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Thread: Flotation for open canoe

  1. #1

    Default Flotation for open canoe

    I was wondering what the best way of keeping an open canoe from sinking, I'll be taking it out on the sea, not far but enough for me to need the canoe to float if it goes over.

    Suggestions welcome

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    The obvious answer is the purpose made air bags you can buy.

    Other than that you can use a dry bag with just air in it and tied in. Bill Mason was quite keen on using the inner tube from truck tires.

    The home brew methods should work pretty much just as well as the specialist ones but the thing you need to make sure of is that they are secured in well. The last thing you want to see is your buoyancy popping out your canoe and floating away as you sink

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly
    but the thing you need to make sure of is that they are secured in well. The last thing you want to see is your buoyancy popping out your canoe and floating away as you sink
    Yeah, they were my thoughts, the problem with it is that it's very open, I'd have to tie under the seats. I've got a few innertubes so that might be good. I need to get it out and have a play.

    Thanks for the pointers John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony
    I was wondering what the best way of keeping an open canoe from sinking, I'll be taking it out on the sea, not far but enough for me to need the canoe to float if it goes over.

    Suggestions welcome
    Most, if not all modern boats will have enough material bouyancy, that they'll not sink, even if full of water ...

    I probably do half of my paddling on the Salt Road ...

    I have a front, rear and center air bag, they are lashed in, plus I have 25mm webbing 'keeper' straps running over each of the bags to prevent them popping out under the pressure of the water.

    This is the arrangement I use in both of my boats.

    This isn't a great picture I have to say, but it'll give you a flavour of how my boat is outfitted. (Note the wake heading my way ...).



    No question about it, the sea can be gentle, but turn very very quickly, but it's just a question of having respect for that, and understanding the sheer power that's out there - the power of the of the tides and the weather. Learn to ride swell, and be confident at getting bracing strokes in, watch out for big boats, and learn to surf of course !

    The most trouble I seem to have is in the shallowest water - 2mtrs of boat up on the beach, just in the process of climbing out when the back gets a gentle tug or twist from a beachbreak and in we all go !

    The sea is very rewarding to paddle tho' I find - lots and lots to see out there.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the advice and the pic, I'll see what I can set up on mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony
    Thanks for the advice and the pic, I'll see what I can set up on mine.
    For the specifics ...

    Mine are lashed in via 'P' clips riveted to the underside of the gunwales, about 130mm apart.
    That lashing is 4mm accessory cord.

    The front and back bags are tied into the boat with a bit of 8mm rope which itself tied into the hull under the deck.
    The keeper straps are in the lifting handles on those little decks at one end and into D-ring pads glued onto the hull at the other. With all this in place, I'd be fairly confident that they'd not pop off unless I'm in real trouble, (in which case it probably wouldn't matter at that point if they were in the boat or not).

    The centre bag has a similar arrangement, except both ends of it's keeper straps are in hull glued D-ring pads. I also have 4 more D-ring pads glued in to provide fixings for the lashing cords (which also go into the underside of the gunwales).

    Keeping on top of the glue is crucial of course, as it tends to be a regular re-occurrence.

    I guess the key thing is simply to have enough sealed air space, securely fitted into the boat so if you do swamp, the entire internal volume isn't filled with water. What that sealed air space is in, and how it's fitted maybe isn't so important.

    I like the truck inner tube idea - I think that'll be used to fill in space around my gear on lumpy descents.

  7. #7

    Default floatation

    Anything inflatable will do......a friend of mind recommends beach balls and inflatable novelty items!

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    Inflatable novelty items in canoes are a pet hate of mine.

    DONT DO IT.

    You have just spent a lot of money for the boat, paddles dry suit, dry bags throwlines etc etc. why then go cheap and make the whole rig look ridiculous with an inflatable donkey in the front? its inefficient and looks a mess.

    some people use huge mooring bouys. its not big or clever. it just looks a mess. Have some pride in you rig.

    PLEASE get proper air bags.
    Rogue

  9. #9

    Default Take a Joke!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue
    Inflatable novelty items in canoes are a pet hate of mine.

    DONT DO IT.

    You have just spent a lot of money for the boat, paddles dry suit, dry bags throwlines etc etc. why then go cheap and make the whole rig look ridiculous with an inflatable donkey in the front? its inefficient and looks a mess.

    some people use huge mooring bouys. its not big or clever. it just looks a mess. Have some pride in you rig.

    PLEASE get proper air bags.
    If you can't spot a joke mate when you see one!!!!! Cheer up and stop taking yourself so seriously! canoeing is meant to enjoyable and fun! I spend a lot of time as a coach trying to convince students that open boats are as much fun as kayaks, and in fact are more versatile. When are we going to do something about the Open Boater's Anal and boring image in the UK. If we are not careful we won't have any young people wanting to take up Opens as a persuit. I know Level 5 coaches that can have a laugh and take a joke........big and clever enough for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NevH
    If you can't spot a joke mate when you see one!!!!! Cheer up and stop taking yourself so seriously! canoeing is meant to enjoyable and fun! I spend a lot of time as a coach trying to convince students that open boats are as much fun as kayaks, and in fact are more versatile. When are we going to do something about the Open Boater's Anal and boring image in the UK. If we are not careful we won't have any young people wanting to take up Opens as a persuit. I know Level 5 coaches that can have a laugh and take a joke........big and clever enough for you?
    I'm with Rogue on this one: give me a professional and well sorted image anyday. Neat, tidy, effective, safe. And then you are ready to shred with the young 'uns.

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    it is a joke NevH.
    and I would laugh but I've seen the donky thing done.
    and ive seen it not work.

    paddle sport is a high risk sport why increase your risks unnecesarily?
    by all means imporovise kit. but it has to be up to the job.


    stop taking yourself so seriously
    I do have a silly hat
    (though I don't paddle in it)
    Rogue

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue
    I do have a silly hat
    (though I don't paddle in it)
    See that is the difference I do paddle in mine

    Safety is an important issue and one that I like to think all of us take seriously. Of course that does not mean we cannot joke about it, just remember that online jokes can be hard to spot.

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    Default Cross porpoises

    The problem with this and other threads are that we all paddle different boats and have different expectations and reasons to paddle. Although we are all in canoes. They are paddled and kitted out very differently.

    It is like going to America. It may apear we speak the same language but we don't.

    I admit to being an adrenaline junkie and paddle grade II to IV. I try to kit my boats so that me and my boat (and those I paddle with) can survive the worst that can happen on the river.

    Other people paddle flat touring rivers and have different expectations of a good trip. They also have different expectations of a bad trip and so kit thier boat very differently to me.

    The problem for me is in trasference. I do occasionally paddle touring rivers but I prepare in the same way as for any other river.

    Take helmets as an example. I now always wear one no matter how flat the water is. Not being too bright I know once I start making decisions as to whether I wear it or not, one day I will make the wrong decision. So I play safe. It is boring and serious but I will not cut my head again.

    Back to the topic: Air bags, for me have to be reliable. They have to keep a lot of water out of my boat therefore logically they should be roughly boat shaped. They have to be well secured. Using the tabs on the bags puts strain on the seams of the bag and I have had to get new bags.

    As you cant tie the bag to the boat the thing to do is to have a good cage around the bag. Big holes on the cage will alow water pressure to force the bag out. A surprisingly small stopper or hole can do this. Even on a touring river boats accidenily drop over wiers, I would like to think my boat would survive the experience.

    My best example for this is the liffy decent. I was in a kayak at the time but I was surprised at how optimistic the bouancy in some of the canoes was. Most of the canoes were fitted out well but I saw several who lost thier boyancy altagether and others with bags bulging out allover the place.

    The look of the rig is very important in my oppinion. The image we give out to the general public has an impact on takeup of the sport. We have two canoes in our club one is nicly kitted out the other is a bit of a tub which one do you think we struggle to get the kids to try out?

    Image may have an impact on access. If your group has a profesional look about it it gives a much better impression than a boat full of circus animals and improvised planks for paddles. We are all ambasadors for our cause with access such an issue any one of us could be in the papers. a nice colour photo of Noa in his ark may not help. (Inflatable animal example over used, sorry)

    Tony first asked:
    I was wondering what the best way of keeping an open canoe from sinking, I'll be taking it out on the sea, not far but enough for me to need the canoe to float if it goes over.

    Suggestions welcome
    I don't paddle the sea but I would imagine things can turn quite hostile out there, even if you arn't going far. Paddling the sea is not flat water touring. I would imagine swamping is very likley. Just keeping things floating wouldn't be good enough, you need to displace water out of the boat. For this you need tight fitting large bags.
    Limit the amount of bailing you need to do so you can spend your time paddling back to safety.

    For me you have to think worst case , optimism isn't an option
    Last edited by Rogue; 9th-January-2006 at 01:52 PM.
    Rogue

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    I think you have hit the nail on the head regarding the different usage. This was very clear on the buoyancy thread. Some people expect to spend quite a bit of time in the water where as for others it is seen as being a disaster as soon as you get wet.

    I agree with you about the look of your kit but I do also see where home made options can be of benefit, usually financially. The thing to be sure of is that your home brew option is up to the job. Also we have to remember that the rubber ring with the donkey on it would probably still be better than nothing, which is what I have at the moment (well at least till the ones I bought of tenboats arrive).

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    am I going round in circles yet?
    Rogue

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue
    am I going round in circles yet?
    Probably but at least you are not sinking

  17. #17

    Default I Give up

    I'm giving up. I never suggested that someone should actually use novelty inflatables....it was supposed to be an obviously silly post to make folk chuckle. If you can't have a laugh and have to take the world so seriously then whats the point? (rhetorical question). I have been an outdoor professional for over 10 years and I am an ex member of a rescue team. I know when to take things seriously, and I'd like to think that I know when to have a laugh.............I'm going back to uk rivers guidebook

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    No! Nev.
    I will post no more. Promice.

    besides, you can't escape I'm just as dim on UKRG.

    would you believe my brother was eaten by a giant inflatable rhinoceros?

    Quote Originally Posted by john
    Probably but at least you are not sinking
    you may be wrong there
    Last edited by Rogue; 9th-January-2006 at 06:41 PM.
    Rogue

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    NevH

    Rogue did at first reply to your post as if you were being serious but after you pointed out it was a joke he has, to my mind, seen it as a joke but still made comments about the general use of buoyancy, with the occasional reference to an inflatable donkey but that could just be a life choice of his

    There would be a certain irony if you were to stop posting because you took Rogue's post to seriously about him taking your post too seriously

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    oh come on guys, kiss and make up for goodness sake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1
    oh come on guys, kiss and make up for goodness sake.
    No tongues

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