Recently purchased a QCC 700. I saw the NRS Drylander RawHIDE Sprayskirt on sale at http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=52013&deptid=1025. I am 6’2 and my waist is 42" thanks to the holidays. The biggest they have is 40". Looking to drop the 2" when the ice melts. Any who, this is my first kayak and I am wondering if the skirt is considered a good deal and a good purchase for a beginner. Until the ice melts, I picked up Nigel Foster’s video. Thanks.
I have a 40-41" waist…
I tried the largest RAWHIDE and promptly returned it (although build quality seemed good). No way in frozen hell it was going to work out... I felt like my insides were going to implode. It might possibly work if you kayaked naked with no layers underneath. Perhaps your build is a bit different, but my love handles and gut make it a no go.
I do have 2 spray skirts that work great though for that 39-42" waist range.
For touring: Snap Dragon Glacier trek (L-tube)
Expect to get a little wet if you role alot.. it has a nylon upper with neoprene collar.
For extreme stuff: Mountain Surf G-Skirt (XXL) tunnel.
Works as advertised.
Of course neither of these are on sale and cost over $100 a piece. Honestly though, If you are going to be in conditions where keeping water out is a priority, this isn't a place to skimp. One of the few pieces of gear I haven't bought on sale.
They will make recommendations if the Snapdragons they sell won't work.
Or contact NRS. They will also make recommendations.
Glacier Trek - med deck - large tube
Medium deck (trek series only) fits the QCC coaming great and the adjustable collar on this skirt is very comfortable. I have the breathable version (given the small amount that’s breathable is under a PFD anyway - doubt it matters):
NRS RAWhide vs. Seals Spray Skirts
Have two Q-ships; 400xl & 700x (wow!). All Q’s have the same size cockpit, so switching skirts is convenient. I received a Drylander RAWhide skirt from NRS as a gift (I consider it more of a ww item and it wouldn’t have been my first choice) and found it beyond tight. I complained to NRS and they told me to get help from another person to try stretching it onto the coaming and that it should eventually stretch out. How this would help me in event of a wet exit in the middle of the Long Island Sound I am uncertain, but they said I should call back if it was still a problem. Later I learned through a variety of sources that there were some RAWhide skirts that were a little “mis-sized” in manufacturing, but not considered “defective”. These were identified as the ones sold at $65-70 as opposed to the ones selling for around $90-100. After the two man stretch didn’t work and armed with this new information I called NRS back. To their credit they were very good about replacing my skirt although I was told my particular model had been discontinued (surprise). I was given a choice of available skirts and chose the Drylander Universal (velcro) barrel. This is snug on the coaming, dry and fits my 38" waist and stocky torso well. That said, my favorite skirts (for touring) are Seals: http://www.sealsskirts.com/prod_tr.html
I have primarily used the Coastal Tour and most recently the new Mariner (with pumphouse). I find both of these skirts excellent for my conditions. Great fit (size 1.4 for QCC) and dry. Convenient built-in paddle clip is nice, but I haven’t had occasion to use the pumphouse feature but can see a possible future mod as a cupholder…Good luck with the Q700. You chose an excellent boat!