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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:25 am 
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A question from a newbie. We just got two Pakboats XT-15 and one Featherlight K-light. I take it, we need floatbags, right? So, a few questions:

1. Would any floatbags from Amazon work? Or is there specific type that we need? Some of them are shaped as cones (e.g., from NRS), others not. Are the cones significantly better?
2. Can we use our regular drybags full of air instead of specialized floatbags?
3. If we need to move stuff in the boat (for trips), do we just use our regular drybags without additional floatbags (I would think so)?

4. Separate question: could you recommend a kayak trolley that would be very light, fordable, and usable with a folding kayak?

Thank you! I would greatly appreciate all advice.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:58 am 
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I like triangular float bags because the fit the shape of my kayaks' bow and stern better. The ones with plastic D-rings at triangle apex can be zip-tied to bow and stern pieces. Conically shaped? I don't know about those. The ones that are shaped like large, square or rectangular pillows are intended for use in canoes, I think, and make better sense secured in a canoe's middle sections?

I spent what seemed at the time a lot of money and got NRS bags at least 8 or 9 years ago, and they remain supple and functional when used last weekend. Edit: Here're the bags I got - https://www.nrs.com/product/42081/nrs-s ... -flotation

Practice some exits and entries with your kayaks swamped to sort out whether you think float bags are necessary or not. I use them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:26 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Useful in certain conditions, yes, necessary, not really. Besides, they take way too much valuable cargo space on a multi-day tour.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:19 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Anything that fills the space displaces water, which is the main intent of float bags. So filling a hull wholly or partially with dry bags and/pr cargo accomplished the same purpose. "Flotation" is really not the major function, but I have never heard them called "displacement bags." I have even filled bow and stern with lengths of hard foam "pool noodle" zip-tied together in a bundle.

Since folders tend to be half the weight of equivalent dimension hardshell kayaks, there is not as much of a risk of sinking if swamped or capsized, and many models have integral inflatable sponsons anyway (at least Feathercraft and Pakboat, the boats I've owned, have them) so float bags might arguably be optional in some conditions. I use them every time I go out as a matter of habit in all my folders and with my skin-on-frame non-folder.

Shape does not really matter since they will expand to fill whatever space they are in. You could probably use an inflatable kiddy pool toy, like a shark or one of those creepy punching bag clowns! I have several sets of float bags including Harmony and NRS, which seem to hold up the best. Feathercraft made really nice ones, with nylon slipcovers over the vinyl, but I lost one of the two that I got with my first FC. The remaining one is 15 years old and still in perfect shape.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:11 pm 
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Do you need floatation bags? As a safety feature, probably not so long as you paddle in very shallow water. But if you've ever swamped a boat and then spent a half hour bailing water you'll find them a good investment.

Folders generally have much larger volume than hardshells, and bags designed for hardshells won't fill the space and stay in place. The bags that Folbot included with boats were a nice touch, but far too small.

Get a pair of bags designed for whitewater canoeing. They'll fill as much space as you have, and hold cargo bags in place on the bottom of the hull.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:53 pm 
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I swamped my Folbot Aleut today without the floatbags. I had thought that the inflated sponsons were sufficient. They are not. The boat floated awash. I had to swim it to shore to drain.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:31 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Yes you've discovered that the sponsons will keep a Folbot from sinking but your washboards will be awash. You won't be able to bail it out.
Now think what that would be like in cold, rough water. Float bags and a sea sock can be life savers in bad water.
And as mentioned above, NRS and Harmony are the two major sources for canoe and kayak specific bags.
Here's some info on float bags and Folbots:
http://jeeps-folbots-etc.co.nf/folbot/f ... ation.html

And yes, they ought to be called displacement bags but "float bag" is quicker and easier to say. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:51 pm 
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Thanks Flat. I've dumped a sailing canoe in winter, swam the boat ashore wearing a farmer john wetsuit.
Maybe I'll use the float bags in the canoe too.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:04 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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If you want to save money by making your own custom flotation bags, this company sells the material and valves and has instructions: https://www.diypackraft.com

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:06 pm 
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That is really intriguing- especially at that price. I may have to try and build one this winter.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Or maybe sponsons for my sailing canoe.
Thanks for the link.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:52 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
I'm tempted to try one of their packraft kits. Now there's a winter project.

I'm going to the Greenland Qajaq Training Course later this week up in Frankfort Michigan and have heard that there are folks that participate who have made their own flotation bags (since a large proportion of them have home built skin on frame traditional kayaks.) Two years ago they even had a workshop on making them as part of the curriculum. So I hope to gain more first person advice while up there -- I will report back whatever I learn.

I am debating which folder to take along with my SOF up to the course -- I suppose the Wisper makes the most sense for rolling classes though I'd be interested to see how the Quest might do with that.

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Current:
Feathercraft Wisper
Pakboat Quest 135
Pakboat Puffin 12
Pakboat Swift 14
Greenland SOF
P & H Easky 15LV
Previous:
Feathercraft Kahuna
Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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