Thursday 5 August 2021
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Emptying Water out of a Boat

During the course of our kayaking lives at some stage we all get water in our kayaks. Whether its from getting in and out of the boat, taking a swim or having a skirt that lets some water in, knowing how to empty water from our kayak quickly and safely is a essential skill to learn.


How to empty water out of a kayak

In order to practice getting water out of our kayak we need to start by getting some water in it. So find somewhere safe and near to the shore and fill your boat up, as full as you can.

Now its time to empty it.

1. Carefully roll the boat over in the water so that its upside down.

You should not ever need to lift a boat thats full of water. If the boat feels heavy, stop and think again. Use these techniques to help you empty your kayak safely without having to lift excessive weight.

2. With the kayak upside down start by pushing the bow of the boat onto the shore.

Make sure that the bow is solidly on ground. If you need a bit more bow out of the water push down onto the stern, this will lift the bow.

3. Begin by slowly tilting the boat on edge.This will let lots of water start to flow out of the cockpit rim.

4. Once the waters stopped flowing out roll the kayak back to upside down.

5. Now move so you can lift the stern slightly and you will see the remaining water start to run out of the cockpit. You can increase the angle and amount of lift to speed up the process as the boat starts to get lighter.

6. Once the water stops flowing out, lower the stern down so that any water that ended up in the bow can have another shot at escape. This will remove the majority of the water.

7. Then there are many different ways to remove the remainder of the water. Here our four of our favourites.

  1. Some boats have drain plugs. With these you may unscrew the drain plug (make sure it is attached to the boat so you do not loose it) and then stand it up on its stern.
  2. Another technique is to balance the boat over your thigh and rock it back and fourth to empty the rest of the water.
  3. Get a friend to help each take an end of the kayak and sea saw the boat (lift the bow then the stern then repeat) this will allow the last drops of water to come out.
  4. Lastly you can use a sponge to get the remainder of the water out.


Top Tips

Make sure that when you are lifting the kayak you bend and lift through your knees so as to protect your back.

Do not try and lift a kayak that is full of water.

Use the techniques explained above to allow as much water as possible to drain out before you lift the kayak.

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