Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Kayaking

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-08-2009   #1
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 28
Need some help! Self Bailing vs. non-Self Bailing

Hello Everyone!

This might seem like a pretty stupid question, but I need to get it answered. I am new to this and am wondering what the real difference is between these two types of vessels. Obviously the self bailing has eyelets in the bottom that release the water and the non-self bailing does not.
I have seen a number of Hyside and NRS boats for very good prices, but they are the non-self bailing type. I just wonder what the downside to a non-self bailing boat is.
I plan on using my boat for fishing(The main reason!) and at the very most some minor day trips, maybe II-III with the family, at least until I get some experience under my belt.
So, do I run the risk of sinking my boat or do I need to have a pump available to bail the water out if I go with a non-self bailing?

Thank you very much for the help


cheublein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #2
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
I have friends who swear by bucket boats- they say they stay upright better, which may be true. The boat is not going to sink when it fills with water, it's just going to be a lot harder to move. They may stay upright, but the chance of getting stuck on a rock is greater because they are so heavy when filled with water.

TakemetotheRiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #3
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Self bailing is better. More time fishing, less time bailing.
It takes a big man to cry...It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.

-Jack Handy
WhiteLightning is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #4
Riparian's Avatar
Little Village, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,350
To me, bailing bucket boats is a giant distraction.
Uh, I'm just gonna go find a cash machine.
Riparian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #5
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
bailing sucks. get a self-bailer. you'll thank yourself, especially if you're in a rainstorm.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
the_dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #6
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
If you're going to run such mellow water, you're unlikely to have to do much bailing. For your use, if the cost is a major factor, a bucket boat may be just fine. You can get little bilge pumps made for canoes and modify it so you just have to pump and suck the majority of the water out. But, your feet will almost always be wet.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
lhowemt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #7
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
Picture sitting on a folding lawn chair, and someone throws 25-50+ gallons of cold water at you. Now picture sitting in a bathtub and someone throws 25-50+ gallons of cold water at you. Now picture both again with repetition.
UserName is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #8
Mr Beaver's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 188
a bucket boat in continuous rapids is a huge bummer. It cuts down on my merrymaking/drinking and therefore I find it unacceptable.

But in Class II, on a warm summer day, it wouldn't be a big deal.

If you are taking the family, consider if you wife/kids will be ok with wet feet for 4-8 hours.
Mr Beaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #9
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
If you are taking the family, consider if you wife/kids will be ok with wet feet for 4-8 hours.
No matter what kind of water you're in, you'll probably have wet feet for most of the time you're on the river in a raft, whether its a bucket boat or self-bailer. If you're in Class II whitewater, you can probably run a bucket boat (non-self-bailer) and not have any trouble other than the occasional splash or two into the boat, which are then easily (mostly, but not completely) bailed out. If you're running Class III whitewater, you'll be getting a few bucketfulls of water into the boat on a regular basis. If its your first boat, there's no need to throw down a hefty chunk of your disposable income on a SB if you're just going to be fishing Class II water and taking the family on float trips.

The cost difference between a SB and a bucket boat will probably be about $750 - $1000 which will easily cover the cost of neoprene booties & socks for the family.

Here's a good deal for an Avon (which holds value better than any other brand) raft in the swap that you could buy, use and later sell the rubber for $500 easily and keep the frame and gear to use if/when you decide to upgrade to a SB:

That's basically $1200+ worth of used gear and the raft tossed in for $300. I don't think the babe in black comes with it though...

Or there's this SB starter package - though at this price it should be inspected very carefully before buying:


Good luck finding the right boat!

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
Andy H. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009   #10
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 28
Thank you everyone for the reponse. Thank you AH for throwing some links out there. The reason I thought that I would ask this is because I saw some Hyside non-SB boats on Craigslist for $850. From the pics they look like they are in good shape.

I also did find this one.


Are Rikens decent boats or just a good entry level boat?

Also, can you guys give me some pointers on what to look for when I look at these boats. I have read that I should have the boat filled and take a spray bottle with soapy water, but have not really had any other input.


cheublein is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water in self bailing floor coloradonymph Whitewater Kayaking 3 06-10-2008 06:10 PM
Wanted 14' self Bailing RAFT erdvm1 Rafting | Gear Talk 1 07-21-2007 08:46 AM
12' Aire Self Bailing Raft at Grand Junction SportsMans Warehouse pcrawford Whitewater Rafting 6 06-26-2007 06:47 PM
Self-Bailing Floor Height? Kendarflugen Whitewater Kayaking 5 04-10-2007 06:16 PM
BOATS STOLEN - INSURANCE BAILING - I'M BUMMING. GregT Whitewater Kayaking 20 12-13-2006 03:38 PM

» Classified Ads
Dagger Mamba Creeker 7.6...

posted by Rendezvous River Sports



posted by Rendezvous River Sports


Immersion Research...

posted by jasons

2014 IR supermodel drysuit. I'm 5'10", 150lbs and figure...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:12 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.