outfitting a plastic boat (Sirocco)


How would you outfit a Sirocco? The cockpit is so big around that I can’t get any purchase with my thighs, but would like to for the obvious reasons. Is there any way to convert the big round cockpit on a plastic boat into a keyhole (to get thigh hooks in the right place)?

Many thanks in advance!

It It Doesn’t Have Thigh Braces…
you can get aftermarket ones and install (three screws) where they are needed. If there existing braces, and they not deep enough or in the wrong places for you, invest in a sheets of 2" thick minicell foam and make something akin to a masik.


Interesting question, actually have one of these on the rack so I took a quick look. First, the boat should have a black thigh brace insert that snaps into the front lip of the cockpit. Without this you truly have only an oval shaped cockpit. You can actually pop this thing out if you smack it with your hand. My quick tour also reminded me that I have popped this thing out during rolling type stuff, much to my consternation. I would think this would be your starting point. I would think you could build this up either underneath or with added foam on top, in any case securing to the boat will the key. You may be able to retro-fit the boat with a third party rig, again, removing the factory installed will present the actual mounting options.

The Scirocco (plastic Gulfstream) is a great boat but it does have a large cockpit by design.

Good luck.

I’ve been contemplating a method
of modifying my scirocco also since I purchased it a few months ago.

I assume you have the factory thigh braces indicated in previous response?

My factories touch my thighs just behind my knees which seems a little far forward to me. It doesnt look like the factory setup would easily allow you to move them back in the boat. I was thinking of maybe tearing the padding off the bottom of the factory braces and maybe mounting a section of some large diameter pvc to bring the brace further inboard and back towards the seat. Maybe could screw that to the existing brace and add adhesive backed foam underneath. I havent gone this far yet. I’ve just added adhesive foam on the inside of the boat just outboard of the existing braces and I splay my knees out as far as I can to gain purchase w/existing braces.

let me know if you come up with a good mod.

good luck,


have the factory installed braces
but they’re something of an afterthought. Nowhere near the agressive hook that I would like.

the aftermarket ones sound like a plan
There’s no kayak shop in my area. Do you know where I can find some online? And what’s a masik? (Sorry, I’m new to all this.) Thanks much! B.

Best bet is to google some of the white water retailers. WW folks much more into messing with the thigh braces to get a better fit for rolling.

If you want to go the foam masik route, here’s a pic of my “surf boat” masik. Of course, for a sea kayak, you probably dont’ want that middle column. The top has a strip of pvc over it to give it more support from thigh/knee pressure as I brace or roll.



Existing Braces
For what it’s worth… Current designs told me sometime back, that moving the existing braces toward the rear would affect the structural integrity. I guess the slight overlap of the two sides of the brace material, in the very front of the copckpit, was desirable.

I wanted more contact early on, but now it really makes no difference to me. The cockpit’s roomy, and it rolls just fine.


Nice pics. Guess that answers my question (what’s a masik). I’ll look around and see what I can find by way of aftermarket solutions, then maybe try that.

Non adjustable thigh brace
As much as I liked the CD boats, in the end, I did not get one for exactly this reason. It only fits, out of the box, a very few people perfectly. And for that kind of money you shouldn’t have to drill holes, glue in foam, etc, etc, etc. The Necky line on the other hand has a very nice, practically infinitely adjustable pair of thigh hooks and hip pads. I suggest that anyone else thinking of getting a CD, to pay close attention to the thigh hooks. If they don’t fit properly out of the box, do you really want it? And hey CD, and any other manufacturer with similar set ups, why not adjustable outfitting? All WW boats have it. Shouldn’t we in the flatwater community have the same options?

Bohemia, the nascent roller…

– Last Updated: Oct-17-06 2:57 AM EST –

...sounds like the masses have given their synopsis of the Sirocco... sort of like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. You might pass on it, given your new skills, and wait for a more fitting boat. Just a thought.

"why not adjustable outfitting?"
Though I’m less than enthused about one of Necky’s adjustable features (that funky strap in front of the thigh braces), I agree with your general question. Why the hell NOT have adjustable outfitting for sea kayaks?

I’ve been through the self-outfitting exercise, and it has a few problems. First, some things are not easily reversible if you make a mistake or change your mind. Second, not everybody enjoys sniffing glue and carving minicell. Third, the adjustable outfitting works extremely well–at least as well as the homebrewed stuff, if not better. I see no reason to reinvent the wheel when far more experienced people have included excellent adjustable outfitting as standard equipment. Fourth, for those who want to let others use their kayak, adjustable outfitting allows use with different body types and sizes.

I like the Wilderness Systems adjustables–very clean, light, and effective. Gotta wonder why only they and Necky bother. It’s not like people are made of goo that squishes into a cockpit and expands to match its dimensions. Not that I’d want to, anyway.

Learned To Roll…
in a CapeLookout which is just as wide as this boat. I suspect I am much smaller than Bohemia. By time, I moved to a narrower Squall, my roll was pretty decent on both sides.

I had to outfit like heck though, including the thigh braces.


smaller than Bohemia
when I learn to surf, sing, all 6-foot 230-lbs of me will be parting the waters like Moses the Red Sea

better make sure the coast is clear

I use my sirocco
for learning new rolls. The low back deck (can pin my head on the back deck with my butt only up a touch from the seat) and decent fit (for 6"4’ 180 pounds me) make this a very easy boat to roll. Once I get the new roll in this boat (which is also my primary rock gardening boat, and fun in the surf as well) I can usually get it in my nordkapp or Nigel foster Legend.

If you fit the sirocco, its a fabulous boat.


the problem is fitting it
I feel like one of those astronauts-in-training doing weightlessness simulation in one of those C-170 transport planes that flies parabolic curves, bumping around on the inside, it’s so cavernous

Possible vs. good
I learned to roll in a Squall that gave me the sitting-in-a-barrel feeling…and that was after adding huge amounts of padding under the stock thigh braces.

Yeah, it’s quite doable. But later I found I had learned to “adjust” for the excess width and height by jamming BOTH knees upward and outward (with different amounts of force). I had to unlearn that habit when I got a boat that fit better. Now I do most of my roll practice in a third sea kayak whose outfitting is much better than either of the other two. Having better contact allows me to slow down the roll if I want to–in the other boats I would begin sliding sideways unless I rolled up fast and hard. I actually think boat #2 is the easiest one to roll, outfitting aside, but boat #3’s outfitting more than makes up for that (plus it’s also easy to roll).

If you have not actually bought the Scirocco, keep demo’ing. Maybe you can find another roto kayak of similar purpose that will fit you better with less customizing.

have bought it
and will love it (come hell or high water)

got it for a really good price

just curious
what were the other two boats?

The boats
Merganser 16, a S&G I built.

Tempest 165.

I still own and paddle both boats. I may redo the oufitting in the Merganser sometime, but then again I may not. There’s no way to get it the way I want without making some drastic changes in the cockpit; it’s not just a matter of redoing minicell foam.