Heritage Kayak Spray Skirt ?

-- Last Updated: Nov-10-09 8:16 AM EST --

I have a 12ft featherlight and used my sprayskirt (by Heritage) for the first time last week. Up to this point I have ran nothing more that class one and never needed the shirt. Last week we ran class two and I tried using the skirt for the first time. Since the seat on the yak is high what is the proper position for the seat to be at in, inside the sprayskirt or extending out? . It does not seen to fit good on the inside but if it extends out there is gap between me the seat and the skirt and got a litte water down the back. Is that normal? Thanks in advance for a real newbie on class two.

Nylon skirt (?) and huge cockpit

– Last Updated: Nov-10-09 1:42 PM EST –

WW and staying dry are mutually exclusive ideas, but a good skirt and boat fit for the conditions can keep water out of the boat well enough that you aren't carrying dangerous amounts inside the cockpit.

The skirt goes around the coaming. From Heritage's own site about this boat - "is great for general flatwater paddling". That's its target use. While I do see an "excellent" rating for class 1 and 2, I suspect that is mostly about the boat doing a decent job of keeping you upright, not staying dry or maneuvering in the way a true WW boat might manage. And if you have a nylon skirt... you'll get wetter.

If you want to get serious about WW, or just plain have more fun in it, I'd suggest you look around for a used WW boat to get started with. Maybe a river runner like the Jackson Fun series or the Pyranna (sp?) I-series, or if you want to rush thru and maneuver less a higher volume creeker.

The lower the volume of boat, the easier it'll be to get that first roll. As you move more into WW, you'll be seeing pretty much all neo skirts. Making progress towards a roll helps reduce any entrapment angst.

Thanks for the reply

Class II will be my max. I am not concidering whitewater. At 59, I will have enough fun in my life with class II and paddling flatwater swamps.

Keep the top
higher than the top of the seat. I place the top of mine around my chest. Seat back is fully inside. Life jacket over the whole works.

They are nylon, you will always get some leakage. Big cockpit like that will often implode the skirt anyway in big water.