Safety floatation for fishing SOT kayaks

Safety is paramount with kayak fishing. Anything which can de-risk the potential for accidents, has to be a good thing. Adding floatation to the inside of a sit-on-top kayak will stop the kayak from sinking, should the integrity of the hull be compromised. As well as providing buoyancy, the bag’s volume also prevents water from filling the kayak in the first place.

A purpose designed inflatable kayak float bag is a simple and highly effective safety measure, which provides peace of mind and confidence, should the unthinkable happen, and your fishing kayak starts to take on water.

One solution is to use inflatable floatation bags inside the hull of a fishing kayak. Most sit on top fishing kayaks have a couple of areas inside the hull which lend themselves to using floatation bags….

1. The forward area between the seat and the front hatch – on either side of the hull – the gap where the hull chines are

2. The stern of the kayak between the rear hatch and the seat (under the tankwell)

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These are not areas which are generally used for storage, so you are not losing anything in terms of tackle space etc. Also, both areas are accessible via the hatch.

I had a look around, and the best option seemed to be the Palm Heavy Duty infinity float bags. They were tough, and came in a number of different sizes and shapes – two in particular looked ideal for the Hobie Outback.

The Large (25L Half Stern) looked perfect for the front port and starboard side, whilst the Small (12L Half Bow/Stern) looked perfect to fit in the gap under the rear tank well.

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The bags are well made, from tough material with decent heat welded seams.

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The tube which you use to inflate the bag, is very handy. It enables the bag to be put into the hull through a hatch and then inflated in-situ.

Once the bag is inflated, you twist the mouthpiece to stop the air coming out. Its important not too over inflate the bags.

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The two Medium bags fitted inside the hull like a treat. Once inflated they wedged themselves against the side of the hull either side of the Hobie’s mirage drive. Still allowing for the front hatch tray to be used, and not interfering with the tackle tray in the rectangular hatch – perfect !

View from the inside of the Outback hull (taken from the front hatch) looking back towards the mirage drive and seat. The medium bags were inserted and inflated from the hatch just in front of the seat…

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The other single (Small) floatation bag was inserted from the strern hatch and inflated under the tankwell. Do not inflate too much, just enough to stop it slipping, but not enough to push the hull (remember, when its hot, the bags may expand).

View from the stern (rear hatch) looking back towards the tankwell and seat (the bag is under the tank well area)…

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It only took a couple of minutes to inflate and install the floatation bags, and they will provide me with peace of mind for many years to come.

The Heavy Duty Palm Infinity float bags are available from most canoe and kayak stockists. For more information, see the following…

http://palmequipmenteurope.com/product/kayak-heavy-weight-2