Trying to build in extra storage on yak

-- Last Updated: Mar-29-11 9:48 PM EST --

Well, end of last summer I bought an Emotion Comet. In case you're unfamiliar this is a little 8' 3" rec boat. I originally bought it to replace a 13' Advanced Elements inflatable. I liked the inflatable but I hated having to lay it out in my apartment every time after I used it so the fabric cover would dry. So, I bought a hardshell and I got the only one that I could reasonably carry up the one flight of steps into my apartment and still be able to store the yak leaning up out of the way in a corner of one room. I was at Bass Pro today getting something else entirely when I decided to browse their kayaks. Unfortunately, I hadn't really considered fishing kayaks specifically when I bought mine end of last year. Looking at the fishing yaks I realized that is the kind of boat I should've gotten. I was looking specifically at their Ascend FS10 boat. If you haven't seen an Emotion Comet, this is what they look like:
I mainly wanted something that I could put some Scotty-type mounts on for holding some light camera gear, mostly for photographing and filming wildlife. I don't really fish, but I might at some point. Anyway, I don't think I can justify selling my boat and buying another one, besides I just don't know if I can store something two feet longer in my apartment. As it is, it's a bit of an adventure getting the 8' Comet in and out of the apartment. The rod holders and other mounts aren't that big of a deal. I know I can rig those up. However, I'd like to have somewhere that I can store something like a 5 gallon bucket or other cooler-like object. I suppose I could rig something up to sit behind the seat on the little flat bit of deck. I know you guys have probably rigged up some pretty creative things so I'm wondering if you can help me figure something out. I just wish my boat had some kind of inset well on the back deck. Emotion makes a slightly bigger Comet (the Comet 110) that does have an inset well, but then again, that's buying another, bigger boat. I want the ability to carry gear or store stuff on deck. I'm also not adverse to cutting holes in the deck if there's any kind of ready-made drop in well that can be purchased. Any thoughts/suggestions? Thanks,

how about something like this …

– Last Updated: Mar-29-11 11:00 PM EST –

...... either a 3.5 or 5 gal. bucket (a good quality bucket) fitted into the stern deck and put this lid on it ??

A 3.5 gal. is shorter than the 5 gal.

Folding cooler
How about a small or folding fabric cooler that goes in front of your feet.

Not a whole lot of room
The kayak has a rear float bag but nothing in the front. After accidentally capsizing it the first time out I realized how important that rear float bag was and also decided to get one for the front. Seeing as how I’m 6’ 1" the foot pegs are almost as far forward as they will go which means I’ve got all of about less than a cubic foot of space in the bow and if I stick a float bag in there, then that’s it. I think all of my storage options have to be “on deck” storage.

I like those screw-on bucket lids, that’s pretty slick. I’m a bit concerned about sticking a 5 gallon bucket on the back and filling it with water as that would probably mess with the center of gravity of the boat and maybe make it a bit tippy. I’m mainly thinking of this from the standpoint of having somewhere to keep water samples for a little research project I’ll be undertaking. It’s unlikely I’d be using a bucket or other storage device as an actual live well.

So, I take it there are not any aftermarket add-ons where you can cut a hole and drop in something the size of an average live well? I’ve seen the little mini flush mount dry bag looking things but I’m thinking of something larger than that. I also wonder what something the size and weight of a 5 gallon (or even 3.5 gallon), bucket would do to the back deck, if it’d make it bow in or otherwise overly stress the deck.

what I was thinking was …

– Last Updated: Mar-30-11 9:57 PM EST –

....... cut a perfect fit hole in the rear deck to accept a 3-1/2 gal. bucket ... they are shorter than a 5 gal. ... the 3-1/2 gal. bucket is 10-3/4" tall and 12" dia. across at the lid .

Most all those type buckets have a rim of some sort around them about 3" down from the top ... so the 3-1/2 gal. would set into the yak about 7-1/2" with the other 3" sticking above deck ... the buckets are about 11" dia. under the rim (that would be the aprox. size of hole to drop bucket into , if you are going to cut , you would have to take the actual , measurement under the rim of what ever bucket you have) .

If you cut the hole the correct size (just 1/16" less in dia. than what the bucket's o.s. dia. is under that rim that is about 3" down from top) ... the bucket should fit very snugly into the hole , you would probably have to give it a twist to pull it out ... plastic to plastic like that makes a snug bond ... you should be able to take the bucket in and out of the yak at will , it's portable if not sealed to the yak .

Anyway , I would want any extra weight to be as close to the bottom of the yak as possible , not on top of it ... even if you filled the intire 3-1/2 gal. bucket with water , that would only be 28 lbs. , and I think any extra weight will serve you better if it's low and behind you (keeping your bow light as possible) .

I could be incorrect but I see the bucket idea with that lid as a good dry rear hatch ... you can organize the interior of the bucket you know with compartments if you wish .

If you look at those lids , you will see that practically the intire interior width of the bucket is accessable ... don't know this for certain but the bucket organizers (stackers , etc.) may pass through the lid w/o any problem .

Here's a link to some bucket organizers , stackers , etc. (the yellow and red plastic things at bottom of page)...

or put parachute bags inside the bucket ...

A few thoughts
I think filling a large bucket with tackle and putting it onto the deck of a small boat is asking for a capsize. Not only will you get really wet and have to do a self-rescue, but you’ll lose your stuff too.

I use a 10’ decked boat for fishing. But before that I had an 8’ creek boat that I used for fishing.

On the 10’, what I’ve done is mount a single Scotty holder in front of the cockpit. Just beyond that, I’ve rigged bungee tie-downs that can readily fit the flat Plano tackle boxes. But usually I don’t use those. What I mostly use are a little tackle binder with handles, and then another tackle binder to hold some spinnerbaits. This particular kayak has a center post to add rigidity. I poked a hole through it and ran a rope through. Then I tied a clip on each end of the rope so that one is on either side of the post. I clip the clips to the tackle binders. Finally, I have a small (roughly 4"x7")double-sided Plano box. I carved a little shelf out of the foam post that the Plano box fits into. Finally, I poked another hole through the post and ran a strap with a closing snap through the hole. I use it to snap the Plano box in place. With this set up, I can capsize and not lose a thing. You have to go very light on tackle (obviously), but not as light as you’d think. You can fit a lot of things in two tackle binders and a small Plano box.

In the 8’ boat, I had a flat tackle binder with a lot of pockets. It folded up like a portfolio. I cleaned the plastic of the kayak and the binder thoroughly with some denatured alcohol, then used some industrial indoor/outdoor velcro. I velcroed the binder thingy down to the deck of the kayak where it stayed securely even when the deck was awash or I flipped. I hung a loop of line off the front grab-handle and another off a grab-handle that was amidship just behind the cockpit. I would put the tip of the rod through the front loop, then the handle through the rear loop. I could then paddle through what I had to paddle through without worrying about losing stuff.

  • Big D