I have a boat without a built-in pump and therefore have to carry a handpump. I carry it on my front deck because it seems to be the most secure location for not getting ripped off in surf, but I hate carrying it there. It just seems to get in the way.

I have thought of carrying it on the rear deck but I don’t have very many bunjis there and am afraid it would get ripped off in a surf landing/launch. It won’t fit in my knee tube and I am reluctant to carry it inside the boat for fear of it getting washed out in the event of a capsize.

Where do you carry yours???



In your moufffghhh

I put mine under the fore deck where a knee tube would go. Requires some simple rigging, but it’s convenient and out of the way. On some boats I can slide it between the seat pan and the side of the hull. Anything on your deck will be a pain in rough seas, if not lost. JMO

Obviously …

– Last Updated: Dec-11-05 7:02 PM EST –

Obviously you paddle a kayak.
I carry a manual pump which I use in my whitewater canoe.

Maybe you can make some kind of adaptation, based on how I carry mine.
I took a short length of small diameter (climbers) utility cord, tied it securely around the pump(not long enough to create an entrapment problem/no loops in it).I attached a small caribiner to the utility cord. I slip the pump under the lacing that holds my air bags in place, and attach the caribiner to a piece of the lacing. Can detach the caribiner & remove the pump from under the lacing with one hand; takes a couple of seconds. Whitewater hasn't gotten it loose yet.

Perhaps you can use a variation on that setup by putting the pump under the rear deck bungee & clipping the biner to the bungee. If you clip the biner into the bungee the same place/same way every time, it won't be long before unhooking it will become second nature, and it's out of the way too.


Not on the back deck.
It is in the way for a paddle float rescue and is difficult to get to and put away, especially in rough water. I carry mine on the front deck but that is only because I have not yet got around to doing something better.

I carried mine
on the front deck for years, but it was always in the way. Then I saw somebody with the pump shoved between the seat hanger and the hull, and I found that my pump fit great there, too. However, it took me a while to get used to that location. Doing some practice rescues I went blank on where my pump was for a few seconds before I remembered.

I think it’s not so much where you put it, but that it is in a place that is convenient and accessible to YOU. Practice, practice, practice with your equipment in place, wherever it is.

There Is No Good Place
I have seen other paddlers carry thiers under the cockpit foredeek which seems like a good idea. I have a small bag hanging there and stole an idea from Greyak and mounted the pump just above the bag.

Talk to liv2paddle, he has installed a real bilge pump, foot operated, on his boats. For a bunch of reasons this makes sense to me. Using a hand pump in rough conditions is not easy. Using a hand pump requires your skirt to be at least partially open, and opens the possibility of rough seas adding more water than you can pump. And finally, a foot operated pump is out of the way and always ready.

Happy Paddling,


DItto That…
Or don’t carry one. Can’t pump out my SOF. Roll or die.


In my Caribou, it fits nicely between the seat and the side of the hull. In my Recluse, I carry it in a knee tube.


With my paddle float

– Last Updated: Dec-11-05 8:00 PM EST –

under the bungee cords on the rear deck. Kind of figure if I need the bilge pump then chances are the paddle float will be needed too. Practiced self-rescues with it there many times and it has never come loose on either the I-Boat or the Adventure XL except when I remove it.

Stay safe on the water

Almost always on the front deck.
If I am doing a self rescue I don’t want it on the back deck getting in my way.

I don’t have any problem with it on the front deck, and the fact that it is right there in front of me to grab once I am in the kayak makes it the sensible place for me.

I have made many rough surf landings and it has never come off.

Occasionaly if I am on flat water like I was yesterday when the chance of rolling was negligible I do put it under a bungee on the rear deck.

If you need more bungees for your front or rear decks, you can get kits at Boaters World or west marine to custom build your own lengths.



Granted I don’t carry a pump either in my SOF and I agree with the roll or die sentiment for the most part, but I do think a SOF can be pumped out to some extent. I have had to raft up and borrow a friends pump on one occasion to help pump out my SOF which was getting a bit waterlogged (I was in my rolling qajaq and I done a few too many rolls). It was a tight fit getting a pump between my legs but I did get a significant amount of water out.

I carry mine clipped under the deck with
a Mag-Light clip.

bowler1 meet Nigel Foster
Nigel Foster, for what it is worth, says in his DVD series that the pump should be between the seat and the hull, as some above have described. Thus handy once you re-enter, out of the way until you re-enter, and not likely to wash away in a sea spill and leaving your deck shock cords avalable for other items. He advocates a thorough custom outfitting of kayak with minicell, and notes that you can carve a place for the pump between the hull and seat side in the minicell to keep the pump secure.

So sayeth Nigel.


– Last Updated: Dec-12-05 6:13 AM EST –

More often than not, I'm alone out there in my SOF. Without assistance, there is no way for me to empty get in and not have it fill it back up again. At least not in any kind of conditions other than flat.

I am not too worry about it. If it's really a big, big day, I would be on the break with a surf kayak. Tightly strapped in with my seatbelt.


I have an electric pump
but the manual backup pump goes between the seat bracket and hull,fastened with velcro and is tethered with shock cord and a carabiner.I don’t think they belong on the deck,adding clutter,windage,lowering CG and they’re ugly. I like a clean deck,I shudder when I see some of the crap people have on the deck,they look like Sanford and Son on pickup duty. Everything untethered on deck is destined to get lost in a real emergency.


Mr Cleandeck

Back deck with paddle float
when doing reentry practice I drop it in the cockpit when I retrieve float. Since I have developed a bombproof roll I carry it mainly in case someone else needs one (and as extra insurance also…)

Front Deck

– Last Updated: Dec-13-05 7:36 AM EST –

Two reasons - one is that there really isn't any room inside my Explorer LV to fit it under the deck, unless I want to forego all chances of ever doing a wet re-entry. It's tight enough in there already. The other is that, with it on my deck, I don't have to pull my skirt off if I need it to help pump someone else out. In dimensional water, two manual pumps are sometimes better than one.

For security, I just loop the bungie twice around the narrrow end. I lost almost everything else in the surf seesion I went on, but not the pump.

I am considering having someone help me install a foot/electric pump over the winter for myself though.

what is a sof?

Celia has touched
on the major advantage of foredeck/bungies mounting: The ability to quickly add your pump to an effort to empty another’s boat. As she said, “dimensional water” makes speed a factor, and I would add to that colder water.

If I am on placid water, with a greatly reduced chance of needing it, I often carry my pump under the foredeck, on top of my Northwater underdeck bag. I have also carried it between the seat hanger and the hull, but I for one cannot access it when seated in the cockpit. YMMV.

This group of boaters obviously has given this subject much thought, but when highly regarded instructors such as Nigel Foster and Wayne Horodowich do not agree, I doubt this will ever be laid to rest.