The purpose of scupper plug is to let water out of the kayak as you paddle. With a scupper in place, you simply unplug and let the water out.
If you own a sit-on-top kayak or soon to own one, you will notice plugs on the vessel. They are normally found in the cockpit or storage areas. You will appreciate them when on choppy waters and have to let out as much water as possible lest you capsize!
As you paddle on the water, you should expect some water to make its way into the vessel. Whether it is through a paddle splash, spray, or waves, it is normal. What isn’t normal though is having excess water in your vessel which could cause it to capsize.
As you paddle, you may also notice the scupper let in some water. This should not worry you as long as it is not a lot of water.
As good practice before you venture into the water, you need to inspect your kayak and ensure that there are no damages that could prove dangerous on the water. One of the things you need to check is the scuppers. They shouldn’t have any sign of damage and they should be plugged securely in place.
Should I keep the scuppers open or closed? Most people, especially first-time kayakers, wonder if it is advisable to leave the scuppers open or closed. For the scuppers to work, they have to be open. However, there are instances when you have to keep the scupper closed in order not to allow excess water in.
Generally, though, it is advisable to keep some scuppers open and others closed, especially the ones by your seat so that you don’t sit on too much water.
Scuppers are made using rubber. The rubber structure is attached to a small piece of string for easy removal and installation. Some scuppers utilize a screw-in design for installing or uninstalling.
In addition to having the scuppers in place, it is advisable to bring along a pump or sponge to help eliminate as much water as possible from the kayak. With the pump in use, you don’t need to completely remove the scupper plugs. The sponge will cost you less than the pipe and it will not weigh as much.
How to ensure the scuppers are working right
You need to test the scuppers on land before going on the water. You need to fill up your kayak with water after installing the scupper. Ideally, the scuppers should not leak water onto the ground. If they do then perhaps they are not properly installed.
If you have a sit-on kayak then you need scuppers to help rid the kayak of excess water as you paddle. For your safety, you need to inspect the scuppers for damages before hitting the water.
You also need to test them to ensure they are working as they should. It is important to remember that the weather conditions and the type of water you are paddling on will determine just how much water makes its way on your vessel.