold at Amazon ($20.56 ea) seem perfect for my plans. As end bags, they will be contained by lacing and inflated well below their rated psi… If center flotation is ever needed (generally just class 1 water everywhere I paddle) they would easily install and work there, too.