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Greetings and Salutations from Alabama the Beautiful! I am new here but I am going to jump right in with a question.

I have recently acquired a 16' Blue Hole OCA and am in the process of replacing the seats as the originals are cracked and deteriorating. My intention is to use a piece of 1" x 12" poplar with a 4" x 8" x 12" box underneath it filled with styrofoam. "Finally here's the question, will two flotation boxes like that be enough to keep it afloat if it should get swamped? I just want to make sure it doesn't go to the bottom of the lake.

Thanks,

Gene
 
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Well, it won't go to the bottom of the lake unless you load it with a bunch of stuff that is denser than water that is attached to the canoe. That is because Royalex has inherent buoyancy given it by the expanded "foam core" of ABS inside the sheet.

But if it is completely filled with water most of the boat will wind up beneath the surface with only a portion of the stems sticking up out of the water. Supplemental flotation is never a bad idea if you have room for it.
 
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Excellent! Yep, Still room for my feet, and with a little extra flotation maybe the gunnels will be above water and it can be bailed out. At least I'll have something to hang on to.

This is going to be my small lake fishing vehicle, set up with a trolling motor, sonar, GPS, etc. For those lakes and watersheds that don't allow gas engines. Thanks for the input.
 
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I am not at all certain that much styrofoam would provide enough flotation to get both gunwales above the surface over the full length of the canoe. It might but I wouldn't count on it. If that is important to you, test it in a pond and see. If not you could install short 3D end flotation bags at each end.
 
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I removed my post, as I wasn't familiar with the OCA being built out of Royalex.
Sorry !
 
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Glenn MacGrady

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Greetings and Salutations from Alabama the Beautiful! I am new here but I am going to jump right in with a question.
Welcome to site membership, Gstan! Feel free to ask any questions and post messages, photos and videos in our many canoe-related forums. We look forward to your participation in our community.

I wouldn't worry too much about swamping a Royalex Blue Hole OCA in a lake, but additional flotation is always a reasonable safety precaution.

The additional flotation is typically placed in the ends of the canoe, where it will buoy up an overturned canoe the highest to make flipping the canoe right-side-up the easiest. End flotation can be commercial air bags laced in, which can be expensive, or foam carved into a triangular shape and jammed/laced/epoxied into the ends. End flotation allows the center belly of the canoe to remain open for other gear or people parts.
 
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2 chambers 4 x 8 x 12 is 768 cubic inches of flotation which is about 3.3 gallons of volume. Water is 8.3 pounds per gallon so you'd get about 27 pounds of buoyancy so about the same buoyancy as two PFD's. They would have the same effect as bailing 3.3 gallons of water out of a swamped canoe...almost zero effect. I think your stock boat is designed to barely float when swamped as pblanc noted, so if your trolling motor and battery and other stuff weighs more than about 25-30 pounds you might be pushing your luck if you assume your boat would float if swamped.
 
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Excellent! Yep, Still room for my feet, and with a little extra flotation maybe the gunnels will be above water and it can be bailed out. At least I'll have something to hang on to.

This is going to be my small lake fishing vehicle, set up with a trolling motor, sonar, GPS, etc. For those lakes and watersheds that don't allow gas engines. Thanks for the input.

2 chambers 4 x 8 x 12 is 768 cubic inches of flotation which is about 3.3 gallons of volume. Water is 8.3 pounds per gallon so you'd get about 27 pounds of buoyancy so about the same buoyancy as two PFD's. They would have the same effect as bailing 3.3 gallons of water out of a swamped canoe...almost zero effect. I think your stock boat is designed to barely float when swamped as pblanc noted, so if your trolling motor and battery and other stuff weighs more than about 25-30 pounds you might be pushing your luck if you assume your boat would float if swamped.
Yes, good point. I overlooked the trolling motor. That could possibly be enough to overcome the inherent buoyancy in the canoe.
 
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Hmmm. All very interesting. I may have to re-think my plan. As Glen said, (And thank you for the welcome), I have never (in my 73 yrs.) swamped a canoe on calm water unless I meant to. So, as I am on a budget I may just stuff the ends full of styrofoam and fabricate a cover for each end. The reason I was thinking about the seats is that the originals were about 3" of plastic filled with foam. I just thought I'd follow suit. Or maybe I'll not worry about it and if I capsize, let my water-activated vest keep me safe and let nature take its course. Cut my losses so to speak.

Once again thanks for all the input. Maybe I'll post some pictures when I get everything ship-shape.

Bye the bye, my first fishing canoe was a 13' Grumman that I got when I was about 12 years old. I should kick my butt for ever selling that one. It was a peach.
 
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Hmmm, trolling motor. Is it powered by a marine battery? That’s around 50 pounds. If the battery is just loose in the boat, I guess in a capsize that weight would just go to the bottom and the hull would still float. Is that what they mean by “deep cycle” battery? But if the battery is attached to the boat, more floatation needed.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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A guy on Paddling.com posted about adding flotation to an Old Town Guide 147 canoe by strapping peanut shaped yoga balls into the ends: https://forums.paddling.com/t/flotation-safety-yoga-balls/106804
Maybe something similar to what he did would work for adding relatively inexpensive flotation to your OCA.

Back in the 70's and 80's, some whitewater canoeists would just fill a net bag full of empty plastic bottles/jugs and lash the bags into the ends of the canoe, removing the net bags (usually) when cartopping the canoe.
 
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I occasionally run a 2HP motor on one of my canoes and went another route. Since I normally only use the motor for fishing, where stability is also a factor, I took a que from those big ocean-going Hawaiian outrigger canoes and made 2 pontoons that clamp to my gunnels at the centre thwart and behind the stern seat to both offset the weight of the motor and improve my ability to stand and cast. The pontoons are approximately each 1.5 cu ft and weigh about 10 lbs, so displace about 75lbs of water each. (1 cu ft= 64lbs)
 
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Gene, if you go the Styrofoam route there is an old school trick you can use to make the Styrofoam last longer and squeak less - paint the Styrofoam with latex house paint. I presume modern latex house paint will work the same; maybe paint a test piece first.

Back in the ‘60’s my father used giant blocks of Styrofoam as center floatation in our aluminum canoes. He needed it; he ran crazy guidebook-less unknown hazards and drops in those canoes. Of course he also took them to the beach and surfed them. Or tried to.

The “crazy” may have been more the man than the waters.
 
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