How To Make Styrofoam Kayak Flotation Bags

Learning how to make styrofoam kayak flotation bags benefits the hobbyist whose conveyance does not feature sealed bulkheads. Place these bags at the stern and bow of a touring kayak for added safety, especially in case of capsize or the occasionally involuntary wet exit.

Begin your lesson in how to make styrofoam kayak flotation bags by collecting the materials needed:

  • Vinyl
  • Masking tape (blue)
  • Vinyl cement
  • Styrofoam
  • X-Acto knife
  • Yardstick
  • Sharpie
  • Sandpaper

Now that you have everything you need, it is time to learn how to make Styrofoam kayak flotation bags:

  1. Draw the outline for the flotation bags. Use the yardstick to create two 43” by 14” outlines on the vinyl. The Sharpie allows for easy drawing with little pressure on the material.
  2. Cut out the resulting shapes. Place the vinyl on a flat surface and make a fast cut with the X-Acto knife; guiding the blade against the yardstick ensures even lines.
  3. Mask off a ¾” area along the sides with the tape.
  4. Gently roughen the small area between the tape and the edge of the vinyl.
  5. Cut the styrofoam to fit inside the elongated blue triangle. This is the tricky portion of learning how to make styrofoam kayak flotation bags: do not use too much Styrofoam or the two pieces of vinyl will not properly glue together!
  6. Place the cut styrofoam pieces inside the blue triangle of the vinyl. Secure it with a strip of masking tape to the already applied masking tape. This does not have to be a permanent taping job. You are just trying to keep the foam in place.
  7. Apply the vinyl glue to the area outside the blue masking tape.
  8. Put one vinyl piece over the other and press together the seams. Spend a bit of extra time ensuring that the seal is complete.
  9. Repeat this process three more times. It takes four bags total to properly float a kayak.

Learning how to make styrofoam kayak flotation bags also introduces the hobbyist to the fumes associated with vinyl glue. Do this project in a well-ventilated area. Remember to keep the glue away from the styrofoam. Depending on the brand you use, it may eat away at the foam.

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