Flotation is a useful means of recovery for kayaks and other small craft.
Depending on where it is added to the kayak and how much of it is used, it can assist you in recovering your W kayak, and in preventing it from sinking if it gets filled with water.
When attached below the kayak’s saddle (Fig. 1-3) the flotation will keep the kayak floating if it gets overturned, or if water gets into the hulls.
However, having the flotation attached to the sides of the craft is more effective:
When attached on the kayak’s sides (see Fig 4) the flotation modules work both to -
a. Stop the kayak from overturning, and -
b. Help the kayak right itself, even without your help.
If your W kayak kayak is lying on its side (it should right itself, in principle), side flotation will assist you in turning it back, and recovering it.
If you happen to flip your W kayak over, side flotation would make it easier for you to flip it back:
While you’re flipping the W kayak back, you use one of its twin hulls as a ‘pivot’, and in the beginning of the rotation, this hull will have to be lower in the water than its twin. At this initial point, side flotation attached to the lower hull keeps the kayak floating higher, and thus reduces the amount of water the lower hull scoops in.
Side flotation has been in use for many years in hunting and fishing canoes, as well as in some rescue watercraft. It is an effective means of recovery, but it improves neither stability, nor load capacity.
Wavewalk kayaks are offered with closed-cell polyethylene foam side flotation modules that you can attach either below the saddle, or or on the kayak’s sides.
Each kayak flotation module is 5 ft long (150 cm), and 2.5″ in diameter (6.5 cm), and features a bungee cord going through it, with hooks on both ends.
Fig. 1 – Kayak Overturned With Pair of Flotation Modules Attached Below Saddle:
Fig. 2 – Kayak Overturned With Pair of Flotation Modules Attached Below Saddle:
Fig. 3 – Pair of Flotation Modules Attached Below W Kayak Saddle – Attaching:
Fig. 4 – Pair of Flotation Modules Attached to the Sides of a W500 Kayak
Fig. 5 – The Effect of Side Flotation on a Capsized W500 Kayak
How does side flotation work to make it possible for the W kayak to right itself, and how does it make it easier for you to turn the W kayak back in case it is overturned? Learn more about kayak recovery and side flotation » and How to use detachable flotation to right a capsized Wavewalk kayak »
Does Flotation Increase Stability or Load Capacity?
One shouldn’t confound flotation with either stabilizers (a.k.a. outriggers, pontoons, sponsons) or with buoyancy, I.E. load capacity. Flotation is a means designed to facilitate a boat’s recovery in case of an accident, and it adds nothing to the boat’s stability, or to its load capacity.
More Ways To Attach Flotation Modules To Your W Kayak:
You can attach flotation modules to your W kayak in additional ways. The flotation modules going over the cockpit do not interfere with either paddling or fishing.
The one attached on top of the hull tips won’t interfere with your fishing lines if you cast in the other direction, I.E. if the flotation is attached to the stern.
Extra Large Flotation Modules
Wavewalk offers the standard flotation modules described above, as well as extra large (XL) flotation modules.
Learn more about the extra large flotation modules >>