How to attach buoyancy pillows to canoe

One blade only
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 5:32 pm

How to attach buoyancy pillows to canoe

Post by Wells »


Looking for advice on how to attach two buoyancy pillows to my 16ft plastic canoe, it has a yoke and kneeling thwart.

Cause I paddle with my six year old on the West Coast of Scotland, after a capsize, even with buoyancy in both ends the gunnels are only just above the water and the boat is unstable when I get back in. Put a scared 6 year old in the picture and it gets harder. This is not for river running but for our local sea loch and other adventures.

So I want to put two buoyancy bags under the yoke and thwart just under the gunnel on each side.

Like this:

I had thought of either:

4 D rings glued to each side with a strap running vertically


Drilled and thread cord as pe end buoyancy and then D rings lower down and strap vertically


Just two D rings and straps on each side as the thwart and yoke will keep it in place.

I don't want a centre bag as I need my 6 year old to be able to move and down the boat for trim and to set up the sail.

With thanks,


User avatar
Posts: 14030
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 62 times

Re: How to attach buoyancy pillows to canoe

Post by Jim »

If you post on Song of the Paddle forum you will probably get more responses - Greg Spencer has experience with mounting side air bags, particularly in Solways Dories and other sailing canoes.

My choice would be to glue 4 D-rings each side (are you using sailing dinghy bags - they often have loops near each end to thread straps around), 2 top and 2 bottom, unless you already have side lacing to thread the straps through at the top. I wouldn't just rely on the thwarts, you will want to strap the bags to the side so they can't slip into the middle of the boat which they could if only restrained by the thwarts.

Post Reply