Sea Kayak fitted with a self bailer

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DazKaz
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:11 pm

Sea Kayak fitted with a self bailer

Post by DazKaz » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:11 pm

Has anyone heard off, or used, a Sea Kayak fitted with a self bailer, as used by small sailing dinghy’s.
marinestore.co.uk/Merchan...ode=ed99ds
After trying to find out about the pros and cons of foot pump V deck pump V hand pump, I haven’t found anything on the net about using self bailers.
I know from sailing experience that they work at relatively low hull speeds and would appear to me to be the perfect solution to a re entry and roll in rough conditions when paddling alone.
I am however, reluctant to cut a hole in the bottom of my Nordkapp to fit one without first hearing the reactions, and advice of others!
What do you all think? Will it work?

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Jim
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Re: Sea Kayak fitted with a self bailer

Post by Jim » Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:36 am

The only problem I can see is that you will have to take your spraydeck off to open and close the self bailer. Opening isn't a problem if you have re-entered because you can do it before you put your deck on - but to close it again you would have to stop paddling, pull the deck and close the bailer very quickly before you slowed down enough for the water to back up (the non return flaps are never that good!). The other problems are that I'm not sure I really have enough space between my legs to operate a self bailer, and I'm also not sure that the lowest point of my hull is in front of the seat - my pump hose terminates under my seat.....

Personally I am most likely to leak (Through spraydeck/clothing/fittings) in the sort of conditions where I wouldn't pop my deck, and I'm certainly not adverse to popping my deck to get at my camera, or the backstrap ratchets on my playboat!

I would say the jury is out, if you know of a design with a reliable non-return flap that you could leave open without worries it might be a better solution than a pump. Of all the different ones I've tried in dinghies (that usually jam solid and have to be jumped on to get them open...) not all even had non-return flaps and I didn't find them very effective where present.

Yes it is a big hole, but you are probably fitting a strong lump of stainless steel in it (I know there are plastic ones too) so I wouldn't be concerned about the strength.

JIM

Just noticed you want to fit to a Nordkapp - you really need to fit in a flat area of the hull, which IIRC the Nordkapp does not have at all, you could build up a flat internally but I can't see how you would get around the curvature externally.
Edited by: Jim  Image at: 11/11/03 8:42 am

DaveM
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Self bailers

Post by DaveM » Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:51 am

They were used a lot in the 60s in racing kayaks, and there are a number of very good reasons why they went out of favour.

There is a minimum speed required to make them bail, less than that and water flows back in. They also usually leak a bit when closed, although modern materials have reduced this problem.

For a kayak they cause significant drag (they were designed for sailing dinghies).

If you unecpectedly reverse over rocks or the beach (such as in a surf landing) and it opens, the vent will catch and get mangled or ripped off, possibly taking some hull with it.

Finally, if you are getting enough water in to need a self bailer you have more important problems to solve. Self bailers are designed to remove relatively large volumes of water, for example a Laser dinghy in the sea, not half a cup of water dribbling through your spraydeck.

My suggestion is don't do it, but if you do, you are stuck with it as you will have a big hole in the bottom of your boat.

Dave

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mharrall
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Self bailers

Post by mharrall » Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:29 pm

I've used a self bailer on a racing kayak (late 70s, not 60s, I'm old, but not that old!). If you decide to do it, make sure you get the smallest one you can find, dingy ones are often way too big. You also need to rig up some mechanism for opening and closing it. We used to put a rod through a short piece of hose pipe which was taped or glassed into position through the deck. We also used to fit a little tee handle so you could bash it down for open, or hook it up for closed using your paddles. This was to avoid having to let go of paddles and therefore loose speed. You needed to make sure it was closed when you were shooting a weir, or if you were stationary waiting to start the race.

The big problem with bailers was that even when closed, they could easily get damaged or even ripped off completely when shooting a weir. They usually leak a bit anyway, but if they're damaged then water pours in.

If I were you, I would buy a very good spraydeck and fit a lendal footpump. They might not shift much water, but if you've sealed all the leaks they don't need to.

Martin
(no swims this year)

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MikeB
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Pumps

Post by MikeB » Tue Nov 18, 2003 4:06 pm

I've no experience of the Lendal pump but I have had Compac pumps fitted in three boats, one the deck mounted version and the others being bulkhead mounted foot pumps.

The deck pump was used on an Aleut with rudder controls which made it impossible to use a foot pump. Very effective but pumping by hand means you can't paddle and/or brace at the same time!! In the double that was less of a problem of course :D

The Nordkapp and my current Quest both have bulkhead mounted pumps and both were modified to include a Valley strum-box which proves very effective at getting virtually all the water out. I get seepage thro the s/deck and a surprising amount of water comes in with booties or even sandals. The strum box allows me to clear the boat as needed and I dont even have to use a sponge to get the boat virtually dry.

The Quest has its strum box mounted under the seat, where there is just enough room to do so. In fact, the seat holds the box in place although I did glue some foam under the seat to provide some extra retention. The Nordkapp had a foam seat fitted on the hull so the box was secured to the hull by bungee attached thro stainless D rings glassed to the hull.

This set-up is ideal in that you can pump a swamped boat while the deck is on, the paddle is in your hands and you can brace and paddle as necessary.

The downside is that you can't easliy pump out someone else's boat although some people have a long collection hose for that very purpose. Personally, I dont like that as it means you can't clear your own boat all that effectivly and the hose is a pain. I carry a traditional stirrup pump for helping others.

Electric pumps seem to be popular with the Aussies and Tassies (and Douglas) and fitting one might be a fun winter-project when time and funds allow. Not sure I'd rely on one on its own though and I think I'd still want my foot-pump as well.

One paddler whose opinions I respect once said that a pump wasn't essential. Until you needed it. He also siad he would probably have been in serious difficulty twice if he hadn't had his pump. In fact, IIRC he recknoned he would probably be dead. Twice.

Finally, there was a trend a few years ago to have a hand operated pump mounted just behind the seat. I gather they are very difficult to use effectivly and of course the paddling / bracing problems are still there.

Mike.


DaveM
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Footpump

Post by DaveM » Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:56 am

Mike, I agree with everything you said, except that you can't use a footpump with a rudder. I've been using a Chimp footpump with a rudder fo over 10 yrs.

The trick is to use steering stirrups (tethered with shockchord to avoid entanglement). These sit either side of the centre mounted pump.

I think all sea paddlers have a duty to carry a pump of their own, but I sometimes carry a hand pump as well - and I almost needed it when a hatch cover imploded off Pembrokeshire.

I'm considering methods of pumping out the end tanks, but haven't come up with a system that is simple enough yet - I don't fancy loads of pipes and valves.

Dave

willsc1
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Footpump

Post by willsc1 » Wed Nov 19, 2003 3:38 pm

Mike B

I'm interested in your fitting of a footpump to the Quest, could you give me little more info on the pump you use and where to get one. Any details/tips also welcomed.

Cheers

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Douglas Wilcox
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pumps

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:26 pm

I decided to go for a deck mounted compac 50 deck mount pump because of its amazing high output compared with foot pumps such as the chimp. The compac sends a jet of water up to 10 meters and is great for playing battleships in the summer. If it is too rough to hand pump and brace, you need to raft up but you can also empty a partner's boat if they have a deck pump by rafting. This is much easier than emptying a partner's boat with a mobile hand pump. In theory you could empty your own boat from in the water with a deck mounted hand pump but if you can rentry roll this really isn't an issue. For really rough conditions where you are on your own I swear by the Attwood battery pump.

After a rentry roll in these conditions it emptied my boat in under 4 minutes.

www.gla.ac.uk/medicalgene...9quest.jpg


This shows the arrangement in my boat (but I have subsequently glued in ethafoam blocks to reduce cockpit volume).

The deck mounted compac's inlet hose drops straight down between your legs and the strum box is in front of the seat in the midline. It is not fixed in position so can bend out of the way during a reentry roll.

The Attwood is mounted between the pedals and you can switch it on by pressing on the rubber button with your foot.

Fortunately my Quest and nylon spraydeck are very dry and I never have to bail during a normal trip.

Douglas
:)

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MikeB
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Pumps

Post by MikeB » Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:10 am

Willsc1 - both the boats were supplied with pumps fitted at manufacture.

(The footpump is actually a Chimp pump, not a Compac as I said in a previous post.)

Retro fitting would be relativly straigtforward - you can get the pump easily from Knoydart www.knoydart.co.uk/displa...php?id=259 or SPS www.kayak.co.uk/index.html although SPS dont offer the Chimp speficially I am sure they could get one.

You can also get all the hose, clips, thro-hulls etc and Knoydart will sell you the strum box which helps clear the boat much better than just having a pipe, for obvious reasons.

You need to mount the pump on the bulkhead - so check carefully wether you'll have enough room! If the bulkhead is too close, there's not a lot you can do - if its too far forward then you can pack behind the pump before fitting. Speak to the dealers and they will give you an idea of required lengths to accomodate your legs and the pump in the boat.

Fitting a foredeck pump (which I personally dont like although Douglas makes a good point about their capacity) would entail cutting the foredeck - probably adding some reinforcement and fitting the pump in place.

I do recommend the strum box - the Quest has room to fit it neatly under the seat as will other boats. As you can easily remove the seats in later P&H boats this makes for much easier fitting. P&H supply boats fitted with a pump with a short hose which runs vertically down to the hull - logically, although this will clear the bulk of the water, it wont clear it all especailly when the boat is loaded and the rear of the cockpit is sitting lower in the water than the front!

I cant post pics, not having a digi camera. We've discussed before whether we need a techy section so maybe I must take some snaps and have them scanned :D

Hope this helps - Mike.


DaveM
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:51 am

pumpout time

Post by DaveM » Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:14 am

: I decided to go for a deck mounted compac 50 deck
: mount pump because of its amazing high output
: compared with foot pumps such as the chimp

: After a rentry roll in these conditions it emptied
: my boat in under 4 minutes.

: Douglas

I can empty my Orion full to the brim in just over 2 minutes with my Chimp footpump, and the battery never goes flat. :)

Dave

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MikeB
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Pumps

Post by MikeB » Thu Nov 20, 2003 2:12 pm

DaveM - "pumps / steering" - interesting. The Aleut was fitted with what they call a C Trim rudder arrangement though. It's a combined rudder bar and footrest.

The rest was an L section alu bar which runs the width of the boat, secured to f/glass flanges on each side with bolts and butterfly nuts. The rudder bar pivoted on this bar, the cable runs being attached to each end.

Effective - you steered with your toes, pivoting your feet on the footrest bar.

Sadly of course it effectivly made it imppossible to use a footpump. I didn't like the deck mounted pump on the basis that it intruded significantly into what was quite a tight fit in the cockpit anyway and I always thought it impeded exit, even upright and in the dry!

Had I kept the Aluet I would have added an electric pump, either the Atwood or more likely a bilge pump, switch and gell type battery arrangement.

One day, such an arrangement will find its way into the Quest, and they are certailny very popular with our Southern Ocean cousins.

Mike


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Jim
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Re: Pumps

Post by Jim » Thu Nov 20, 2003 4:35 pm

Mike,
The Lendal pump would have worked in the aluet, only thing is they don't seem to do it anymore.

Basically a length of rubber pipe which you attach to your footrest bar (or bulkhead) with a non return valve at each end (both pointing the same way, not towards or away from each other). When you are paddling properly you put pressure on each foot in turn, so with each paddle stroke you squeeze air/water out of the rubber pipe and as you relax between strokes it expands again sucking a bit of water or air from the inlet pipe with it. It is a very low volume system but you get a pump with every stroke without any special input - and I'm sure you could position the pipe so it flexes under the rudder bar. The only problem is if you swamp the boat it will take ages to pump out, but for gradual ingress the pump will get rid of it before you even know it's there.

I wonder if we could make these ourselves if they are as I believe unavailable?

JIM

DazKaz15
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 1:39 am

Thanks

Post by DazKaz15 » Mon Nov 24, 2003 1:39 am

Thank's for all your help.
I've decided to go for the chimp foot pump. This decision was based on the need to pump out the Kayak after a re-entry, and roll, as nearly all my paddling is done alone. No body likes me :(
I ditched the self-bailer idea due to the valid comments about leakages, jamming, drag, opening and closing problems etc.
I really don't like the idea of a battery operated pump. I just know that when the time comes that I need it most, will be the time that it runs out of steam. Also the output is very low.
With a cockpit full of water, I'm going to need both hands to stop me going over again, so a deck mounted pump is out as well.
The problem I have now is the amount of packing out I have to do behind the pump as I'm quit short and the Kordkapp is second hand and obviously made for "Daddy Long Legs". I reckon I have about 6in of packing out to do. It would be a good idea to reduce the cockpit volume by packing it out with foam anyway.
So the next question I would like to ask you kind gents, (and ladies?) is should I have the outlet pipe coming through the top or the side of the Kayak?
Also is there any :D one from the Isle of Wight that would like to come paddling with me. I live in Cowes.

DaveM
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:51 am

steering and Chimp footpump mount

Post by DaveM » Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:30 pm

Mike, the combined rudder bar and footrest, and the C-Trim rudder is not a system that I personally like, which is why I designed my own. Wait a few months and it may well be commercially available.

The foot control is a pain, difficult to use and prone to damage, hence steering with stirrups, which is easy, gives very precise control and is so light that I steer with my big toes.

If anyone is interested I'll post instructions for stirrups, also for my pump mount.

How do I post pics?

Dave

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