We recently purchased kayaks and are having a blast using them. However, there were a few issues that needed some attention. There is a variety of kayak styles but the two major differences are sit-on kayaks and sit-in kayaks. We have sit on kayaks that are designed for use in the ocean. The kayaks are wide, stable, and self bailing.
Self bailing kayaks are great because you don’t have to worry about taking on a bunch of water… or do you? If you didn’t load down the boats with people and gear, the scuppers would allow water to flow out of the boat and not allow you to take on water. We are not small people, and there is a bit of gear we have to take with us. The scuppers still do what they are intended for but they allow more water into the boat (This has left us with soggy butts on multiple occasions).
A scupper is an opening in the side walls of an open-air structure, for purposes of draining water. They are usually placed at or near ground level, and allow rain or liquids to flow off the side of the open-air structure, instead of pooling within the wallsFrom Wikipedia
To remedy the wet butt thing we simply installed some scupper plugs. These little rubber plugs fill the scupper and keep the water out of the boat completely. These plugs are small rubber cones with a pull string integrated into the middle. They can be added or removed as needed. We generally kayak in colder water so keeping that water out is kinda great.
The downside to scupper plugs is that now the kayak is no longer self-bailing. Between kids splashing, getting in and out of the boat, and paddle splashing, water inevitably ends up in the boat. Without a self-bailing system we needed a way to clear any water from the boat.
There are two good ways to get the water from the kayak. You can use a pump or good old fashioned sponge. If we were using a sit-in kayak I would have opted for a pump because they can gather large volumes of water, quickly. However, the water volume in our kayaks is pretty low so we went with a sponge.
I went to harbor freight tools and purchased some cheap sponges, some paracord, a few small carabiners, and a grommet punch. I spent less than $20 for all my supplies. I cut a small hole in the sponged and then punched a grommet through. I then ran a loop of paracord through each sponge. Lastly, I used the carabiner to clip the paracord to the seat clip. The sponges sit behind our feet and collect any water that pools up in the boat. We simply squeeze out the sponge when it gets full and enjoy having dry butts.
This is a great way to have a dry boat while not having to worry about losing your sponge. No need to wonder where your sponge is, or worry about littering!
Have some great kayak hacks of your own? Share the below! Get up, Get out, and Create an Adventure!