Improve sprayskirt watertight integrity

I’ve got a Snapdraggon neoprene spray skirt and it seems to have lost some of it’s water tightness (water soaking through it). Is there anything I can treat it with that will make it more watertight that won’t break down the neoprene?

time for a new skirt.
Neoprene is rubber. If water is passing through the skirt, it means the skirt is about to fall apart. Do you use your skirt in a swimming pool? Chlorine will eat right through neoprene.

When I was cheaper (read: couldn’t afford good rain gear) I would take hospital scrubs and dip them in Thompson’s Water Sealer. You could do the same for your skirt. It might make it last a bit longer.

The skirts less than 6 months old…
it’s only been in a pool once when I took a roll class. Do you think the manufacturor would help?

Are you sure about what is happening?
Snapdragon skirts are first rate and while it is possible you have a lemon it is unlikely. How do you know it is leaking through the neoprene? The most common source of water in the cockpit despite a neoprene skirt is water going going down the back of the tunnel. What kind of paddling are you doing? Are you rolling, splashing through waves, or what?

Doing all of the above…
If I am wearing shorts and I get water on the top of the skirt I can actually feal it dripping onto my legs. I’ve always noticed some coming in around the tunnel, but even with a double tunnel drytop on I can get a couple gallons of water in the boat after about twenty minutes in heavy whitewater.

Same here
I also get dripping through the deck of my Snapdragon Sea Trek breathable skirt. I figured some water getting through was normal - if it isn’t, I’d like to know, as it was a fairly expensive skirt.

Assuming it fits tightly
you probably have a defective skirt. I have been through all kinds of whitewater and never had anything like that happen. I own a number of snapdragon skirts, both whitewater and seakayak, and I assure that I have never experienced anything like you are describing. The retailer should replace it.

With some cockpits, and some skirt
designs, if the skirt is not fairly tight-fitting, small amounts of water can be driven under the sides of the skirt by water sloshing onto the deck. I had a Seals skirt, otherwise a nice skirt that did not leak during rolling, that would take water from side sloshing.

It would be unusual for a Snapdragon, purchased according to the company’s sizing suggestions, to leak due to side slosh. However, if the skirt is pretty easy to put on, that may be a sign that it is not as tight on the rim as needed to prevent water from being driven under the skirt rand.

Leak test
I’ve had two all neo snap dragons. I’ve never had any water leak through the neo deck that I know of. That seems odd.

I would try the following leak test, just to make sure. Put the skirt on the coaming without you in it. Not easy, but can be done. Have someone hold the tunnel up. Poor a bucket of water on the deck. Reach through the tunnel and see if you feel water on the under side of the deck. Leaking through the seam between the tunnel and deck, I could see, maybe. If it leaks right through the continuous sheet of neo, I would think SD might replace it at no cost, assuming there’s no evidence that it had a run-in with a porcupine or something.


2 gall’s in 20 min’s?

– Last Updated: Oct-16-07 8:15 AM EST –

Did I read that right? That'd be enough to really do a job on the handling of my Inazone 220 by the end of a run.

My experience with my SnapDragon skirt on the WW boat is that the great majority of what comes in is from the edges under the coaming when twisting around. I get a bit more in the Piedra with its smaller cockpit than the Inazone. Neither are bone dry, but it's not enough water to compromise things. What I use on the WW boats is SnapDragon's "Flirt" skirt for WW - but it did need modification.

What I found when I first used the Flirt in the pool was that the bungie pulled up too easily around the edges when I twisted my torso, so badly it was pulling off on a roll. I sent it back to them with a tracing of the cockpit. They solved the problem by putting on a heavier bungie that is the next thickness up from the usual. It's now my driest WW skirt.

As far as water seeping onto legs, I differ with some above. I find on my sea kayak skirts that if the deck is touching my thighs on a constant basis it'll set up a slight seep of water. This happens in both my SnapDragon and my Seals sea kayak skirts (both neo deck). It's kinda like the thing about touching the inside of your tent when it's raining - sets up some kind of capillary effect. I can't say for sure that is happening with the WW skirt - things tend to be so much wetter anyway - but it's possible. It's also not enough to contribute to the amount of water that you are getting.

It's possible the above is happening at the seam between the deck and the tunnel, but I doubt it. That seam is taped and the tunnel Supplex, also I don't get it happening around the seam in the back.

Also - dumb question - have you checked the skirt for any holes? They shouldn't happen that easily, but if you have one near the edge it might not be too easy to notice as you sit in the boat.

I’ve had the same
experience with ALL of my Snapdragons. I paddle sea kayaks using a GP which drips lots of water on the deck, after a couple of hours I get water coming through. Nothing like 2 gallons though. On most of my boats (NDK) the seat location in relation to the rear coaming causes a large wrinkle which pools water and then lets it pass through. I just tell myself it is a water sport. Snapdragon says it can’t happen but then their butt isn’t wet either :slight_smile:

this is my experience - it’s from the continuous addition of water from the GP. After a while I feel a slow trickle on my legs. On a hot day, it’s nice, but sometimes it gives me the jimmy-legs, like spiders are crawling around. I’m going to try a flood test later this week or weekend. I’ll start pouring water onto the neo deck and see what happens - if anything obvious turns up I’ll report back.