Wild Wasser Overnighters

Neighbor has a Perception America 13.5. He wants to remove the foam pillar and install large size Overnighter dry/inflatable flotation air bags in the bow held in by glued in eyelets and bungees.

Two questions… What is your experience with these air bags?

And regarding the foam pillar, can it be removed or is it used for somthing other than floatation like supporting the hull or deck? It’s only held in by one screw, slides around all over the place, no glue.

Thanks for your help.

Flotation and support
The pillar is for floatation and to support the front deck in the event of a pin to keep your feet from getting pinned. However, the cockpit is so large it’s unlikely that in a flip you would stay in the boat long enough to get pinned so taking the pillar out and replacing with bags is a sensible thing to do.

The Wildwasser bags are some of the strongest, best made products available so I wouldn’t hesitate to use them in my boats.

what do you mean by “Pinned”

I had an America 13.5. The gray thing
is for support. I would not take it out. The America 13.5 was kind of a “floppy” boat to begin with. Mine always had a misformed hull, especially in hot weather.

The America is an entry level boat. When I sold mine, I upgraded to a Prijon Cruiser. It was a good move for me. Maybe it’s time for a change for you, too.

Could you use split bags and leave
the pillar in? Wildwasser may have a smaller bag, two of which could be put in on either side of the pillar. I recommend drilling and installing interior eyes to tie the bags in place.

One advantage of smaller bags is easier handling, getting them in and out, and another is the ability to organize gear by category and use, so one might not need to take a HUGE bag out for lunch, just one smaller bag.

I have inflating Voyageur bags with sliding closures, but they are no longer available. I also have one of the larger Watershed “Futu” inflating storage bags, but that size might not be large enough for the boat in question.

Looks like we got a project
for this winter. We are now seriously considering installing a plywood seperation between the two float bags, (the foam is too wide) and running that plywood up to the cockpit rim. This would give us somthing to attach the flotation to and make the hull stronger. The hull is pretty solid. We took these out and I got pinned last spring against some trees at high water and the hull didn’t give much. As it is now, the foam dosent even come up to the foot pegs. I don’t think it would make any difference in a pin. We are also thinking about adding a sail, they came with a rudders so why not. We are also going to reduce the size of the cockpit, still use the same spray skirt and combing just mount a plastic shield over the first 15-20 inches of cockpit. I made a pattern out of cardboard. Now I just need some plastic sheeting about 1/8 inch thick. It will fit under the inside of the combing. Does anyone know what type of plastic Perception rotomolds are made of?

My neighbor and I were given these kayaks for helping clean up a lake cabin after the owner passed away so we don’t have any money in them. They were kept in a shed since new.

Its kinda fun to rebuild somthing and try to make it better.

I currently have a Tahe Marine 31 and a Carolina 14 but still have room in the garage for more.

Thanks all for your suggestions


Careful not to add unnecessary weight
If you use plywood, it must be thin and stiff, and you will have to stabilize it against the underside of the top deck by some sort of bracket bolted to the deck. The only thing you can do to stabilize the bottom of the plywood is to lightly sand and torch the bottom and use West Flexible Epoxy to glue in brackets. (You could also use contact cement, but I’ve seen it let go.)

If you’re not using this boat in whitewater or in fast-moving rivers with pinning possibilities, I’m really not sure you need a plywood bulkhead.