Our new Inflatable Sponsons are an easy way to add protection, stability and flotation to your boat. They attach to the gunwale and are designed in such a way that they don’t interfere with rowing or drag in the water.
These sponsons store flat or folded, saving valuable storage space and have easy to use valves for secure and fast inflation and deflation using any basic air pump.
Falk took them out for the test as he put on his wet suit and boots to rock the boat. Even with his strong attempt to make it capsize, little to no water entered the boat and he stayed dry!
$20 Air Pump
1. First step is to position the track. The best location is usually directly under the gunwale for protection and clearance to the water. Using tape to hold in place allows you to reposition and check the final location.
2. To fasten the track to the hull, get fasteners that best match the material. Place the first and last screws close to the ends, further spacing is discretionary, anywhere from every 6″ to 18″.
3. Once the track is in place the sponson can be slid into position starting at the straighter end, usually after Sponsons are the same, there is no port or starboard. You can choose to have the valves out or under. Valves are located toward the ends and are simple open tubes. To seal, fold in half and insert under the cover. The tube should have one hard crease for a good seal.
4. To inflate, any pumps with adapters will work. Tire type pumps will not. Inflate till firm. Once inflated fold the tube in half, it’s best to fold away from the luff rope slide to avoid the clamp under the cover. Then remove the pump nozzle and work tube under the cover maintaining a crease. To deflate push or pull the tube out the same way it went in. Do not push through the opposite end of the cover. To avoid the possibility of getting water in the sponsons, do not submerse with open vales. Sponsons can be stored with valves open or closed.
- The most effective location for mounting the guides is in the middle of the sponson, but it will depend on each set up. It helps to inflate the sponson to determine the strap location. Then one usually goes on the inside of the gunwale and the other goes directly below the hull.
- To fasten the guides to the hull, get fasteners that best match the material. Different fasteners may be required for the hull and gunwhale. #8 size screws are recommended for the guide mounting holes. Sealant in recommended on the lower guide holes.
- Weaving the strap through the guides can take some trial, one option is to start at the lower guide with the rougher side of the strap material up. Weave the end up through the lower guide, around the sponson through the upper guide and to the buckle. Leave enough length in the strap so the buckle ends up by the gunwale.
- For the buckle, the strap weaves up through the middle hold over the bar with the notches and down the hole with the sharp edge. If the strap is not holding, the buckle is upside down and must be retreaded. Tighten the straps enough to hold the sponson down but no it’s cutting or indenting the sponson. Pushing the sponson down and against the hull, then tightening the strap will help determine the position. Excess strap material can be cut off.