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Floatation bags


New Member
Apr 11, 2022
Can someone offer some ideas on flotation bags? I'm looking to get a set for my boat and would like to know if there are any specific sizes required for an Arctic Tern HI?
I am thinking of buying a Pygmy , my local shop sells a set for $90. The only difference is that the Pygmy also has dry storage and the other set doesn't. I'm not worried about the storage, I just want to get out on the water. I have dry bags I can use for all my gear. Please advise.
WaterShed and other vendors provide inflatable drybags. They will hold gear to your camp, then you can use them as float bags if you go on a day paddle with an empty boat. They are not nearly as large as those Mariner sold, but they are better than nothing. Also, pretty much any drybag, when sealed, will hold some air.

A lot of the decision involves how long you plan to be out with the empty boat (distance traveled, etc.) and how much you have to pay your friends to help get you back in your boat.
> For day paddles, I often put large 'sealed' drybags with bubble wrap inside, in the ends of my bulkhead boats, just to keep my lunch from sliding out of reach.

After having one bag disappear on me long ago, only to be discovered stuck in the bow of the Mariner, I now tie a tether line to the first bag in (bow or stern), Pulling on the line slides everything out. If it's heavy - food bag on the first day of adventure, etc. - I give it a push through that 4" port on the deck.

Very important for Mariner owners: Do NOT put your arm in that porthole further than your elbow, especially if the rest of the group is already on the water. I know, It's kind of a magic trick, "Gee, it went in, it must be able to come out ..."
LOL. It is a mutual relationship Mick.
Browsing the Cape Falcon Kayak website might give some leads to current sources of larger airbags and ones that double as drybags.
On trick that can be used is to buy Yoga balls and inflate them only part way. They will conform to the inside of the hull if only blown up to a point they can still take on the shape of the container they are inside of. They work only as floats--- and notjhign can be put inside them, but as floats they do work very well.
On trick that can be used is to buy Yoga balls and inflate them only part way.

I had an Edge 15 SOT that had front, center and bow hatch openings but, of course, was all one big chamber inside. I had access to a bunch of cheap, vinyl beachballs so I stuffed a bunch of them in the boat. They worked and weighed next to nothing. A gross and low-tech solution but it worked.
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On his record-setting trans-Atlantic flight, Charles Lindbergh filled all the spare space in the interior of "The Spirit Of St. Louis" with ping-pong balls in case he had to ditch at sea. Wonder if you could get a deal at a dollar store.
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I bought some Harmony brand ones from the Kayak Academy in Seattle, I use two small ones in the stern and one bigger one in the bow. I also got one for my cockpit by my feet that was too big and being triangle shaped wasn’t the best fit it was more fore a canoe bow size, this was a few years ago though. From reading reviews it seems NRS leak a lot.