Bilge Pump Access Through Spray Skirt

Has anybody made, or modified, a spray skirt with a somewhat water tight or water resistant access hole for inserting a bilge pump ?

No more questions for today. Thanks, Mike

try this link

– Last Updated: Mar-06-06 5:43 AM EST –

best wishes

or this one

These could be better than zippered deck
Depending on their closures these are potentially safer than zippered spray skirts. Kokatat has one advertised this season

and others have offered those. The down side of a zippered skirt

is the potential consequences of the zipper failing.

Of course you can go with and have a 10 oz. lithium polymer battery pump out 100 or more cockpits in seconds with a touch on the foot switch.

not DIY but…

Sirius Zip

just a thought.


Doesn’t somebody make a Through Deck Bilge pump mount? I remember something about that. also I have seen many folks that use small electric powered Bilge pumps, or foot operated ones, that exhaust through a Pipe that’s an integral part of the boat. Ever try to pump water out of your cockpit, when the waves a bouncing you all over the place? Its kind of hard to Brace one handed, and even harder to use a Bilge pump one handed…

Electric bilge pump instructions
Scroll down for pics…

Through the hull pumping
with skirt still in place…

pumpin’ in conditions…and then you get a drink outta your water bottle, make a PBJ, eat some ginger, dig out your sunglasses, take a picture, take a P@C…all while the deck’s a wash, heave’n an’ swayin’, pitchin’ and rollin’…

ahhhh… life @ sea.



Boreal Sprayskirt
Boreal Designs makes a nylon spraskirt that had a fabric tube (4 inch. dia) placed right in the center of the spraskirt in front of the torso tunnel. The top of this small bilge tunnel is stiffened with a plastic ring sewn into it. Closure is accomplished by twisting the entire tube so it winds down close to the deck and is fastened to the rest of the sprayskirt by a velcro strap. Small tube also acts as an access for small objects below deck.

Ah, found it at this link:

Might be a solution.


…I COULD go there, but won’t…LOL.

Wildwasser Monterey Zip Deck
Wildwasser has a new spray skirt that claims to be very sturdy and

has both a zipper in less exposed position and outside storage. I always wonder about how all these methods affect performance during capsize and re-entry as well as ripping of the openings. Time and experience with these products may prove them well however.

Article in Sea Kayaker
a while back described doing just that – used a small marine deck plate with a handmade backing plate to “sandwich” the deck material. You end up with a rigid disk in your spray skirt, but it works.

under the tunnel
I have a short enough seat pan in my Capella that I can stick the pump down the tunnel on my spray skirt and pump most of the water out that way. I can hold the pump between my legs and pump with one hand. I have to loosen the tunnel just a little in order to get it vertical enough to where the intake on the pump is hitting the bottom of the boat properly.

It works with a splash jacket and/or wetsuit, but I’m sure it would be next to impossible with a dry top.

Great Info
Thanks so much for all the feedback ! Some good products and ideas. The lithium battery pack and pump package sounds very interesting. I will look further into this first.

I had never considered a hole in the spray skirt. I did see, several months ago, a picture of a hard access hatch installed on the fordeck just in front of the cockpit with a pump that fit.

Have thought through the same issues of how to use a pump and paddle at a time when it was lumpy. I looked at battery and foot pumps and elected to install a foot pump.

Happy Paddling,


Under the tunnel vs foot pump…
Like BHMACIN above, I have used a hand pump through my spray skirt tunnel. I was in a surf zone and had a wave break over me and implode my skirt. Cockpit was instantly filled with water but I managed to maintain my balance. Between sets I was able to put my skirt back on and get the pump in place. I was able to pump with both hands between sets of larger waves and paddled when needed until I got out side the surf zone.

It worked but I would prefer to have a foot pump. Also, you can’t use the tunnel if it is tucked inside a drytop or drysuit.

Good luck.


DIY foot pump article

Good Artical
that angstrom posted a link to. I pretty much followed that artical and it was helpful. I did not want to mount, (drill holes), in my bulkhead so I mounted the pump to a piece of plyboard and mounted the board to a foam block wedged forward of my pedals and against the bulkhead.

Happy Paddling,


negative vote for anything octopuss
i had a negative experience with octopuss kayaks and would do without before buying any product from them…