Brit Boat Modifications

Tsunami Chuck made some suggestions for modifications to the Skerrey, and the more I think about it, the more I would like to try to change a couple things.

The ocean cockpit makes access and egress difficult. It will make a re-entry more difficult. I would prefer a keyhole cockpit like the Romany. I could not make such a major change myself. It would need to be professionally done. Also, I may eventually trade up, and some might find the ocean cockpit desireable.

One thing I know I would like to do is replace the chimp pump with a day hacth. I can tell it will be in the way during re-entry. Replacing it with a flat 6" gaspachi hatch might be easy. I would prefer a Brit type hatch cover, but that would require forming a lip for the hatch.

Finally, I would like to add a forward sloping bulkhead like on the romany to make it drain easier. What should I use for bulkhead material? And sealer?

Mostly I don’t even get around to working on boats, but I may have time this winter…

Wait a while…
You may learn to live with it as is, if not sell it. Making major changes would lower resale value for someone that really wants that boat…

I agree
with GH, you might get used to the lil round ocean cockpit, but it will be more challenging getting in and out at the shore, especially in surf. You can’t beat a keyhole for that. If you can’t get used to it, sell it and get a Romany or Explorer; they come with the keyhole and the day hatch. Good luck.

Thanks for reminding me…
Been meaning to contact you after reading about the small c/p and your feeling it is not exactly for you.

I HAVE cut decks and lengthened the c/p rim for folks looking for more room. Might sound scary but no big deal to do.

If you wanna know more give me a call.

Also agree
with Greyhawk.

It sounds to me that want you want is a different boat.

Before you dramatically alter your Skerry, demo other Brit boats. There a a good number of them out there, each with somewhat diffeent characteristics. There are also a number of North American boats that are designed like Brit boats, such as Tempest, Chatham, Currituck, Montauk, etc…

Valley boats tend to resell well.

Different Boat

– Last Updated: Sep-16-04 3:58 PM EST –

I probably will want a different boat eventually, probably a Romany, but for right now the Skerrey is a very reassuring ride.

Probably the most stable of the composite Brit boats. I should get at least a couple seasons out of it before moving on. Given the deal I got on this boat, I will not get hurt when I sell, or trade it.

I plan on doing a lot of skills training in this boat, and I want to set up it for that.

Thanks Patrick! Like I said, I will have to think about the cockpit for a while. I kind of hate to change the ocean cockpit. Someone might want the boat for that very reason. Let me work on it and see. Nice to know I have options.

But I do want to remove the chimp pump. I plan on doing a lot of re-entries on this boat, and think it will get in the way. I will know better after this weekend.

And the bulkhead Chuck suggested would make rescue training much easier.

Maybe just build the shape you want out of minicel foam instead of building & trying to seal a new bulkhead?

Think will get in the way?
Maybe you should try it first.

I usually paddle with my brother in law who owns a Valley Pintail equipped with the same pump, he was never bothered by the pump while doing re-entries. Actually he loves it.

I would suggest getting familiar with the boat before making any modifications.

replacing pump
I’m just starting the same modification for my boat right now (an old Nordkapp). If you look up some of bnystrom’s old posts either here on on, you will find instructions both for switching the pump for a dayhatch, and on adding a 3rd bulkhead.

I’ve chosen to go with minicel and 3m 4200 so that I can undo the modification later if a decide to. I got a piece that is 3 x 12 x 20 for $17 at REI that was big enough to fit.

So far it’s been pretty easy to shape it to fit the boat.

For the day hatch I’ve ordered the Kayaksport 15cm hatch and rim. It’s a little smaller than the vcp 7.5 and seems to be about the same size as the hole made for the chimp pump (I’m still waiting for it to get here so that’s just based on the measurements). You can order them at Newfound Woodworks web site.

Let me know how it goes.


This Weekend
I did a very brief roll practice session, but I will do some re-entry practice this weekend.

I would like the boat set up for some serious training at the BCU sysmposium at Bodega Bay in mid October.

I’ve never found that the pump gets in the way during re-entries.

My problem with the pump is that it leaves a fair amount of water in the boat. Because the bulkhead is about a foot behind the seat (to accomodate the pump, it is very difficult to empty the boat in a T rescue.

KIm paddle your new boat for a while

– Last Updated: Sep-16-04 5:13 PM EST –

and then share your observations with the folks at Riptides and Rapids. In fact you might be better served waiting until after the BCU syposium to modify your boat, execpt for outfitting pertaining to comfort. You may learn some things that will influence your decision making. I believe R&R is the only California outfitter selling Brit boats brand new, and they are very helpful. I think they are affliated in some way with the BCS symposium, but I am not sure. WSK had there monthly meetings at their store. They built up my seat, took out the foot pegs, and then added foam in front of the bulkhead at the same place where the foot pegs were. Now I can paddle comfortably for miles. They charged me $40 for parts and labor. Here's the link:

Third Bulkhead
That is the reason for the third bulkhead. It reduces the amount of water the boat can hold inside. The minicell bulkhead sounds easy. The one in the Romany is sloped forward to drain better.

At first I thought the chimp pump was a good idea, but I am advised I will also need a portable bilge pump, so that makes it slightly redundant…

The Romany and Avocet both have low
rear decks and keyhole cockpits, and are considered two of the best Brit learning boats, if it turns out the Skerray is not for you.

Good Advice - I Also Need Outfitting
I should try it out for a while before making any big decisions, like the cockpit.

After one roll practice I can tell I will need some more outfitting to help with learning to roll.

I just want to get it set up to make the training easier.

As far as just paddling the boat, there are no problems. It is a very comfortable, very stable, boat. The pronounced fish form gives me lots of room.

Try a Tempest. Keyhole cockpit. Day hatch. Easy to roll. Just don’t eat any White Castles directly before roll practice.

Hey Al
I have an old Nordkapp too. Could I have the bulkhead pattern and your source for the day hatch?

As Others Have Said…
Do nothing major. Just outfit it with foam. Make yourself use it for at least 5 trips or more and then figure whether you want to leave it as is, do surgery, or sell that boat.

As a “Brit boat”, you’re bound to find some buyer if need be… :smiley:


The Tempest was on my short list for my first SINK, but I found such a great deal on the Skerrey.

Don’t Get Me Wrong, I Like The Skerrey
If I didn’t like the Skerrey I would just turn around and sell for a profit.

Just wondering about getting it set up. Maybe I am going over board…