Leaking Spray Skirt??????

A quick question…I notice that I get a lot of water coming in my boat when I do rolls. I wear a semi-dry top with a skirt tunnel that has a good seal. I think that it is probably not coming in through the waist, but perhaps through where it attaches to the cockpit rim. (this is on my sea kayak and the skirt is an all neoprene snapdragon with bunji rand—I think it is their $100 version)

What do you think? Is there a better skirt that will better? Do you think it is more likeley coming in through the waist and that I should perhaps try a smaller waste size, or is this pretty much unavoidable?



Hard To Say
But I may have the same skirt. I purchased it about three months ago. The skirt is very tight around my waist and the tunnel extends up my torso for about 12 inches.

Mine does not leak. I use a semi-dry jacket and after a few rolls, (or attempted rolls) I have a little water down the neck and sometimes a little up one or both sleeves. But the cockpit stays dry.

Happy Paddling,


I get pretty wet also…

I have a bunji all neoprene skirt on a fiberglas boat and I get pretty wet also. A tighter waist should help if you are getting water in that way.

I kind of just live with it.

Note that a rubber rand skirt may be too tight for a fiberglas kayak.

Who stays dry?
I always get water in the kayak and just assume it is unavoidable to pick up a cup or two of water every roll. Does anybody stay totally dry?

If you are getting lots of water, I suggest checking to assure you have the right size skirt and after that, checking the integrity of the seal between the cockpit coaming and the boat. I’ve heard some models are notoriously leaky. That was said of my Azul Sultan, but I have not found it true. I was also told the leak was very difficult to see. It might be informative to partially fill the cockpit with water, put the skirt on, and then roll the boat around and see where and how the water escapes.

Good luck with it.


Page Schizopak
While I’ve heard of it, I think Alex has tried this method of wrapping a bike tire tube around the rim. Some white water and surf folks have found this helpful in minimizing excessive leakage.


You didn’t mention
what boat you are paddling. I have found the thick cockpit rim on the tupperware boats does not form a very good seal. I use the same sprayskirt as you. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has succeeded in resolving this.

"a lot of water"
What exactly does that mean? How many rolls are you doing, and how much water/roll are you taking on (estimate)?

I have had some skirts
seal better than others but if you are pracicing rolls I don’t think you can totally stop water from getting in the kayak. I think that the movements we make when performing a roll while upside down in the water causes negative and positive air pressure inside the kayak that sucks water in.

My boat…
I have a VAlley Aquanaut (fiberglass).

I get maybe about half quart to a quart of water each time that I roll. Its not a big deal, but I just would have expected a tighter seal and was wondering if maybe I had a poor fitting seal on the boat or on my waist.


I’ve got a rubber-rand skirt on my plastic Avocet that does a great job sealing the cockpit rim, but I still get water down the tunnel unless I really snug up the double tunnel on my drytop. My drysuit zipper is enough of a lump to make a leak path.

If your neoprene skirt
doesn’t fit snug at the top of the tunnel you can make it fit tighter by cutting a long pie shape peice of the tunnel out and glueing back together. I have to do this to most of my neoprene skirts to get a better seal at the top of the tunnel. Neoprene is actually very easy to work with. With some neoprene glue and seam tape you can do a lot of customizing to neoprene products.

Half a quart?
That’s a fair amount of water for a neoprene skirt on a glass boat. Is the coaming shaped right and high enough that you are getting the bungie fully under the rim, or is it not really getting snugged under maybe in the back? Or, as suggested above is the skirt so tight on the boat that, if you twist your body around, it lifts off the coaming on the side? A neo skirt can come up a bit on the side but still stay secure front and back. Properly sized, you should be able to twist around a good bit and not have the bungie lift from under the coaming.

Seems like a good seal…except for the leaking. I always knew some water got it, but with the water and air being cold here lately I notice it more. As I come up from my roll and feel my legs get soaked with a shower of cold water.

Maybe I will try a skirt with a snunger fitting tunnel. Since it feels like the water comes straight down it would make sense that it is coming through the tunnel, but I do have a double tunnel on my semi-dry top. Not sure.


One of the previous posts suggested modifing the tunnel to make it snugger. The suggested modification is really easy, Id suggest attempting that before spending another $100.

I am far from being an expert so take my experience with a grain of salt. My Snapdraggon tunnel is very tight. When I first tried it on at the outfitter’s I told them that I needed a larger size. I was told that no, you want it tight to keep the water out. Every time I put it on now it feels uncomfortable for the first five minutes. I can roll or attempt to roll a half dozen times and don’t notice any water in the cockpit.

BTW- I wear size 33 pants, and have what Snapdraggon says is a medium tunnel.

Merry Christmas and Happy Paddling


taking on water
We’ve discovered that many cockpit rims have leakeage around the deck and like the poster said-you can’t really see the area that may be the culprit. We have added Marine Goop around the inside of the rim underneath the decks of our Hurricanes and our glass Seawards and it made a difference. My husbands first kayak-Walden Passage- really leaked bad around the coaming and took a lot of sealer. So if your tunnel fits tight enough I’d sure look at the cockpit rim installation.

Very good point
I think you might be right about the cockpit rim. I was out yesterday and noticed that even when water washed up over my deck from oncoming waves that I was getting a bit of water on my lap. This could not be a failure of the skirt’s waist or rim seal.

I will take a look at sealing it as per your recommendation.