Half-skirt Source

What is a good source of half skirts that would fit an OT Solitude rec. kayak?

Check out :Brookspaddlegear.com

home made
Hey there,

We made half skirts for our yaks with some waterproof fabric, heavy duty bungee and pvc pipe. Works nicely and can’t beat the price. Email me if you want more info. This did require a sewing machine, but trust me, I hadn’t sewn since 5th grade home ec class, and still managed!



You know my nephew can sew, and can probably scrounge an old army poncho or the like. Wonder if he’d risk asking his mom to borrow the machine? The other option would be my mother–in–law, who’s sewed stranger things for us.

If it is no trouble, please send me details. Thanks!

Brooks half skirt
I purchased mine from Brooks and I really like it, especially for paddling in warm water. it is real nice for preventing paddle drippings from getting my lap wet.

I should caution though, half skirts keep out the front splashes and drips, but rough water and weather is justification for a full skirt.

I made one, want pics?
email me and I’ll send the pic of the one I made for my Pungo. works great.


I bought mine from…
Voyager,(two of them and the other two from Walden Kayaks

They fit most every kayak I have owned.


I have a couple for our Pungos…and at about $20, worth buying and saving the sewing hassles. (also includes some flexible stays to have it hold a curved shape.

Second the Voyageur
I have a mini skirt std from Voyageur for my Looksha IV. It works pretty good. I think I got mine for around $20.00.

Check out their website:



Making a half skirt
I’m traveling right now and having trouble sending email, but when I’m back home on Monday I’ll send you (and anyone else who has emailed me) info. I’ll snap a few photos too, because part of it is hard to explain, although not hard to do. Obviously walking into a store or clicking online will be easier, but the least expensive I could find the voyageur skirts in November was $30 or $35, and b/c voyageur is having a lot of internal problems, almost no place online had any in-stock and ordering was going to take awhile. If you happen to have a local store with something in stock, that might not be a problem.

Anyhow - look for something from me next week.



here’s the instructions…(finally)
I was traveling last week and wasn’t able to respond with this info earlier. Once I sat down to type up the instructions it seemed more complicated, so I apologize for how long this is. It’s not really that hard to make, but it’s hard to explain over the internet! To help, I snapped some photos (see the kayak album here: http://community.webshots.com/user/hhuckeba)

Here’s how I made the half skirt:

  1. Materials needed: waterproof material, heavy bungee cord, pvc pipe. You might material at a fabric store, but a military surplus store might be a better bet. We found heavy waterproof material for our cockpit covers at a military surplus store, but the lighter yellow/black material used for the half skirt we found at a regular fabric store. (Note the material we used has different color on each side – it’s not two different pieces of fabric sewn together). Bungee that you can buy in length we also found at a military surplus store. PVC pipe can be had at any hardware store. You’ll want a pretty small PVC pipe – about ¼ inch in diameter.

  2. Lay the fabric over the opening and trace the outline of the opening onto the fabric. Your outline should be the front of the cockpit with a straight line across where you want the skirt to come (say 6 inches from the back of the seat). On dark fabric, a silver or white crayon works well. If your fabric is two toned like ours, make your pattern on what will be the underside.

  3. Once you have the template, you’ll want to sketch out a second outer line around the line you’ve already drawn. Make this second line 3 inches further out around the curved section, and about an inch further on the straight end. Now cut out the fabric along this outer line.

  4. Cut the PVC pipe down to the correct size. It should be slightly wider than your cockpit opening so that it will rest on top and hold the skirt up (about ½ to an inch wider than the opening).

  5. Cut out a second piece of fabric to hold the PVC pipe. This needs to be about 2 inches longer than the pipe, and when doubled over to form a pouch, about 2 inches wider than the pipe (you use the extra fabric to attach it to the skirt).

  6. To create the pouch, fold the rectangle over longwise. If you have two-toned fabric, the “inside” side should be facing out. Sew the short ends. Now turn the fabric inside out (now the correct side will be facing out).

  7. Slide the pipe into the long pouch you’ve created. You will sew the pipe into the pouch by sewing it onto the end of the skirt. When you attach the pipe pouch, make sure you sew it on with the end of the skirt folded over to create a clean edge. Sew the pipe pouch on with two rows of sewing.

  8. Next fold the outer edge of the skirt over to the inner edge, pinning it in place with straight pins all the way around. As you go around the curves, you’ll need to create pleats to fold the fabric. It doesn’t need to be terribly neat, because once the bungee is in and the fabric is bunched up, you won’t be able to notice.

  9. Once it is pinned over, sew this down, creating about an inch wide sleeve for the bungee cord. Reinforce the ends where this flap overlaps with the PVC pipe sleeve. Note that maneuvering through the sewing machine with the curve and the PVC pipe can be tricky if you’re not experienced at sewing. I had to go very slowly and had a second person help guide the fabric.

  10. Now you can slide the bungee cord through the sleeve. (this is the hardest part!). You want to make sure you have plenty of length to do this, even though once you pull the skirt tight on your kayak you’ll actually need less than you think.

  11. Once the cord is through, put the skirt on the kayak and pull the bungee taut. Once you have it at the right tightness, tie a double knot. I also used a little plastic cylinder to help protect the knot (this was some type of irrigation pipe from Lowe’s because I wanted black, but a pvc pipe would also work for this too!)

    That’s it!

    The steps are similar but even more simple for creating a cockpit cover. For that just take your template of the entire cockpit opening, add an outer line 3 inches out and fold over and pin into place. Before you sew, add two grommets at the front end of the cover that will allow the bungee to come in and out of the cover without stressing the fabric. After the grommets are in, sew the sleeve shut and then push through the bungee. Put on the cockpit and pull taut and tie off the bungee like with the skirt. We used our homemade covers on a road trip from Tulsa to New Orleans and back and they kept rain out of the boats and never blew off even at highway speeds (we do use a carabineer to clip them on just in case, though).

    For both cockpit covers and the half skirt our total cost was probably less than $30. (That was for 2 covers and 2 half-skirts).

    Feel free to email me if you have any questions!

Heather, that sounds real doable. Maybe it would make a good project for a grandmother and granddaughter to work on together!

Take care.