Floatation Compartment

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brooks
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Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:11 pm

Floatation Compartment

Post by brooks » Thu May 14, 2015 12:13 pm

I'm building the Ranger and working on the inwales right now. The question I have is flotation and how big a compartment should be to work best. I am planning on closing in from station 6 to the end and filling it with foam. If I did this at both ends and the canoe capsized would that be sufficient to float the Ranger. I'm asking because I feel its a little on the week side. Has anyone had the misfortune of testing this out. I am really enjoying this build and I think my next project will be the Rice Lake. pwb

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Jim Dodd
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Floatation Compartment

Post by Jim Dodd » Thu May 14, 2015 2:59 pm

Hi Brooks

I'm at the point of installing flotation chambers in my current build.
It's a solo at 15'9" in length.
Flotation is something that I have put in all but my earliest canoes. I'm sold on it .

First off most strippers will float without any added flotation. The trouble is any downward pressure will easily submerge the hull, but it will take a long time to resurface. Adding flotation will bring it back to the surface much quicker !

An Air chamber is the most effective flotation. A foam filled chamber will add more weight.
Here's a few pics of what I do.ImageImageImage
I fiberglass over these inserts, adding fiberglass on the backside also, so I can drill a hole for a bilge plug.
There are some guidelines published by the Coast Guard. But I try and make my chambers large enough to hold at least a gallon at each end.

Best of luck !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

brooks
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:11 pm

Re: Floatation Compartment

Post by brooks » Thu May 14, 2015 5:10 pm

That works for me . Thanks Jim

hughhallhh56
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: Floatation Compartment

Post by hughhallhh56 » Fri May 15, 2015 10:40 pm

I too am just installing them. Question I have is do you simply shape them as best you can and then epoxy the edges or do you put cloth around the edges?

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Jim Dodd
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Floatation Compartment

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat May 16, 2015 6:02 am

I completely cover the insert with 6 oz E-glass. With an inch or two extra around the edge,
I wet it out. and at least one extra fill coat.
I also partially glass the back side before installing.
The edges are easily feathered out with a scraper, especially if you do it within a few days.

I'll take some pics today.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Jim Dodd
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Floatation Compartment

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat May 16, 2015 11:45 am

Here's the pics I promised. Notice how I feather or taper the edge of the insert. This is important to make a smooth transition into the hull. ImageImageImage


Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

hughhallhh56
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: Floatation Compartment

Post by hughhallhh56 » Mon May 18, 2015 8:03 pm

Many thanks. I almost glassed both sides before trying to install. I give that a try this week.

jimmar
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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:59 pm

Re: Floatation Compartment

Post by jimmar » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:33 am

After several wilderness trips with my canoes I am considering adding flotation chambers. I've never capsized, but not having them makes me feel a bit uneasy. My kayaks have foam in the ends, but as you said that seems to add noticeable weight.

Two questions:
1. Is there an easy way to make the template? I thought wedging some cardboard into the ends would work but the fit would be rough.

2. Do you think a bilge plug is necessary? What did you use for a plug? I guess that is 3 questions :thinking

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Jim Dodd
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Location: Iowa

Re: Floatation Compartment

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:57 am

Hi jimmar

There are many ways to make the pattern for the flotation chamber !

If you are planning on making one like I have posted, A simple half pattern is easy enough. Cardboard makes a great pattern. Cut it to the length you want, and half of the width. Start trimming with a scissors, until you are happy, that it fills one side of the opening. Lay it on some poster board, draw a centerline on the posterboard, trace the pattern on one side of center, flip and trace again, until you have a tear drop shape.

I cut mine a little big, and trim as needed to fit the hull.
Feather the bottom edge to a sharp bevel, so it blends in to the canoe .ImageImage

If you don't want to use wood strips, you could use foam, I would glass the back side, at least partially.

I have done chambers with and without plugs. I would recommend putting some form of access, in case of a leak. If you make them big enough to install a access cover, they make a great dry storage compartment.


Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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