Seeking DIY closure for top of very large float bags for MR Monarch

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I have the boat, the spray skirt and two of the darndest float bags I have ever seen. They each have a dump valve, a fill valve and a completely raw open edge for about 18 inches on one side.


They are intended to be loaded with soft gear like clothes and sleeping bags, then closed and inflated. What is missing is the closure. Voyageur I believe made the bags. At one time I had a smaller bag that was for carrying day gear that had a similar raw edge.. you rolled it up and then slid a plastic sleeve over it that clamped the rolled over layers.

I was wondering if one inch PVC clear tubing sliced along its length would clamp similarly . Any other suggestions?
 
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White PVC? or is that too rigid/hard?
A couple spring clamps (they make really small ones. you'd need several, one every 3"-4")
 
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Hi Yellow Canoe, I like the idea of PVC pipe as you described but I wonder if the closure couldn't be made more secure if you first caught a small wooden dowel in the fold of the bag and then over dowel and bag slipped the sawn PVC pipe. I'm not sure how a smooth cut could be made in the pipe; maybe some sort of jig could be rigged. Be careful, rounded things can slip very easily.

A plan B might be to use two pieces of wood. If you had or could get two sticks that had a "warp" in them and placed them belly to belly and clamped the ends, perhaps with lashings or drill holes and use screws and wing nuts. By the time the ends were clamped snuggly there would be closing pressure all along the length of the sticks. If you were using sticks found in nature you would need to flatten the contact area so they would lay comfortably together and not want to twist away.
If you couldn't find sticks with the required warp you could make them by gluing up two sticks bent over some arc. I'm thinking something about the size of a cheap yard sticks. You could still use that dowel as described above.
All this probably isn't very clear, please ask if you have any questions.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Long ago the Voyageur deck bag I had had a small plastic dowel over which you wrapped the top of the bag and then over that slipped a piece of very thin PVC pipe.. it was so thin it was bendable.. I like the dowel idea, Rob. We have plenty of scrap dowel in the shop! And PVC tubing left over from making gunwale protectors.

Plan B in plastic is the principle behind the Dry Pak map and electronic bags!
 
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Dang, as usual and always you're way ahead of me! All right, how about this; if you need more flex than a wooden dowel can give try using some small uncut PVC tubing instead.

I was looking at the various tubing offered at the local hardware; some was quite stiff and had some reinforcing thread running through it, maybe it's used for holding pressure. It had taken a "set" from the drum it came on, maybe it could be straightened out with heat; anyway it looked to be the most inclined to provide a clamping action.

About a jig to cut: Why couldn't you get a block or wood and drill a hole to fit the tubing to be cut and then drill an intersecting hole that would admit one of those Exacto knives that are about the size of an pencil? To keep the Exacto knife from cutting both walls of the tube you could limit how far down it could go by wrapping the handle with several thicknesses of masking tape. Clamp the block of wood in the vise to leave you both hands to work.

Glad those agragators didn't get you!
Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I have the boat, the spray skirt and two of the darndest float bags I have ever seen. They each have a dump valve, a fill valve and a completely raw open edge for about 18 inches on one side.


They are intended to be loaded with soft gear like clothes and sleeping bags, then closed and inflated. What is missing is the closure. Voyageur I believe made the bags.

I was wondering if one inch PVC clear tubing sliced along its length would clamp similarly . Any other suggestions?

Kim, congrats on the Monarch. I miss being in mine when paddling other boats.

I know the person who designed those bags, and know someone who has one; I’ll have a look and see what the OEM roll closure consists of.

A piece of slit PVC tubing would work if the tubing could be cut and cleaned up sufficiently, kind of like the old JifffyTube toothpaste-like containers from early ‘70’s backpacking days.

I have cut long sections of 4” dia PVC tubing to fit atop the wood 2x6 crossbars on my outdoor rack. The plastic tubing makes sliding the boats on and off much easier, but cutting it to fit was a PITA.

With 4” PVC (certainly larger diameter than you would want) I could cut it with a jigsaw, but even with 4” tubing I needed to break off part of the saw blade to have enough up-and-down clearance.

Other difficulties in slicing PVC tubing:

The cut tubing edges come back together very tightly, in fact the cut/melted edges will reseal behind the saw blade. I needed to make two cuts to remove a 1 ½” wide lengthwise section, and even then it was a darn tight fit atop the 2x6; a single cut may not provide enough width for the bag material.

The cut edges are very ragged/jagged and would need to be cleaned up before sliding along the bag material.

For other clip purposes I have used pre-formed plastic strips that are shaped like an Isosceles triangle, with a grip opening kind of like oversized car door edging. Take a look in the laminate flooring section of Home Depot or etc; there are a lot of oddly shaped and sized plastic transition molding and end cap pieces used in that type of flooring.

Something ready-made might be easier than slicing PVC.
 
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I went off to the big orange box home store and bought a length of 1/2 inch PVC tubing. Over that will go 7/8 inch clear flexible vinyl tubing. I am having lunch now.. more fiddling this afternoon.

The vinyl tubing can be cut fairly easily.

BMO knew exactly what I needed and did not have any of the original closures, but I wasn't expecting to find any either as they are long out of production.

The jury is still out....
 
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Please let us know how this works. Lots of possibilities for sealing things with this technique. I'm thinking maybe a way to close up or reseal custom sized seal-a-meal bags.
 
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The system works fine as long as you do not try to add air to these bags.. Otherwise the flexible vinyl tubing pops off! I guess I will pack with regular dry bags and use the big bag even though it is equipped with an intake valve and dump valve just to contain the dry bags.

Or melt the edges of the dang thing together and use it as a float bag when there is no gear... I was hoping for a combi float bag and containment pack for gear.
 
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