Canoe Sprayskirt

New question. I do river canoe trips during the spring and summer with friends. I saw what looked like a sprayskirt for a canoe. Do they help? I have seen a couple different companys that make them and Are they hard to make your self? Is there a how to book? Has anybody heard about either of these companys?



I believe Cliff Jacobson’s book, Canoeing Wild Rivers, has information on building your own canoe cover. The book has a different title in recent editions, which I can’t remember – maybe Wilderness Canoeing. I think Jacobson endorses the Cooke covers, too.

Cooke Custom Sewing gets frequent good reviews here. I haven’t heard of the other company.

– Mark

Spray Cover
A word of caution! Althought spray covers are useful in inclement weather and in rough water they can also be dangerous.Make sure the cover you buy or make, allows you to get out of the boat easily in the event of a capsize and make sure you practice the procedure before you need to do it in an emergency.


North Water makes the best!!!

These are the best canoe spray covers money can buy. They have the pattern for many canoes in the market. If they don’t have yours, they have a worksheet that you fill in with the measurements of your canoe and then they make it. These folks are great to work with and can answer all your questions.

paddledry sprayskirt
I like using sprayskirts. I use them on lake trips and on river trips with gear. I still recomend useing flotation bags as in the bow and stern though. I made a sprayskirt around 10 years ago with snaps but it took me a couple weekends to make. The snaps wear out as well.

I got a Paddledry sprayskirt a year ago and have really liked it. It uses nylon hooks instead of snaps and is really easy to take on and off. which is a big advantage when you have to portage. The nylon hooks are a cinch to replace if lost. The same cover works on both my mad river and old town.

Bottom line you can make your own if you are good with a sewing machine.

is the company what I used for my spray deck. I had a custom one made for my old Merlin2. When you figure the time and supplies, it’s not much savings and the result is a well made and great fitting cover. I don’t think I’ll put one on my new solo canoe because they are a pain to take on and off and access to gear is difficult. But when it’s cold and raining it’s worth the money or time spent making one.

May go with partial decks after I try the canoe out this season without.

DIY question :
Does Velcro high strength fastener (industrial?) have enough strength to hold a partial bow cover in place if a wave dumps over the bow?

I am of the same mind as Mike on the partial covers for solo canoes. I sure would like to do an Assateague camper trip next spring and a set of partial covers for my Magic seem to be a doable winter project. But I do not want to set snaps if I don’t have to.


And would Gore-Tex be overkill?

I made some using Jacobson’s
three piece design. I never used the end units so far but the center many times. I took an unexpected swim in a fast moving river and only lost gear not stored under the cover. Easy to make although not as easy as Cliff wrote. I never sewed anything before so it was learning as I sewed.

Home made skirt
is possible. follow this link:


My paddledry canoe cover uses vynel hooks instead of snaps. So you have to drill far less holes in the canoe. You can use the inside to add eyelets for lasshing down gear. I had to drill a total of 12 for my cover. The hooks are held on with bolts and washers and so they are easily replaced in the field. The hooks hold onto an intergrated cord in the cover. I like it a lot better than my old snap spray cover. Plus you can use the cover in sections and don’t have to worry about velcroe sticking when it is wet. If you want pictures just email me.

I make my own.
I’m up to revision 3. Hope to have it ready before winter.

But seriously…
I was just kidding about the Gore-Tex.

I do have an idea in my noggin for bow & stern covers for my Magic, running from the bow stem to th ebow thwart and likewise at the stern. No plans for a center cover and skirt.

What is the group-think on fabric: Coated pack cloth? Coated oxford? Polyester? Sil-Nylon?


nylon stretches
when wet…Unless you can reinforce it with metal laths like on some kayak skirts, you can wind up with a puddle.

Nylon stretch
Yeah, I know about that. I was going to make it slightly arched, ala Mad River IQ covers, using stiff polypropylene tubing for battens.


Nylon does not stretch

– Last Updated: Oct-30-07 6:08 PM EST –

I shaped a piece of styrafoam and stuck it in the bow pocket of my paddledry sprayskirt. It rests on the gunnels. It is really light and really strong and water then can't collapse the sprayskirt. My sprayskirt also has tightening straps accross the bow that can be titghened.
Also Just putting a drybag in the bow pocket helps to deflect a lot of water. look at the paddledry website I believe they have a picture.

Using a latex paint or duck tape around the styrafoam helps keep it from chaffing the foam. I had a piece that made it through 4 years.

ask Ted on ccr
he made a nifty cover out of poly, edged with packcloth and ran it through several wash cycles before installing snaps.

Its got enough stretch to cover things that lump over the top of the rail. Its not quite a full cover…it came in at 2 lba.