How do you stow your pump?

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on the rocks
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How do you stow your pump?

Post by on the rocks »

my current practice of stowing my pump under the front deck lines causes all sorts of problems, particularly during rough water rescues etc. I would like to stow my pump inside the cockpit but can't find a secure place for it so it won't fall out or get in the way when doing self rescues etc. Has anyone used a system of clips, tube or any other solution? Are there any alternative pumps that may be easier then my Palm pump? Thanks

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Chris Bolton »

My Rockpool boat has alloy bars down each side that hold the seat and footplate in position. I've just put a small loop of bungee round the bar, and I slide the pump into that. My previous boat didn't have the bars, but I fixed two small stainless steel eyes on the inside of the seam and tied the loop between them - that was actually slightly better as the two fixing points held the pump against the side better. I fixed the eyes by aralditing them in place then laminating over the ends with epoxy and fine mesh fibreglass mat. The pump has never been in the way.

on the rocks
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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by on the rocks »

Thanks Chris, that's brilliant. I have a Rockpool Isel and now kicking myself for not thinking of that, looking forward to trying it next time out!

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by ChrisJK »

Thanks for this. I will be looking to ways to store my pump within the cockpit on my Capella and Shrike. For the former at present on the foredeck it gets in the way af paddling and for the latter I wish deck lashings to be minimal. I figure if I actually need a pump it just needs to be secure and I know where it is but it doesn't get in the way of regular paddling.

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Robert Craig
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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Robert Craig »

I have the same worries. On the foredeck, it's in the way; on the rear deck I can't reach it; in the cockpit I'd have to open the spraydeck in poor conditions, which I really don't fancy.

What I do at present is have a footpump in my kayak for me, and put a handpump on the rear deck of the person I'm paddling with (when I remember). Haven't had to use either in anger, so don't take this as a recommendation.

In conditions which would tip me in, I can't see that I'd be able to use a handpump on myself and stay upright.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by seawolf856 »

Come on guys, its a small plastic tube with a handle on the top! what exactly does it "get in the way" of under the front deck elastics? and who climbs over their front deck to enter the cockpit during a rough water rescue anyway, or am I missing something? Anyway, where do you keep your spare paddle - and please don't tell me INSIDE the boat!!

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Chris Bolton »

what exactly does it "get in the way" of under the front deck elastics?
Depending where I put it, it would either get in the way of accessing my spare paddles or the mini hatch, or I'd hit it with my paddle shaft.
I'd have to open the spraydeck in poor conditions, which I really don't fancy.
If it's too splashy to take your deck off to get the pump, it's too splashy to use it (for yourself or anyone else). Usually I would take a flooded boat to somewhere flatter if I had to pump it, but a pump is just one method of several, to be used when the circumstances require it. Mine is a backup for my electric pump.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by on the rocks »

As I’m starting to paddle and practice in advanced conditions I’m finding that the pump can be easily knocked out from the deck elastics, eg during rough water rescues. My split paddles are much more secure in paddle parking and more elastics. I also suffered a dislocated finger earlier this year during a tide race session when the pump handle fouled my deck pull strap.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by PlymouthDamo »

I tend not to carry a pump, instead relying on the fact that my boats paddle okay when swamped so I can get back to shore. However, when I've done crossings I've got a shortened one which stows inside the cockpit under the deck between my knees. (I've done this via strong velcro, which works extremely well believe it or not, but I know others have fixed stowage tubes under their deck in this position.)

However, the comments above about not wanting to open your spraydeck in the rough are particularly relevant to my low-volume boat, as it's so low to the water that it will quickly get swamped even by fairly small waves. I discovered this having landed on an island beach off Ireland in rough conditions. I found it just wasn't possible to pump out my cockpit after being swamped during each floating launch, and I was instead forced to put my spraydeck on before launching - i.e. scratching my wooden boat across the pebbles. I've therefore toyed with the idea of some method of using a hand-pump whilst your spraydeck is on. Obviously, one way would be to use one of those spraydecks with the rolled-up elephant's trunk thing, that allows you to push your pump through. However, would the following be a better solution: install a tube that runs from a lowish-point in your cockpit (e.g. amidships behind your backside) that runs up through a hole in the deck and is secured externally somewhere on deck within easy reach. The tube would need to either be fitted with a non-return valve, or a simple press-fit cap to keep the water out. You'd then attach your pump to this tube when required and pump away. (Yes, this would be a two-handed job unless you go to the trouble of also installing a pump clamp on the deck, but if I use my paddle as an outrigger, I can lay stable on my back deck in rough water, so I'd have both hands free to do the pumping.)

My thinking is that by ensuring the pump was always sucking the water out from an optimal point in the cockpit, the task would be less fiddly and you could do it from a lying down position. I can't imagine doing the same if I was sitting upright with the pump going vertically through the spraydeck. Mad or not?

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Chris Bolton »

Hand pumps have always had limited usefulness. Before I had a boat with an electric pump, I had a built in foot pump. Not the huge and cumbersome Whale, but a pair of rubber tubes on the footplate with non-return valves. It was an extension of the concept of the Lendal pump used in marathon racing kayaks. Push on the tube under the right foot, it pushed air/water into the outlet pipe, release and the tube popped back into shape, sucking water from the intake. Ditto the left foot. The two tubes were independent but drew from the same intake and pushed to the same outlet. It emptied the boat in less than 10 minutes with nothing more than normal paddling action on the footplate.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by PlymouthDamo »

That's a much better idea than mine. Some form of thin bellows arrangement, built into a bulkhead footrest, with the outlet tube exiting the deck close by, hence no need for a long pipe run. The only thing I'd try to add to that would be some way of locking it off so that the bellows weren't constantly being squeezed and therefore subject to fatigue as well as probably feeling a bit weird when you're paddling. Could be achieved via a cable-operated mechanism, or just designing it so that when the footrest is slid left/right towards the centre of the boat a tab and a recess would line up and allow it to be pushed down. It's not something that's high on my list of priorities, but if I ever build another boat, I'd look into the feasibility.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Chris Bolton »

The only thing I'd try to add to that would be some way of locking it off so that the bellows weren't constantly being squeezed and therefore subject to fatigue as well as probably feeling a bit weird when you're paddling.
I only did about 2500 miles in that boat but they didn't show any sign of fatigue. I don't remember them feeling odd under my feet, but I can see why they might. Adding extra devices would defeat one of the objectives, which was to be as simple as possible with the minimum scope for going wrong.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Robert Craig »

If there is room, the Whale type dedicated foot pump works well, If I were starting again, I'd go electric.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by ChrisJK »

I live a sheltered life and have only used my pump in the pool or a calm bay practise so never in a crisis situation. I have never seen anything like the whale. Thinking about the bellows idea.could one of those bellows airbed pumps work if a draw in tube was screwed into the inhale valve? How heavy is an electric pump? Plus what happens when the juice runs out?

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Robert Craig »

The Almanac section of this site has an exhaustive discussion of pumps: hand, foot, and electric. It could do with an update - it's not got as far as lithium batteries. The discussion covers how long a lead-acid battery lasts.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Owen »

I have an electric pump behind the seat (Rule 500), it fires up every 20 seconds or so. If it feels resistance it keeps on pumping otherwise it switches off. The buzzing can be annoying on calm days so I don't tend to connect when it's very calm. The battery last for weeks when not actually pumping and about six hours when pumping constantly.

I also carry a hand pump on the back deck righthand side where I can grab it. It's mainly for getting at the annoying bit of water that always end up in the cockpit and pumping out other people's kayaks. And yes I have used it for this many many times. In all honesty the only times the electric pump has actually pumped out the cockpit full of water has been when I've been practicing rescues and have deliberately swamped the boat.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Chris Bolton »

How heavy is an electric pump? Plus what happens when the juice runs out?
Pump and battery are, from memory, about 0.5kg. A fully charged new battery will empty my boat eleven times. After than I'm back to whatever I'd do if I didn't have one.
The Almanac section of this site has an exhaustive discussion of pumps: hand, foot, and electric. It could do with an update - it's not got as far as lithium batteries.
Thanks for reminding people the Almanac exists! I've sent you a PM.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Mac50L »

Owen wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:29 pm
The battery last for weeks when not actually pumping and about six hours when pumping constantly.
Why does it have to pump continuously? How does the water get into the cockpit if there is a spray skirt on?

And the complaint that the spray skirt would need to be removed to get at a pump stowed under the deck also leaves questions. Why is it necessary to get at the pump? If the spray skirt has been off, a capsize, then obviously the pump is accessible. Otherwise why is a pump needed?

Mine is stowed on one kayak, under the deck, fore & aft, between my knees, held with a webbing Velcro-ed strap. On another kayak between me (hip fore & aft bulkhead) and the side of the kayak.

If my pump needed for use, once primed, a couple of strokes would remove about 4+ litres.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by adventureagent »

My boat is 21", tapering to less at floor level. My manual pump is the shorter version, and not uncommon. It fits behind the seat, in the cockpit, where sits my Whale automatic 650 gph and its power supply. Thanks to Douglas for posting so much information.
CELEBRATE LIFE: PADDLE by ALL MEANS !

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Owen »

Mac50L wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:49 am
Owen wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:29 pm
The battery last for weeks when not actually pumping and about six hours when pumping constantly.
Why does it have to pump continuously? How does the water get into the cockpit if there is a spray skirt on?

No, it has enough power to run continuously for six hours, in theory at least. It doesn't actually have to run all the time. There's no switch it just powers up every twenty or thirty seconds. If it detects resistance it will stay on until it detects no more resistance. If it doesn't detect resistance it just switches itself off.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Robert Craig »

Mac50L wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:49 am
... Why is it necessary to get at the pump? If the spray skirt has been off, a capsize, then obviously the pump is accessible. Otherwise why is a pump needed? ...
Might be someone elses's capsize!

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by robhorton »

Robert Craig wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:31 pm
Mac50L wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:49 am
... Why is it necessary to get at the pump? If the spray skirt has been off, a capsize, then obviously the pump is accessible. Otherwise why is a pump needed? ...
Might be someone elses's capsize!
...or a flooded hatch

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Dave Gorman »

seawolf856 wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:34 pm
Come on guys, its a small plastic tube with a handle on the top! what exactly does it "get in the way" of under the front deck elastics? and who climbs over their front deck to enter the cockpit during a rough water rescue anyway, or am I missing something? Anyway, where do you keep your spare paddle - and please don't tell me INSIDE the boat!!
I agree entirely. I want it in front of me under the foredeck elastics where I can see it and access it quickly the whole time. Stowed well forward. Almost, but not quite out of reach so that it doesn't interfere with my low-brace turns, support strokes and when emptying a boat across my deck. Handle facing me so that I can withdraw the pump easily without it getting snagged. I have about 40cm of shock cord tied to the pump, with a quick release clip on the other end which is clipped within easy reach of the cockpit. This means that I can't lose the pump if it ever comes loose from the deck elastics and I have enough freedom to use the pump on my boat or a casualty's. It is never stowed under the spraydeck. If I'm rescuing another paddler, it's usually in boisterous conditions. Not a time and place I'd want to be removing my spraydeck seal. This is from experience gained in the North Atlantic on the west coast of Ireland and in various other places in the British Isles.⚓

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by on the rocks »

Dave Gorman wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:15 pm

I agree entirely. I want it in front of me under the foredeck elastics where I can see it and access it quickly the whole time. Stowed well forward. Almost, but not quite out of reach so that it doesn't interfere with my low-brace turns, support strokes and when emptying a boat across my deck. Handle facing me so that I can withdraw the pump easily without it getting snagged. I have about 40cm of shock cord tied to the pump, with a quick release clip on the other end which is clipped within easy reach of the cockpit. This means that I can't lose the pump if it ever comes loose from the deck elastics and I have enough freedom to use the pump on my boat or a casualty's. It is never stowed under the spraydeck. If I'm rescuing another paddler, it's usually in boisterous conditions. Not a time and place I'd want to be removing my spraydeck seal. This is from experience gained in the North Atlantic on the west coast of Ireland and in various other places in the British Isles.⚓
Surely if you're paddling with someone in conditions boisterous enough to lead to a capsize and subsequent rescue the casualty would have their own pump (unless its been washed away due to the conditions and capsize) and be best placed to deploy and use it, with you providing rafted support if needed?

In my original post I explained the reasons why I'm looking for a solution to store my pump in my cockpit, but there are occasions when I would put it on the outside, eg with a group of relatively inexperienced kayakers who may not be equipped with their own pumps.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by ChrisJK »

This is surely why I as a newbie read the posts to help accelerate learning. As an apprentice I am more likely to need rescuing than to rescue but you never know.
One thing I am certain of is that most of my kayak should be inaccessible to water with water tight bulkheads and airbags in case of either a lost hatch cover or a hull puncture.
Possibly also reducing the volume for ingress in the cockpit whilst still allowing an escape route if necessary.( yes at 64 I am working on rolling which is the easiest option)

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by pathbrae »

Mine stays behind the seat and doesn't bother me. If I capsize I can remove it before I get back in, if I'm dealing with someone elses capsize then I can get at it reasonably easily in most conditions.
The only time I don't keep it there is if I'm launching in surf - as it's almost inevitable that I'll get a wave dumping on me just before I get my deck on......
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Dave Gorman »

on the rocks wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:20 pm
Dave Gorman wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:15 pm

I agree entirely. I want it in front of me under the foredeck elastics where I can see it and access it quickly the whole time. Stowed well forward. Almost, but not quite out of reach so that it doesn't interfere with my low-brace turns, support strokes and when emptying a boat across my deck. Handle facing me so that I can withdraw the pump easily without it getting snagged. I have about 40cm of shock cord tied to the pump, with a quick release clip on the other end which is clipped within easy reach of the cockpit. This means that I can't lose the pump if it ever comes loose from the deck elastics and I have enough freedom to use the pump on my boat or a casualty's. It is never stowed under the spraydeck. If I'm rescuing another paddler, it's usually in boisterous conditions. Not a time and place I'd want to be removing my spraydeck seal. This is from experience gained in the North Atlantic on the west coast of Ireland and in various other places in the British Isles.⚓
Surely if you're paddling with someone in conditions boisterous enough to lead to a capsize and subsequent rescue the casualty would have their own pump (unless its been washed away due to the conditions and capsize) and be best placed to deploy and use it, with you providing rafted support if needed?

In my original post I explained the reasons why I'm looking for a solution to store my pump in my cockpit, but there are occasions when I would put it on the outside, eg with a group of relatively inexperienced kayakers who may not be equipped with their own pumps.
Precisely! What if they don't have one, can't access it or have lost it? What if it's blowing a force five or six and you're both getting blown towards cliffs, large surf or rocks while you're trying to effect a rescue? What if they are exhausted or frozen with fear? What if you get swamped or capsized while removing your spraydeck to access your pump? I wouldn't fancy my chances of staying upright in my Nordkapp if I let go of the paddle to release the spraydeck, deploy and use the pump and reseal the spraydeck. Rescuer becomes another casualty! My emergency equipment is stowed to hand. Ready for immediate deployment without compromising my sea worthiness regardless of conditions. I trust my own equipment and my ability to deploy it safely in an instant. I would not want to be faffing about with my spraydeck in lumpy conditions. If I can stow my pump out of the way but at the ready on deck in challenging conditions why is it difficult to stow it in the same way as standard practice? Everything has its place ready to hand. Emergencies on the sea in challenging conditions are not the place or time for removing spraydecks and faffing about with party tricks.
Self rescues are a dangerous thing to rely on. They may work but what if you're alone and it doesn't? That's my experience anyway. If yours are different, by all means, proceed as you see fit. ⚓🙂

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by pathbrae »

If nothing else this thread shows that there's more than one way to skin a cat. In fact, I might even use "there's more than one way to stow a pump" as more feline friendly alternative.....
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Dave Gorman »

ChrisJK wrote:
Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:15 pm
This is surely why I as a newbie read the posts to help accelerate learning. As an apprentice I am more likely to need rescuing than to rescue but you never know.
One thing I am certain of is that most of my kayak should be inaccessible to water with water tight bulkheads and airbags in case of either a lost hatch cover or a hull puncture.
Possibly also reducing the volume for ingress in the cockpit whilst still allowing an escape route if necessary.( yes at 64 I am working on rolling which is the easiest option)
I wouldn't get too fixated about rolling. It really isn't the be all and end all. Priority is better given to staying upright and in command. If you nail down the rough water paddling competence (eddy line crossing, dealing with wind, swell and waves) and an instantaneous, automatic skill with support strokes you will very rarely capsize, so will rarely need to roll.
I would suggest in order : low brace turn, trailing low brace, static low brace, as the foundation to staying upright. Followed by the high brace with the elbows kept low to avoid shoulder injury. Practice with the boat moving steadily forward and the low brace blade trailing 45 degrees out to the side with a slight climbing angle on the blade. Roll the boat once towards the blade (knuckles facing down, back of blade to the water) before righting it with your hips rather than pushing down on the blade. Get comfortable doing this on both sides and then progress to the double dip. The single low brace can be cheated by slapping the water without committing to the paddle. The double dip is very hard to cheat so is a much better learning technique. Two dips on one side rolling the boat slightly off balance and righting, couple of forward strokes to maintain boat momentum then repeat on the other side. This needs to be practised to death until it becomes totally instinctive, instantaneous and automatic. If you have to think about it in a real situation it will be too late and you will be upside down. Apart from a sound forward paddling technique this in my coaching and guiding experience is the making of a true sea kayaker, rather than just someone who goes on the sea in a kayak. Once you get proficient with it you will be able to roll the boat to about 45 degrees and right it with ease and totall confidence.

Nail this and the need to roll in a real situation may well be less than annual.
By the way I'm nearly 66 and I have a broken rib that can't be repaired plus a small abdominal hernia, ditto. Don't let age intimidate you. ⚓🙂

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Re: How do you stow your pump?

Post by Chris Bolton »

Priority is better given to staying upright and in command.
Agreed. In addition to the braces Dave describes I also suggest understanding the 'Active blade'. This means learning to stabilise the boat by reacting off the paddle shaft during normal forward paddling; you don't need to have the blade flat on the water to support, you just need to have it in the water and apply the right forces to it. If the paddle is vertical, you can't support by pushing down on it, but you can support using a push/pull action with your two hands and turning the blade slightly to create sideways resistance. It's a technique used by canoe paddlers, because it's the only way to prevent a capsize to the side where you don't have a paddle blade, and it works just as well in a kayak.

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