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Sunday, August 29, 2010

"My Sprayskirt Clothes Line"

Ever wonder about a decent sprayskirt? Have you found your own? How exactly does it work under conditions? Has it lasted you? Needing repairs? Who cares?

This was my first spray skirt from Perception some 11 years ago. It Velcros at the waist and was not bad. Didn't keep the water out too well during rolls but in most conditions it was successful in doing that. I used it on my rotomolded sea kayak mostly. It is now relegated to pool duty where the chlorine has eaten away at the under urethane coating of some sort. It is super light and visible at night and easy to pack. I'd give it a 6 out of 10. I'm gonna grade tight here. lol After all 11 years is a long time for water abuse of all kinds. I liked it.

This is a Brooks convertible or half pint I call it. Do one roll and your screwed. Well your cockpit is full of water. It is designed for very warm water and weather and is good enough at keeping most droplets out of the cockpit. I give it a 3.5 out of 10. I used it maybe three times. I never seem to be in that warm of water. But I hung it out anyway. It has an elastic shock cord like the previous Perception skirt and for most purposes fits snug enough under the cockpit rim. It also has a plastic implosion bar more for keeping it arched so water can run off. Again like the previous Perception skirt.

This is a Bomber Gear sea touring skirt. It is one of their older models and has served me very well. It was my fourth skirt. I used it lots in BC. It also has a shock cord for cockpit securing and a type of grip material around the edges that worked well for grip but not for water tightness. There is a knot at the rear that leaves a space for water to enter on a roll so it let water in. It has a nice secure waist band bounded with Velcro and a watertight pocket in the front that served me well for lots of things over the years. I'll leave it all to your imagination. It is a very durable skirt and as with all Bombergear it is a nice think to pimp your kayak. Very solid but not water tight which is gonna make me score this low about a 6 out of 10. I liked the clip for attaching the front end to your PFD when you get out of the cockpit. That scored it above 5. I like gadgets that work and are utilitarian.

This was my second spray skirt and I find it as useless as t&its on a bull. It is from Snapdragon and they make excellent spray skirts. So literally taken this will keep "spray" off. I just don't like a pull string, nylon tunnel. But it does help with spray. I've tried their other skirts and they are fine. Just a little harder to get here. Which is too bad. I am keeping the price out of my reviews because if I want it in a sprayskirt, I'll buy. Plane and simple. I did like the sewn in shock cord that made for a complete seam with little leakage around the rim. This will score it good with me. I'm giving it a 5 out of 10 cause I know they have sweet skirts other than this. Check their site for yourself. I use it though for my rotomolded boat when a friend uses my boat. I don't care if they get wet. lol

This is a Seals Pro Rand I bought for my Nordkapp. Wrong move. Way too snug and hard to get on and off in serious conditions unless you got arms like Popeye, mine are more sweet pea! Well maybe not that bad. Solid rim around the deck and it kept water out. Neoprene tunnel which I prefer now as I growed up. lol The tunnel is nice and snug around my waist and I really like this skirt. I either was given the wrong info or just went and blatantly purchased it under bad research. The rand as thick as it ended up ripping when out on a trip and left me a little vulnerable for taking on water. I was not impressed but I think it all was my own fault so I bought one called the Shocker without the pro rand. Obviously I am not a pro. I liked the Pro Rand though but wrong info, so I will score it an 8 out of 10. Go Seals Go. What I liked most was that it had reinforced Kevlar edges which was the big seller for me with sharp cockpit rim that I have.

Seals Shocker. Superb skirt. All neoprene. Fits my Nordkapp  nicely but when wet seems a mare bit saggy. I don't like saggy, I like a firm deck. This will knock it down a mark or so. It did keep water out but when wet might be a bit too easy to get on and off. I'm giving this one a 7 out of 10 for my boat. May work better on another rim, if so you can grade it, may even work better on other Nordkapps as I know others use them. Just my opinion. Easy to purchase here which may lead to their popularity in this area.

This is my latest Bomber Skirt. It rocks. It looks nice when pimpn' your cockpit and hey it works. The staff were excellent with me on the phone in helping with sizing and they hit it right on. I love the design and because I work in Nuclear Medicine...I like Bombs. One little draw back is that the tunnel is super tight but I like that, just a bit snug getting on. It has reinforced edges, a bonus guys. Think about those sharp cockpit rims. I got this baby in about 4 days from Colorado go figure. I can't get a potato from PEI in four days. Maybe because I spell it wrong or something. This skirt also fits snugly to my cockpit so it is good on rolls. I tried it in the pool last winter when I got it and after about 30 rolls or so a bit of water started to leach in. But hey it was leachin in my body too so hopefully when in conditions you won't have to do 30 rolls to right yourself. If you do, well you do! This skirt also has that nice little clip for attachment to the PFD when out of your boat and still wearing the dress,I mean skirt, so that is a bonus with me, I like to keep my skirt up. Sounds bout right anyways. The pull strap has some reinforced rubber on it for solid grip when needed and sits out of the way when fastened ie not dangling on my firm deck. I like that too. I like this skirt and if I had to wear one in my truck I might use this one so I am giving this a 9.4 out of 10. How could they possibly make it better? Embroid my name on it!

So what isn't on my "Clothes Line"? That would be my Immersion Research Shock wave plus Skirt because it is in my gear bag. Well not now because I took a picture of it. It has just about everything the Bomber has except the implosion band on the outside. So what does this do. A couple things for me. It is another way to release your skirt from the cockpit, not that useful for me. I liked that color blue. It also provides a point to tuck my paddle blade under momentarily for taking you get the picture. I like gadgets that work. It has a plastic tubing around the grab loop to keep it open for a solid grip. Good safety feature also makes it easy to find. It fits snugly around the waist tunnel and the cockpit rim. I used it on my trip this summer to Burgeo and believe me, we had conditions. It is solid and held up nicely. Took on water a bit at one point but that was more to do with me than the skirt. The other thing that really rocks with this company is their interactive web sight when you want info and want to order. They are quick and very ready to help with a dialog box that helps you through the process, an interactive dialog box like talking to someone on the phone. I found the service personable and very helpful and delivery super fast. Three days I think. I really don't know how they do it but believe me they do. So this skirt gets a 9.9 out of 10. These are my own opinions from usage and performance on my own boats a rotomolded Perception Eclipse and a Valley Nordkapp.

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