I don’t currently use drip rings but do they work well? I am building a kayak and need to know if I could avoid the rim for a spray skirt, avoid the spray skirt and still keep most of the drips out by using paddle drip rings.
You should be able to answer this yourself - how much water do you get in your boat right now?
Wind will blow the drips towards you even if you paddle very neatly.... but I haven't managed to figure out how to paddle neatly.
But why would you not want to put on the skirt rims? It's not a lot of bother for something that leaves you a lot better off if conditions ramp up.
I have some cheap flattish ones that don’t do much good. Then I have some that are pretty deep-dished and hold an ounce or two of water. I love these, keep my hands dry and seem to hold just enough water, then spill it on the downstroke. Still, I get drips in the cockpit or on deck.
Even if you feel you do not need
a skirt, the cockpit rim (coaming) adds a great deal of strength to an area that sees a lot of stress from rntering & exiting the boat.
Avoid the drip rings…
…but don’t avoid the cockpit rim or skirt. Drip rings aren’t needed–kayaking is a wet sport anyway. Skirts are needed–kayaking is a wet sport. I would avoid kayaking without a skirt and avoid kayaking altogether if you think you don’t need one or don’t need to build a kayak with a rim to accept a skirt. There’s a host of safety and training issues involved in a question like yours and it causes red flags to go up. Might you explain your experience and purpose for building a kayaking without a cockpit rim?
I have the drip rings on my paddle
and for me they work well. The really do help to keep cold water off your hands. Yes you will still get water on you or your spray skirt but the rings will really cut that amount down. They are cheap to buy so I would buy a pair and try them.
If you’re doing anything other than lily
dippin’ with your paddle, drips rings just become so much dead weight, do not serve their purpose and are one more thing to get in the way if you change hand positions along the shaft. I had a coach mention this to me some time ago and after trying it awhile, find that I very much prefer no drip rings. One less thing to worry about. To each his own.
Drip Rings Help…
…keep some water from running up the shaft to your hands, but that’s about it - the drips are going to fly around and land in your lap and in the boat anyway. The cockpit rim and the spray skirt keep a lot more than drips out, tho - the skirt protects the cockpit when you heel the boat sharply or waves come aboard. Unless the water’s so warm and sheltered that the thoughts of being at least somewhat wet and possibly swamping the boat don’t matter, a kayak skirt is needed.
As already pointed out, the rim is also a key structural element; it reinforces the section of deck has to bear all your weight when entering and exiting the boat. It also helps ‘lock’ the deck’s shape; when we put on the cockpit rim of the S&G kayaks we build, it adds an impressive amount of stiffness to what was a floppy section of the deck.
You want a spray skirt
Drip rings work, but waves happen…
Thanks for all your responses. I never paddle my other kayak without a skirt on.
The kayak I’m building is skin on frame and it has a rigid frame around the cockpit. I’m not just sure how to attach the skirt ring to the fabric.
Would it work to simply attach the skirt using velcro or wouldn’t that be strong enough? Or would it let too much water in?
Are you saying that there is no raised ring around the cockpit, or provision for one? Or that it is unclear how the cockpit coaming fits on there to meet other framing elements?
I am wondering if you are working with a kit and it isn't quite clear how the area round the cockpit is supposed to be built.
The frame is made of aluminum tubing and the cockpit rim is made of that tubing. The fabric wraps around the tubing to give the hull tightness, therefore there is nothing to attach a skirt to.
This is not a kit but is a design-as-I-go project. The kayak is also supposed to fold for transport if necessary, so a hard rim isn’t something I can have unless it too comes apart. This is why I asked the original question about the drip rings.
The ice has finally broke on the rivers here and I hope to be paddling soon.
Oh - then (scratching head)
I am used to seeing SOF's with wood frames inside, which run up towards the coaming area. At least they get close enough I seem to always find an edge with a hip or a leg... doesm't apply here.
Wonder how the folders like Feathercraft handle it - have you had a chance to see one of them in person?
Take a look here
I suggest spending some time looking at Tom Yost’s folding kayak designs - he’s solved the problem of installing a proper coaming on aluminum tube skin on frame kayaks. It’s a good idea to use a skirt on a SOF that has no internal bulkheads to reduce flooding.
Drip rings? Again?